Chelmsford is a rapidly growing part of the country and this brings the need for new infrastructure. I thought it would be helpful to provide a summary of some of the infrastructure that is already being delivered and planned around Chelmsford.
Between £100 million and £250 million is to be invested in the improvements to the A12. This includes increasing to three lane capacity sections of the route between Chelmsford and Colchester – this will particularly assist areas between junction 19 (Chelmsford) and junction 25 (Marks Tey).
£7 million is currently being spent on improvements to the A131 from Chelmsford to Braintree. http://www.essexhighways.org/transport-and-roads/highway-schemes-and-developments/major-schemes/a131-chelmsford-to-braintree-route-improvements.aspx
£12 million has been spent on Chelmsford has 2 successful park and ride sites.
£15 million is being invested in 16 different projects around the city mostly to increase cycle and foot path capacity as part of the Chelmsford City Growth Package.**
£5.7 million has already been secured from the Housing Infrastructure Fund and is to be invested in road capacity around the Chelmsford Waterside development.
£1,400,000,000 is being invested in new trains and carriages along the Greater Anglia area. These are being built now and will be rolled out over a two-year period starting next year. Network Rail have plans to invest in excess of £2,000,000,000 across the Great Eastern Main Line in the next few years. £5 million has thus far been spent on upgrading Chelmsford Station and a further £3.8 million is being spent to provide better access to the Station, the Mill Yard Gateway, for pedestrians and cyclists linking it with Anglia Ruskin University.
Chelmsford is currently in the final round of bidding for £250 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund. This is for the second railway station at Beaulieu Park and for the Chelsmford North East bypass. The Fund is a £5 billion fund that was established in 2017. Getting through to the final round is good news as there is sufficient funding to achieve all the bids in the final round provided each individual bid shows that the project can be delivered. The biders need to demonstrate that all practicalities of the build can be achieved (planning, design etc) and that the projects deliver the housing and benefits required. Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council are working together to complete the final project case. This should be achieved by the end of the year.
£118 million is being invested in capital projects at the hospitals in Broomfield, Southend and Basildon, including A&E improvements and a new stroke centre. Budgets for health in mid-Essex are increasing by £330 Million, which is a cash increase of 19 percent to 2021. A grant of £525,000 has been approved by Chelmsford City Council to improve the GP Surgery at Sutherland Lodge.
£50 million is being invested in the new medical school to train doctors at Anglia Ruskin University. This is the first medical school in Essex and is due to take its first students in autumn 2019.
£1.8 million is being invested into improvements to link the High Street with Bond Street, while £400,000 has been allocated for work to Bell Meadow at the rear entrance of M&S.
The City Council has allocated £6.5 million to help fund a flood alleviation scheme for Chelmsford alongside the Environment Agency.
£35 million is being spent on new swimming pools and other sports facilities at Chelmsford Riverside.
This is all on top of the ongoing developer related contributions which are invested in infrastructure. Amongst other things this is delivering a new primary and secondary school at Beaulieu Park (due to open in September for first pupils), a new GP Surgery and community centre will also be opened in Beaulieu Park shortly. A new family hub has just been opened at the Library (do visit it) and a further £2 million has been secured in developer contributions to be spent on the city’s parks, all with the aim of improving the City Centre.
Chelmsford City Council is one of only two councils that had adopted the Community Infrastructure Levy, which to date has generated over £9 million to be spent on a range of infrastructure. We are committed to ensuring developers make significant and appropriate contributions to local infrastructure to support the increase in new houses, and it was pleasing to note that the Beaulieu development recently received the Infrastructure Planning Award at the 2018 Planning Awards.
**part of the Chelmford City Growth Package includes the proposal for a trial Bus Gate in the Baddow Road. As the Member of Parliament for Chelmsford, I am concerned that this proposal does not address the long term transport needs of the area and could have possible negative consequences on the community and traffic in other neighbouring areas. Chelmsford City Council and Essex County Council have agreed to work on alternatives.