Chelmsford North Action Group (NAG)

Chelmsford to be engulfed by huge motorways connecting the Channel Ports, via a new Lower Thames Crossing, A130, on to Stansted, M11 and A14. The new A130 at Boreham, Essex Regiment Way and north will damage Lt Waltham, Boreham, Barnston, Ford End, Chatham Green. Lt. Waltham Outer M25 Action Group were criticised for warning about this in mid 2006. It will happen - official Essex and Kent County Council October 2006. And with 16,000 new homes coming to Chelmsford? Join the debate!

Friday, November 09, 2007

PRESS RELEASE - 6th November 2007


The Government’s authority and statutory advisor on the historic environment, English Heritage has expressed its deep concern over Chelmsford Borough Council’s development plans for North East Chelmsford.

The current plans are for Beaulieu Park to be expanded to over ten times its original size, encircling the Grade 1 listed former Tudor Palace - New Hall. In a letter to the Council dated 30th October, English Heritage has expressed its opposition to the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan (NCAAP) because: “It contains almost no reference to the importance of New Hall and its setting, the development it describes would indeed severely damage the setting of New Hall. Furthermore, it is inconsistent with the Core Strategy. English Heritage urges your Council to withdraw it.”

The letter also describes a meeting held between English Heritage and Chelmsford Borough Council prior to the recent Public Examination into the Core Strategy of the Local Development Framework. English Heritage indicates that it had received certain assurances from the Council at that meeting and on that basis agreed a Statement of Common Ground: it was presented to the Inspector presiding over the Examination. However, English Heritage states that, “The NCAAP, however, reflects none of the issues we dis cussed when we met.”

It is very significant that English Heritage is urging the Council to withdraw the NCAAP. The Council have produced a Core Strategy that is too site specific and does not allow enough space for all the housing required without destroying the setting of New Hall. We are hoping that the Inspector will realise this major problem and alter the Core Strategy by expanding the area of search in the North East of Chelmsford in order to include the old Boreham Airfield site.

NAG believes that now, more than ever, the Boreham Airfield site should be put forward for a full public consultation as a single development. It would easily absorb all of Chelmsford’s required suburban growth.

Withholding the option of Boreham Airfield prevents the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan being a consultation; it is currently a dictation, offering just one option for the NE Neighbourhood and 80-90% of the houses.

We are not against development going to North East Chelmsford, but like English Heritage, we want to see this taken forward in a sensitive and sustainable fashion. We also strongly oppose the Council’s suggestion at the Examination in Public that there is room for thousands of new houses in Broomfield if they are unable to be crammed in around New Hall.

For further information, please contact:
Peter Loose, 01245 362295

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Thousands of New Houses West of Broomfield!

News Update October 8th 2007 – revised October 13th 2007

In this update:

Thousands of Houses possible in West Broomfield

Chelmer Valley Highway probable

North Chelmsford Area Action Plan Consultation – Ends October 30th 2007

North Chelmsford Area Action Plan Response

Yes, “thousands of new houses west of Broomfield is precisely what was stated by Derek Stebbing, the Senior Chelmsford Borough Council (CBC) team member at the Examination in Public (EIP) October 2nd 2007.

The Inspector was pressing to know what would happen if for some reason the Greater Beaulieu Park development did not go ahead at the rate or in the numbers proposed in the Core Strategy LDF document. Would the Council consider putting some houses at Boreham Airfield for example?

Derek Stebbing was emphatic that could not and would not be done. He then stated that in his opinion there is room for thousands of homes west of Broomfield and that would of course confirm the need for the Cross Valley Road. He then went on to state that Boreham Airfield could not be used because it has been earmarked for return to recreation when the gravel extraction is completed.

As your chairman I was sitting at the Examination and said how alarmed I was that CBC are going to spoil more Greenfield land west of Chelmsford, ruin the Chelmer Valley and not use already spoiled land at Boreham Airfield.

