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Nearly 200 homes to rent will be built in the heart of Chelmsford after planners gave the green light.

A former car park site to the west of Eastwood House, between Glebe Road and Marconi Road, is being developed into 197 one- and two- bedroom apartments solely for rental.

The plans are a marked departure from initial plans for 250 homes for the Chelmsford site.

Read more: Latest news about Chelmsford City Council

Chelmsford City Council has said the development makes good use of the brownfield site and is well connected to transport links.

An officer report said: “The application site is a brownfield site within Chelmsford City Centre.

“The site is well connected to local employment opportunities and facilities residents may want to access, such as shops, restaurants, leisure and health facilities.

“Within less than a five minutes’ walk are the central bus and train stations.

“The residential development represents a positive form of development in this setting and is making appropriate use of previously developed urban land as part of a strategic-sequential release of land for development.”

However Chelmsford City Council received several objections from residents whose worries includes loss of privacy, traffic, the Impact on GP capacity and Impact on property prices.

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The apartments will be shared across two blocks of between three and six storeys, shaped around an courtyard. A third block, sitting adjacent to the residential buildings, will host residents’ amenities, including a cafe and gym.

112 residents’ car parking spaces will be located at ground level, concealed under a first-floor podium level underneath the internal courtyard. 260 residents’ cycle spaces will also be available.

A further 243 parking spaces will be available on the external surface and lower ground levels of the existing Eastwood House building for office use, replacing the former external ground level car park.

Public open space will remain accessible for all via well designed step or ramp entry.

Lindsey Abbott said in her representations to the plans: “We are already limited with green space, why would we want the beautiful trees and bushes replaced with 3 apartment blocks which 1.block light 2.has detrimental impact on neighbour’s privacy and 3. lacks consideration of any impact on local residents.

“The area is crying out for for family houses with gardens, not more flats, we already have surplus number of flats.

“It’s beyond me how the developer thinks there’s space for 197 dwellings in this area – I really don’t think the plans have been thought through at all and especially not the impact it has for residents who already live here.

“It’s been presented as a opportunity to get in as many flats as possible in the smallest amount of space.

“One of the many issues it presents is the lack of on site parking provision – the parking in the area is already problematic and that hasn’t been accounted for – most households will have at least one car.

“If the property doesn’t come with parking, they will simply try to park down side roads and cause more parking issues. If you’ve seen Glebe Road of an evening when both car parks are full, the traffic backs up at the traffic lights and we can’t even leave our road.

“Where do their visitors, tradesmen and delivery vans park? Another 197 properties added to the mix really exacerbates the issue – there really isn’t adequate parking amenities.

“I really value being able to leave my property and seeing open green space, I’m very upset at the thought of coming out and seeing concrete apartments with no character and light, with an additional 197 dwellings to the already over populated area.

“I also worry about the impact this will have on my property price – I wouldn’t want to live somewhere which is wall to wall apartments and feel like I’m being overlooked from every angle. I dread to think of how much noise disturbance we’ll have from this new development – one when they’re building which will be directly next to my bedroom and once all those residents are moved in.

“There’s also been no consideration taken of the impact this will have on our local infrastructure – our local GP practices are also under pressure and local schools.”

Angus Michie, managing director at SevenCapital, said: “This new, purpose-built, build-to-rent development is in a fantastic location at the heart of the city and is designed to meet the growing trend for city centre, apartment rentals we’re seeing in Chelmsford and across the UK.

“All apartments will exceed the minimum space standards, answering the post-pandemic demand for increased space from our homes. The addition of an on-site, state-of-the-art gym facility and café along with the development’s proximity to key transport links and the city centre will also offer residents a plethora of amenities right on their doorstep.

“We look forward to bringing this development to life and welcoming our future residents.”

Work on site is expected to begin on site by autumn next year, with projected completion targeted for the end of 2023.





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