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Chelmsford’s future – have your say!

Did you know that a lot of how Chelmsford develops in the next 20 years could be influenced by you?

The council has to have a Local Plan to guide its future growth so that Chelmsford is a greener, fairer and more connected community.  We want you to be part of this process. 

The Local Plan affects every resident of Chelmsford. It sets out how Chelmsford will grow, where businesses and homes will be located, and how we will protect our green environment and heritage.

The Government requires every council to have a local plan, otherwise developers and the Government can decide where to build houses.

We’re reviewing the plan

Councils have to review their local plan every five years. Chelmsford City Council adopted its current Local Plan in 2020 and must therefore start a review in order to complete it by 2025. The review will also extend the horizon of the Local Plan from 2036 to 2041.

This means we have to reassess our housing and employment needs to take into account projected rising population and growth in the city. So we’re asking for your views.

Options for Chelmsford’s future growth

Looking ahead, the council has developed five different approaches that could be followed to address the city’s growth. It is likely that the preferred approach might not be one of the five listed, but a combination of the most sustainable and deliverable elements.

The consultation is not a vote on which specific location is the most or least popular, but a way of assessing issues and finding the most sustainable overall strategy for delivering the area’s needs. That includes our environment, infrastructure, business and education opportunities.

This is the first stage of consultation, so there will be many opportunities to be involved.  There will be further consultations as the plan evolves and you will be asked for your views along the way.

Local Plan Leaves

Public consultation – your voice counts

Starting Thursday, 11 August you can have your say as the council starts its public consultation on the review.

“Chelmsford City Council must address the climate & ecological emergency, the housing crisis and the need to create a more connected community. In addition, the council must take into account Government legislation and other council policies. We need to build communities (with infrastructure) not just houses.

“The council wants input from residents to help shape the city for current and future generations and to guide how to address these priorities. This is your opportunity to influence the future of your city, so it’s really important that you do have your say. There are many ways you can get involved, so do please take part in this consultation.”

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader, Chelmsford City Council

Consultation starts Thursday 11 August

There will be many opportunities to find out more and voice your views.

The consultation on the Issues and Options document runs for an extended period of eight weeks from 10am on Thursday 11 August to 4pm on Thursday 6 October 2022.

Where you can view Local Plan documents


You can view the consultation documents and make comments on the Council’s planning policy consultation portal www.chelmsford.gov.uk/planningpolicyconsult..

They will also be available to read during normal opening hours at the Council’s Customer Service Centre at the Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford.

You can view an online exhibition available during the consultation period – this can be found at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/lp-exhibition.

In person

We will also be holding in-person exhibitions at the Civic Centre. These exhibitions will provide an opportunity for you to find out more and discuss the consultation with a planning officer.

Exhibition dates are:

  • Thursday 8 September    6pm – 9pm
  • Friday 9 September         10am – 1pm
  • Friday 9 September         2pm – 5pm
  • Saturday 10 September  10am – 1pm

How to respond with your views

All comments will be used to inform the next stage of the process which is when the council chooses its preferred option.

What has the plan delivered so far?

Feedback from earlier consultations is already reflected in the current plan. It has delivered new space for business and employment, 5,000 homes to cater for different household sizes, including affordable housing, and infrastructure such as schools and green spaces. It has expanded sustainable transport, including cycleways, with a new railway station in north Chelmsford planned to open in the next four years.

Local Plan Border
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Charlotte Maltby
Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes about the environment, parks, recycling, business, planning, public realm and democratic services.