The CBC argue that when gravel extraction was permitted at Boreham, a condition was attached requiring the site to be restored at end-of-life for recreational purposes. However, in an exactly parallel case at the Gravel extraction on Essex Regiment Way the same CBC have set aside that requirement to return the area to recreational use in favour of granting permission for a half-a-million square feet of Car Auction site employing around 500 people.

The cat is now out of the bag. NAG have said all along that the Cross Valley Road is nothing to do with the needs of Broomfield Hospital. It’s all about creating a huge infrastructure so there can be more houses in Broomfield and west of Broomfield. We checked and double checked – the figure used by CBC was ‘thousands of new houses’.

What can we do now?

Make a great fuss in the Essex Chronicle by writing letters and complaining about this long-term notion that there may be thousands of new homes west of Broomfield.

The North Chelmsford Area Action Plan has been published for consultation. It is available here: Please do study it carefully. NAG have not yet decided if we will hold any further public meetings. What do you think?

Respond to the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan. Note especially the cheeky questions at number 16 & 17 relating to the County Council decision about the new by-pass. The on-line form is

- however, it does not provide space to answer question 16 & 17. So you will have to send in a paper response.

    1. The closing date for responses is: Tuesday 30th October 2007 by 4.45 pm.
    2. We are able to offer comments and suggested responses to the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan if you request them by email. But then you probably know the answers anyway!

Broadcast far and wide to your friends just how awful is this prospect of a vast new expanse of houses in Greater Beaulieu Park and ‘thousands more’ west of Broomfield.

Please recruit new members for NAG. While we have no party-political ambitions whatsoever, it is clear that the public meeting in Broomfield Sept 6th did highlight the awful plight of Broomfield and The Walthams and Chatham Green if the Chelmer Valley Crossing goes ahead. It is arguable that the Chelmer Valley LDF issues may have had an impact on the Ward By-Election. Email The Chairman initially if a friend wishes to be part of NAG -

We enjoy working together – thank you all!

Peter Loose

Chairman Chelmsford North Action Group on behalf of our core Exec Team.

Friday, September 07, 2007

North Chelmsford Area Action Plan Consultation. Action Information

Important terms used:- Greenfield & Greenbelt. They are entirely different in Planning Terms. We must not be deceived or confused. Greenbelt means land that has legal protection against development – usually around large cities to contain their area of expansion.

Greenfield has no legal status whatever. Greenfield land is a term used to describe a piece of undeveloped land, either currently used for agriculture or just left to nature. In contrast, Brownfield land is an area that has previously been developed, such as a paved lot or the site of a demolished building. It may have legal conditions restricting its use.

We may think that ‘greenfield’ is the same as greenbelt and that green fields are legally protected against development. They are not. Greenfield has no special legal protection unless it is also legally protected as Greenbelt.

Local Development Framework LDF – this is a series of documents which will determine Council plans for the Borough until 2021. They are crucial.

Core Strategy
The first stage of the LDF that outlines general themes and locations for development. We believe that this document is flawed by ruling out Boreham Airfield as a development site.

North Chelmsford Area Action Plan - Builds on the themes (and flaws) in the Core Strategy by giving site specific locations for development in North Chelmsford

Public Enquiry – known as “Core Strategy Examination in Public”. Starts in Chelmsford Borough Council offices on Sept 11th 2007. It is public. Appears on Chelmsford Council Web site as Core Strategy Examination :-

For general information about the LDF see

North Chelmsford Area Action Plan – Public Consultation

It is important that you visit this and respond before October 23rd .

NCAAP Consultation: If you agree with NAG, please make it clear in your responses that you think it is not satisfactory to have NO options what-so-ever for nearly 90% of the development placement. This is because there is no difference between the 3 options in relation to the major NE Neighbourhood. We believe that the area north of Boreham should be included in order to make this a consultation rather than a dictation.

Please do still state your views about the options in Broomfield because if the Core Strategy is not altered at the Examination in Public, the NCAAP will be used to decide the final development sites."

The North Area Action Plan and associated questions (starts page 12) are tricky to answer.

