Transport improvements planned as part of 800-home development in Chelmsford

A number of highway improvements have been suggested to support the delivery of the development of 800 new homes and a new primary school in Chelmsford.

The planned new development, from Bellway Essex, Harrow Estates, and Moulsham Hall Estates, on land south of Chelmsford City Racecourse will also bring a children’s nursery, a neighbourhood centre with a range of commercial and community uses, and a residential care home with up to 80 beds.

The land was allocated as a new housing site within the Strategic Growth Site Allocation for Great Leighs contained in the Chelmsford Local Plan, which was adopted in May 2020. It was part of a Masterplan for the site which was approved by Chelmsford City Council in March 2023.

Chelmsford City Council has now received outline planning for the development and its access – including the construction of a spine road and the formation of a new road access junction with the associated realignment of Moulsham Hall Lane, including provision for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians.

The only vehicular access proposed to the site from the public highway is located in the southeastern corner of the site. A report has assessed the development will generate around 1,078 peak AM and 863 peak PM two-way trips.

A new roundabout is proposed where the southern end of Moulsham Hall Lane currently meets the existing roundabout giving access to the A131. At this point the new roundabout will provide access to the site, whilst also connecting northwards into Moulsham Hall Lane, connecting eastwards to the emergency access to the racecourse, and the existing roundabout at the A131 to the south.

The structural spine road within the development itself will enable vehicular access to be provided to the various development parcels and include a loop for buses.

A new or extended bus service will serve the development. To facilitate this, a financial contribution will be secured through the Section 106 to cover the initial period of operation.

Phil Standen, managing director of Bellway Essex, said: “The developers worked with Chelmsford City Council to formulate a masterplan that ensures there is one, unified vision for the entire site and this was approved in March 2023.

“Our proposals will deliver much-needed new homes and improvements to the local facilities and infrastructure. We hope to be in a position to submit a joint application for outline planning permission this month.”

Julian Larkin, managing director of Harrow Estates, said: “We aim to create thriving communities at each of our developments by creating high-quality homes and supporting local facilities. This new neighbourhood would deliver up to 800 new homes featuring courtyards, tree-lined streets and private drives. With views across surrounding landscaped spaces and the site of Moulsham Hall, the development has been designed to include well-connected pedestrian and cycle routes.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter