Channels public art
The Channels development is in north-east Chelmsford, on the site of the former Channels Golf Club. It provides 745 homes, a local park with play area and skate park, village green and areas of green space.
We want to install new public art on site, to create a unique identity for the development. We want to create artwork that the local community can be proud of and so set up a public art steering group to ensure this happens.
The steering group selected Michael Condron, a locally based artist, for the commission.
The project is making good progress. The steering group selected a concept for the artist to take forward and he is now working up the proposal in detail.
Who is included
In spring 2022, Michael carried out workshops with the community to develop some proposals. These included residents, local schools, clubs and groups, local parish councils and the City Councillors for Broomfield and The Walthams. There were some fantastic results, particularly from the local schools.
About the site
The Ice Age has heavily influenced the site, including the landscape, culture and wildlife and we would like to reflect that in the artwork. A large boulder is already present at the entrance to the Channels complex. GeoEssex, a local geology group, has also written a summary of the geological history of the site and is part of the public art group.
The public art project considered the history of the site and the proposed location for the artwork. This arose from engagement with the steering group, including resident representatives.
In February 2022, we agreed a community engagement strategy with the artist and held the workshops in spring 2022.
This led the artist to sketch some ideas for the steering group to review. The artist then developed the design for the concept chosen and reported back to the steering group.
A planning application (reference 22/01621/FUL) was submitted on 30 August 2022 and we granted planning permission on 21 November 2022.
Work on the artwork started in March 2023 and is making good progress with the sculptural work nearly complete. We will install the mammoth artwork in the park once the localised groundworks and landscaping works take place. We need to allow for the wetter and colder weather to pass, meaning this should be in spring 2024.