Question 1: In addition to the matters listed, what other issues and constraints should be taken into account in the preparation of the Area Action Plan? NAG says: the public should be consulted on North Boreham / Boreham Airfield.

Question 8: Which of the suggested development options - 1, 2 or 3 - best accord with the principles set out in the Core Strategy and why? NAG says: the options only affect about 12% of all the houses. There are no options given for North Springfield – some 5000 houses.

Question 16: Do you support Essex County Council’s proposed line for the Chelmsford North-east Bypass? NAG says: yes, we do strongly support the general line of the County route confirmed at an ECC Cabinet meeting March 6th 2007

Question 17: Should we protect the line of a possible Cross Valley link option, to address possible future needs? NAG says: No. The case for a cross valley road is made on a dubious evidential base. Broomfield hospital is being downsized from 3500 staff to around 2,800 staff. Source – reliable hospital spokesman January 2007.

For news and updates visit NAG web site

Chelmsford NAG Public Meeting Broomfield Community Centre

September 6th 2007

Standing room only with many people outside listening and watching through opened windows and doors – we estimate that about 250 people packed the Community Centre last night, Sept 6th to hear extended presentations and discussions relating to Chelmsford’s Development plans up to the year 2021.

Extensive delivery of flyers in the last few days invited residents in Broomfield, Gt and Lt Waltham & Chatham Green to hear updates on the Local Development Framework for Chelmsford. Out meeting, called at very short notice due to delayed publication of the Borough’s North Chelmsford Area Action Plan, considered:

• The upcoming Examination in Public relating to the Core Strategy. Starting in the Council Chamber on September 11th at 10:00AM, this is an absolutely crucial process that will enquire into the ‘soundness’ of the Borough’s plans. NAG is attending.

• The detailed plans that are site specific relating to the proposed location of about 6,000 new houses in North Springfield. This is the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan.

• The by-election also to be on Sept 11th caused by the untimely death of a sitting member for this Ward.

Mr. Roger Cole, a completely independent chairman, introduced speakers Peter Loose, Chairman of NAG and Mike Marriage, NAG Committee member who took the packed house through a 30 minute detailed presentation of the Core Strategy and the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan concluding with the logical case for all new houses to be located north of Boreham on the WWII Airfield. A written survey gave about 97% support for NAG’s case. (see end for details)

Responses from Candidates in the local Ward By-election as well as continuous questioning from the audience ensured a massively informative, good natured meeting lasting for about an hour and a half.

NAG’s essential case is that the initial public consultation leading to the LDF Core Strategy is biased to such an extent that it is fundamentally flawed. NAG shows evidentially that Boreham Airfield is an excellent site for development but that has never been submitted to the public for consultation. We showed that by excluding the area of Boreham Airfield, (or Great Holts or "north of Boreham") Chelmsford Borough was acting against the advice of their professional consultants, Entec. In their 2004 report, Entec ranked Boreham Airfield very highly on a range of sustainability criteria. In fact it received higher ratings that any other site in the borough, including the current proposals in North Springfield and Broomfield!

NAG further showed that even accepting the LDF Core Strategy, there are no options offered in the current public consultation for the location of some 5,000 new houses adjacent to Beaulieu Park. It is a Hobson’s Choice consultation.

NAG shows that there is no need for the proposed highway across the Chelmer Valley to serve the needs of a now downsizing Broomfield Hospital.

Responding, Cllr Neil Gulliver, Planning and Development, explained that he was in sympathy with NAG in respect of the Chelmer Valley Highway and that he is not personally in favour of it. (Note - the NCAAP does call attention to the need for a Cross Valley road.)

