Essex Highways, Safer, Greener, Healthier
14 October 2021 Latest News

Planning application submitted for Chelmsford North East Bypass

Planning application for Chelmsford bypass part of £250m investment which includes new Beaulieu railway station.

A bypass scheme to support the development of a new railway station, homes and businesses in Chelmsford has moved a major step forward.

Essex County Council, working with Chelmsford City Council, has submitted a planning application for the Chelmsford North East bypass, part of a £250 million investment which also includes a new railway station at Beaulieu.

The bypass would see 4.6km of new road and a 1.2km dual carriageway along the existing A131 in North East Chelmsford. It would connect to the new Beaulieu Park Development in the south and Deres Bridge and Great Leighs in the north, ultimately providing a vital link between the A120 and the A12.

The new route is planned to bypass residential areas and relieve high levels of congestion in Chelmsford itself, while providing a strategic link between the city, Braintree, London Stansted Airport and the wider east and southeast of England, including South Essex and the Lower Thames Crossing.

The strategic road and rail links are crucial to Chelmsford continuing to be an attractive base for people commuting into and out of London.

The bypass would enable the 7,000 commuters who travel to Chelmsford from the Braintree area to get to work more quickly, while providing easier access to Park and Ride services and into the city centre. This is essential for supporting businesses, jobs and the future prosperity of the county as a whole.

Cllr Lesley Wagland, Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning said: “As well as closing a gap in Essex’s strategic road network, easing congestion and reducing journey times in and around Chelmsford, the bypass is a key part of a scheme which would support the continued economic success of the area.”

The bypass would take traffic to and from the planned station and nearby housing development. Travelling from the north, it would be up to 12 minutes quicker to drive to the new station rather than Chelmsford station.

Following public engagement last year, the planning application offers a further opportunity for the public to comment ahead of a planning decision on the project, which is anticipated early next year. Construction of the bypass could begin in 2023 with the scheme opening the following year.

The bypass scheme and station are progressing with nearly £218m in funding from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, plus £34m of other funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and developer Countryside Zest.

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council said “This important infrastructure investment will support the development of the new Chelmsford Garden Community and enable people to access the new station. It will take pressure off existing local routes like White Hart Lane, that can then be prioritised for walking, cycling and buses, to create greener, healthier and better-connected communities. ”

“It helps deliver long-term sustainable growth across Chelmsford and mid-Essex, including up to 14,000 new homes, generates employment, creates a wider pool of labour for businesses and encourages sustainable travel by bus, cycle, electric vehicles and on foot.”

For further information on the planning application please visit the Essex County Council website or click here Planning application - CC/CHL/85/21 (