The anticipated railway station for Beaulieu and the Chelmsford North East by-pass will move a step closer to becoming a reality with Essex County Council’s Cabinet set to approve the unlocking of grant funding worth over £200 million on March 16.
Essex County Council (ECC) announced it had been successful in securing funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) back in 2019 and needs formal approval in order to enter into an official agreement with Homes England to secure the release of just under £218m from the national HIF.
By securing the funding, ECC has delivered an Infrastructure First approach whereby the infrastructure schemes will be brought forward earlier than would otherwise have been the case and existing residents will see the benefit as early as possible.
Both projects have received significant backing from local MPs for the area, including Vicky Ford MP, for Chelmsford, John Whittingdale, MP for Maldon, Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden, Will Quince, MP for Colchester, Priti Patel, MP for Witham and Giles Watling, MP for Clacton.
ECC is looking forward to continuing to work closely with Chelmsford City Council (CCC) and Braintree District Council (BDC) on the delivery of both the infrastructure projects and the new housing and jobs that the investment will unlock.
Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “We have always been bold in our ambitions to enable sustainable growth in Essex and these projects will help to ensure there is vital infrastructure in place in the north of the county to support the rapid housing and population growth we are seeing there.
“We are eager to move forward with both, recognising the significant difference they will make to the lives of thousands of households. I would like to thank our local MPs and everyone involved for their support in getting us to this stage.”
Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: “We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure.
“Our multi-million pound funding will secure delivery of the new Beulieu Station and North East Chelmsford Bypass, unlocking over 14,000 new sustainable homes as part of the local plans for communities in Chelmsford and Braintree. We’re delighted that this investment will also help Essex County Council to invest in sustainable forms of transport, boosting the local economy and supporting jobs in the area.”
What the bypass will do
- Enable the 7,000 commuters who travel to Chelmsford from the Braintree area to get to work more quickly.
- Provide a strategic link between Chelmsford, Braintree, London Stansted Airport and the wider area.
- Relieve congestion on local roads and enable existing routes into Chelmsford city centre, such as Broomfield Road and Essex Regiment Way to become sustainable transport corridors.
- Make accessing the new Beaulieu station a more attractive offer, reducing the need to travel into Chelmsford city centre.
- This will take 900 vehicles out of the city centre each morning peak, helping reduce pressure on the network, which currently only has 4% capacity at peak times.
- Provide easier access to the A12.
- In conjunction with the station, the bypass supports the sustainable delivery of over 14,000 new homes, all with excellent choice and connectivity to a wide range of jobs, amenities and transport modes.