A simple written survey was prepared for the meeting asking four questions with yes / no answers. The results are unambiguously decisive:-

1. Do you feel you have been adequately consulted and informed by Chelmsford Borough Council’s consultation process? (yes 6: No 120)
2. Do you feel you have been consulted on all viable options for houses in north Chelmsford? (yes 8: No 118)
3. Are you in favour of a bridged-highway across the Chelmer Valley? (yes 7: No 118)
4. Do you support Chelmsford NAG’s campaign to locate the many thousands of “North Chelmsford” new houses north of Boreham ? (yes 121: no 4)

Chelmsford NAG takes no party political position and does not discuss the politics of members at any time. However we felt every candidate should be given an opportunity to respond to NAG’s case at our public meeting. Two candidates, Dr Reza Houssain for The Green Party and Malcolm Taylor for the Lib Dems attended and gave clearly focussed responses to NAG’s position. There was wide divergence of opinion from the Candidates. Written statements were requested from all non-attenders. Jim Webb, Labour & Charlie Cole, UKIP each provided a statement that was read out in full to the meeting. The Conservative Candidate, Mike Steel tendered his apologies but did not provide a statement. Candidates took part in the public discussion.

Armed with such strong local community support for the democratic process to be seen to be fair, NAG will press ahead and defend its submissions to the Examination in Public starting September 11th. Our submissions call for a wider public consultation to include north Boreham or Boreham Airfield.

NAG is at pains to point out that we have no interest in any developer. Though we now find common cause with much of the Prudential Development plans for north of Boreham, NAG only arrived at this position following extensive examinations of as much public domain material as we could access from several developer proposals in the time we as volunteer non-professionals had available.

Further info fromChairman NAG (Peter Loose)
Chelmers, Lt Waltham. CM3 3LX
Tel: 012453 62 295

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


September 6th 8PM Public Meeting Broomfield Community Centre

Chelmsford NAG have called a public meeting for September 6th at 8PM. The meeting will be held in the Broomfield Community Hall. It's located just behind the Angel Pub in Broomfield Road opposite School Lane.

The meeting will commence at 8PM and is designed for NAG to present its case opposing the Cross Valley road that will destroy the essence of the gorgeous Chelmer Valley - forever.

There is a major enquiry about the huge developments planned for Chelmsford due to start in the Town on Sept 11th. The Enquiry will be to investigate the Chelmsford Borough Council's proposals expresed in what is known as The Local Development Framework - 'the LDF'.

Essentially the form of the LDF will determine the number and location of the thousands of new homes proposed for Chelmsford up until 2021.

Due to the sad death of a former Chelmsford Borough Councillor, Alan Willshire in the early Summer, Broomfield and The Walthams are due to have a By-Election on September 11th to elect a new member to the Borough Council.

NAG have decided to invite all candidates to our meeting on Sept 6th and each will be given a short measured time to speak about the LDF issues only.

Questions will also be taken from the audience but restricted to LDF related topics.

Chelmsford NAG has no party political affiliation and this is not to be a party-political meeting.

More Information - please contact Chairman -

Friday, August 03, 2007

Boreham Airfield Borough Consultation August 2007

Chelmsford North Action Group

Your last opportunity to let Chelmsford Borough Council know you want to preserve the Chelmer Valley.

You must please respond by August 7th

Note - by clicking on the picture you can enlarge it for easy viewing!

Chelmsford North Action Group is an ad-hoc group of Community members. We have no commercial interest in any Developer.

We have been sharing with you for more than one year our fears for new developments in Chelmsford that will ruin the Chelmer Valley. That fear is intensified.

Because we all stood together, the choice for the new North East bypass is the closest to what we all felt was best.

But the Chelmer Valley is still under threat. How? Because of the plan to put 800 new homes in Broomfield and 5,000 new homes in the Beaulieu Park area. This means a Chelmer Valley link road. This Link is featured as an "alternative site" in the consultation – see below. Residents are encouraged to vote against it. It is Option 49 and would be the end of Broomfield!

The best option is to put all the new homes planned for greenfield sites on Boreham Airfield (Gt. Holts). It is hardly Greenfield land. It’s previously heavily used land. The simulated aerial view shown here is a reliable indication of what the development will look like.

Any other location for the 6,000 new homes eats up more vast amounts of greenfield land and will lead to a Chelmer Valley crossing. How will that enhance the absolutely beautiful Chelmer Valley?

Chelmsford NAG wants to see the Chelmer Valley preserved as it is for generations to come.

In the current Local Development Framework planning, Chelmsford residents have never had the option to express their preference for Boreham Airfield as the site for any homes. Chelmsford NAG consider that it is far and away the best site for all 6,000 homes.

IF Boreham Airfield is chosen, there will be no need for large numbers of new homes in Broomfield or Beaulieu Park.

But now you can let the Borough Council know – we must hurry! The Consultation closes on August 7th. That is the last date to have any weight in what you say.

There are two ways you can have your say:

1. Complete the attached Chelmsford Borough Council Form. In paragraph 3 you should insert Alt 34 if you support Boreham Airfield for all the new homes. You must ensure the form arrives at the Chelmsford Borough Council no later than August 7th.

2. Or you can go on-line and complete the form. Start here ; Then you can click on:-

a. Core Strategy Alternative Development Sites Consultation

b. Alternative Development Sites Online Response Form

c. The letters (a) and (b) are not on the web site. Read (a) where all 70 alternate sites are shown. NAG supports ALT 34 – Boreham Airfield.

d. On-line response Form is at (b)

Some of the reasons we feel Boreham Airfield is the best choice for 6,000 new homes:

The key points which we believe make Boreham Airfield the best location for major development include:

 It has been independently assessed previously by the Council’s own consultants and they found that it scored well in terms of sustainability;

 It provides a long-term solution and therefore reduces development pressure on alternative sites in other sensitive locations within Chelmsford Borough;

 It provides a critical mass of development in one location which can best facilitate major new infrastructure such as the proposed NE bypass and a new NE Chelmsford railway station.

 It can facilitate effective public transport to link through to the town centre and other key destinations but at the same time avoid coalescence with existing communities at Broomfield, Boreham and Springfield.

 It avoids the need to build on countryside which English Heritage considers to be ‘special’ (at Broomfield and around Grade I Listed New Hall) and uses disturbed and previously developed land on and around Boreham Airfield.

If we can help in any way please either telephone 362 295 or email

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Join the Community Action Group - Chelmsford NAG

The latest news from Chelmsford Borough Council means there could be Six Thousand New Homes in North Chelmsford by 2021.

That number is huge and is nearly equal to 10% of ALL homes in Chelmsford in 2006.

If you are concerned about this and would like more information please contact Chelmsford North Action Group - "Chelmsford NAG"

Do that by emailing and asking for more information.

We are an entirely ad-hoc group of local residents.

Visit our web site

Thank you

Peter Loose
Chairman, Chelmsford NAG

Six thousand New Homes in Chelmsford - Alternate Sites



Prudential Property Investment Managers (PRUPIM) have underlined their continued commitment to the proposed new neighbourhood north east of Chelmsford, known as Great Holts and have said that none of the other 70 sites put forward for housing throughout the borough will need to be developed if the proposal is taken forward.

The proposals, which are located on or near the former Boreham Airfield aim to meet identified housing needs to 2021 and provide for a sustainable new community of up to 6,000 new homes along with community facilities such as new schools and employment areas.

Chelmsford Borough Council has recently begun a consultation on all of the sites put forward by prospective developers to meet Chelmsford’s future housing growth. Great Holts features in this ‘Alternative Development Sites’ consultation. Shortly, the Council will also go out to consultation on its North Chelmsford Area Action Plan, which seeks to locate up to 800 new homes in the Broomfield area and around 4,500 to 5,000 north of Springfield.

Kevin Ashman at PRUPIM said, “We have always agreed with the Council that the optimum location for new development outside of sites within the built up area of Chelmsford is to the north east of the town. It is here that there are significant proposals for new infrastructure such as the north east bypass and a railway station. The key issue for us is how new development can be best accommodated and the draft North Chelmsford Area Action Plan presents just one option to the north east for peoples’ consideration – the Greater Beaulieu Park proposal which will surround the Grade I Listed New Hall.”

