Shenfield development of nearly more than 800 homes ‘lacking’ coordination

Plans for almost 350 homes along with a new primary school on a site off a main gateway to Brentwood have been recommended for approval.

The application for 344 homes from Croudace Homes off Chelmsford Road and Alexander Lane sits in the largest parcel of land known as Officers Meadow.

Three other developers – Countryside Properties, Redrow Homes and Stonebond Properties – are all developing different and separate plots in the same area – which eventually see a total of 825 homes.

However, Chelmsford Road Area Residents Association have reiterated concerns about the development of Officers Meadow.

In an earlier submission associated with the Countryside application, the Chelmsford Road Area Residents Association said it was concerned the four developers’ plans are not being coordinated.

Over the Croudace application they add: “The North Shenfield development, outlined in the local plan, holds significant implications for infrastructure, traffic, open space accessibility, biodiversity, and well-being.

“While development presents an opportunity for enhancement, it currently falls short of fostering a sense of community, a concern we’ve repeatedly voiced. We emphasise the necessity for comprehensive coordination among developers, which has been lacking thus far.”

They add they have also previously raised concerns about what they see as the inadequate consideration of traffic impacts, road alignments and pedestrian crossings.

They said: “These concerns require immediate attention to ensure resident safety. Each application assesses the potential impact on traffic separately, failing to reference each other’s plans or make any assessment of the overall increase in traffic levels or the inter-action between the entrances to the different development sites.

“We also strongly object to the continued inclusion of a road running right through the site, from Alexander Lane to Chelmsford Road. This has the potential to become a rat-run as well as degrading the ecological value of the water meadow that will have to be created to mitigate the flood hazard.”

They also list concerns around flood risks, site design and the relocation of a care home from within the development to the Countryside site.

They add: “In conclusion, our concerns have been voiced in the previous objection letter, it’s imperative to address them comprehensively to ensure that the development aligns with our community’s needs and aspirations.

“Neglecting these concerns undermines the policies outlined in the Local Plan and Brentwood Borough Council’s objectives.”

Croudace highlight that the proposals create a new parkland of nearly four hectares, continued access to Arnold’s Wood, as well as a network of footpaths and cycleways to allow new and existing residents easy access to public rights of way into Shenfield and the railway station, including the upgrading of the public right of way on site.

They said: “The site is located within easy walking and cycling distance to Shenfield and the railway station. To optimise health and well-being, the layout has been devised to prioritise walking and cycling, with vehicular traffic being considered last.

“The transport assessment sets out this strategy and assesses the traffic from the new development and its effects on the surrounding area, any mitigation required, including enhancements to the local bus service.”

They add: “The development provides a much-needed variety of new housing, exceeding requirements for sustainability, open space and biodiversity net gain whilst adhering to the principals set out and approved within the National Design Guide and Development Framework document.”

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter