Environmental Impact Assessment submitted for 500 homes on edge of Chelmsford

Plans to build more than 500 homes on the edge of Chelmsford have taken a step forward.

Developer Hopkins Homes has submitted a Environmental Impact Assessment scoping report – an early stage for a major development – for the planned housing scheme at Manor Farm, located to the north of Maldon Road for 340 homes.

While Redrow Homes has submitted plans for 181 homes nearby on land west of the park and ride terminus – of which 67 will be affordable.

That submission has been particularly welcomed by Chelmsford City Council leader Stephen Robinson given the number of affordable homes the council had negotiated with the developer.

He said: “That affordable housing quota is 37 per cent which is better than the council’s 35 per cent policy.

“I have said for a long time to developers that we will hold them to the 35 per cent and infrastructure contributions.”

He added: “We do have a housing crisis across all housing styles and we have a desperate need for all types but especially in the affordable and special categories.”

A statement from Redrow said: “The development will provide a range of high quality homes where people will live and take pride in their environment.

“It will also offer significant areas of new public open space, recreational routes, children’s play areas.

“As part of the outline application it provides for a stand-alone early years and childcare nursery and employment area, in addition to safeguarding the extension of the park and ride site, of benefit to both new and existing residents.”

The Hopkins application includes a 60 hectare country park  – the basis of which is “minimum intervention and maximum impact”

The country park will comprise woodland areas, wetland and wildflower and grazing meadows.

The country park is also proposed to accommodate a car park that will serve not only the country park but provide parking for Sanford Mill to the north to which it will be connected by a new pathway.

It says its intention is to submit a full application in Autumn 2021, with the development starting in 2024 and be complete by 2030.

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter