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Net-zero-carbon ready homes at Garden Community

Chelmsford Garden Community is set to be the greenest neighbourhood in Chelmsford. An agreement has just been signed to deliver around 80 homes as Net Zero Carbon-ready.

Chelmsford City Council, developers Countryside Zest and the Government’s housing agency, Homes England, have agreed the funding of the first stage of work for a significant phase of the Chelmsford Garden Community to meet the Government’s emerging Future Homes Standard.

Beaulieu Chase
Beaulieu Chase

An exemplar development

The award-winning Beaulieu and Channels developments are the first places being built as part of Chelmsford Garden Community, with over 1,500 homes already completed.

Chelmsford Garden Community will have more than 10,000 homes when completed, as proposed in the recently adopted Local Plan. The Beaulieu neighbourhood is already identified as an exemplar development in line with the national design guidance and decarbonisation plans. The government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund is contributing to the cost of a new mainline rail station and bypass to serve the new community.

Countryside Zest has started work on a ‘reserved matters’ planning application for a demonstrator site of around 80 net zero carbon-ready homes at Beaulieu. Chelmsford City Council and Homes England are working in partnership with Countryside Zest by helping to fund some of the initial research required to inform the Net Zero Carbon measures needed. Learning from this project will help inform future zones at the Garden Community and other developments.

A planning application for the demonstrator site is expected to be submitted in late 2021. Construction will finish in late 2023.

Chelmsford Garden Community Map
Map of Chelmsford Garden Community

Addressing climate change

Iain McPherson, Group Chief Executive at Countryside Properties said, “At Countryside, we have a coveted history of partnerships and collaborations, and we are proud to work with London Quadrant, Chelmsford City Council and Homes England to deliver net zero carbon-ready homes at Beaulieu. We at Countryside are strongly committed to tackling the challenges caused by climate change and towards becoming a low-carbon society. With our vision and approach to sustainability, we hope that our development at Beaulieu turns out to be a place where people love to live.”

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council said, “Addressing climate change is a key priority for Chelmsford City Council, demonstrated by our declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency. It is critical that new homes are built to the highest environmental standards and we hope that this exciting and innovative project will allow us to demonstrate how net zero carbon homes can be considered the norm in new developments.”

Fionnuala Lennon, Head of High Growth and New Settlements, Homes England, said, “Garden Community projects, supported by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, provide an ideal opportunity to showcase how net zero carbon developments can be designed and implemented at scale. The proposals at Chelmsford Garden Community are particularly exciting as the project will be delivered by a volume housebuilder working in partnership with the local authority on a large development zone. The learning from this project will be transferable to many similar developments across the country.”

How can I find out more about Chelmsford Garden Community?

For more information, check the City Council website. You can also sign up to the City Life mailing list for updates on this and other important stories affecting Chelmsford, South Woodham Ferrers and the surrounding villages.

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Julie Weight
Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.