More over/…
Kevin Ashman added, “We believe that our Great Holts proposal remains the best place for major new development and over the past eighteen months we have been pleased to receive substantial support for it from local residents and local organisations. We are asking everybody to show that support again by indicating during the consultation period that they wish to see Great Holts as the preferred location.”

Great Holts has previously been independently assessed by consultants acting for the Council and they found that it was a highly sustainable location in comparison with other sites.

The Great Holts proposal is:

Infrastructure-led – providing a critical mass of development in one location which can maximise financial resources to facilitate and spatially integrate key infrastructure such as the proposed NE bypass, public transport and a new NE Chelmsford railway station.

Capacity-led – it is the only site outside of Chelmsford with sufficient capacity to deliver the necessary growth in a sustainable way and respond to the future growth requirements defined by the Government

Employment-led – is able to provide the quantum and quality of commercial office space, meeting the known needs of key job-creating sectors.

Delivery-led – a single location which can be planned and delivered without the complexities of managing the contributions of multi-sites/multi-developers.

Connected yet protecting the settings of existing communities – can provide effective public transport to link through to the town centre and other key destinations but at the same time avoid coalescence with existing communities at Broomfield, Boreham and Springfield.

Great Holts also:

Retains and protects open attractive countryside and the built heritage – avoids adverse impact on countryside which English Heritage considers to be ‘special’ (at Broomfield and around New Hall) and uses disturbed and previously developed land on and around Boreham Airfield.

Last page over…

Kevin Ashman said, “We are preparing to put forward our arguments to an independent planning inspector later this year as to why we believe Great Holts should be chosen. We would like to work with Chelmsford Borough Council to achieve a new community which will be a truly sustainable place to live and work.”



Chelmsford Borough Council began its Alternative Sites Consultation on 26th June and it will end on 7th August. The main way to have a say is through the online form on the Council’s website at For those without use of a computer, consultation forms may be obtained On request by telephoning (01245) 606330, faxing (01245) 606526, or writing to Planning Policy Manager, Planning and Building Control Services, Chelmsford Borough Council, Civic Centre, CM1 1JE. The Great Holts proposal is listed as site ALT34.

For more information, please contact Martin Hughes on 020 8366 2151 (DDI) or 07831 869878 (mobile).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Two major things are happening from the CBC re LDF.

Firstly A new Core Strategy consultation is running but ends August 7th 2007.

Core Strategy Alternative Development Sites Consultation

As part of the public consultation on the Submission Core Strategy and Development Control Policies DPD (Core Strategy for short) last November/December, 71 alternative development sites and boundary changes were put forward.

The Borough Council has published the 'Submission Core Strategy and Development Control Policies DPD - Alternative Development Sites and Boundary Changes Document' for consultation from 26th June until 4.45pm on 7th August 2007.

Alternate Site 34 is Boreham Airfield.

We have to respond and endorse support for Site 34 - Boreham Airfield.

Guidance Notes are here to assist in completing the on-line Consultation:

You can respond on-line by going to the Council's Web site using this link:

Secondly, the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan has been published for consultation.

If approved as we are expecting on July 11th at Dev Policy Committee, it will be consulted on for 8 weeks commencing July 23rd.

The detail is here:


Of which see crucially:

7. North Chelmsford Area Action Plan - Issues and Options Consultation (Reg 25)

In essence the Consultation confirms:

A) No options for Greater Beaulieu Park – it’s take it or leave it for “4,500 to 5,000” homes.
B) There is a preserved line for a Cross Valley link road to Broomfield.
C) There are three options in Broomfield for up to 800 homes.

Chelmsford NAG asks:

Why does the Core Strategy and hence the North Area Action Plan totally ignore the evaluation of their own Consultants, Entec and the Council's own Focus Group principle on previously used land in relation to Boreham Airfield?

We want to ask why North Chelmsford is being denied a proper options consultation on the location of 5,000 new homes – and that is a huge development of about 10% of all homes in Chelmsford today.

Why is the Chelmer Cross-Valley link road still being retained and protected for possible future use as a highway?