We adopted the Chelmsford Local Plan 2013-2036 in May 2020. In it, we identify the number and locations for houses, jobs and businesses we are planning for, along with the infrastructure needed to support growth.

This includes where children will go to school, where people will work, and how they will get around. It considers issues such as such as new roads, sustainable travel, access to the outdoors using green spaces and the wider countryside. We also include planning policies we use to decide planning applications, and settlement boundaries for our towns and villages to protect green spaces.

Local Plan document

This is a large document featuring detailed information, and may take some time to open. You may find it easier to view on a desktop computer, rather than on a smartphone or tablet.

Development proposals should take account of both the Local Plan and the following documents, which are all part of the Development Plan for our administrative area:

The Local Plan replaces all the policies and Proposals (Policies) Maps in the following documents:

  • Core Strategy Development Plan and Development Control Policies Development Plan Document (DPD), February 2008
  • Chelmsford Town Centre Area Action Plan DPD, August 2008
  • North Chelmsford Area Action Plan DPD, July 2011
  • Site Allocations DPD, February 2012
  • Core Strategy Development Plan and Development Control Policies Focused Review DPD, December 2013

We formally revoked the following Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs): 

  • Making Places SPD, June 2008
  • Building for Tomorrow SPD, June 2013
  • Planning Obligations SPD, June 2014

We have also revoked the following informal Planning Guidance Documents:

  • Affordable Housing Implementation Guide, March 2015
  • Interim Residential Parking Guidance, March 2015
  • Interim Recycling and Waste Guidance, September 2013

We carried out a wide range of research to help us deliver our new Local Plan, which you can view in our Evidence Base

We have undertaken a wide range of research to help us develop our new Local Plan, which we adopted on 27 May 2020. 

Our evidence base includes:

  • background information
  • our existing strategies and planning policies
  • specially commissioned studies on topics where more information is helpful to us

You can view the evidence base.

You can view paper copies of these documents at our Customer Service Centre.

You can also view a copy at the following libraries:

  • Broomfield
  • Danbury
  • Galleywood
  • Great Baddow
  • North Melbourne
  • South Woodham Ferrers
  • Springfield
  • Stock
  • Writtle
  • Billericay
  • Braintree
  • Hatfield Peverel
  • Ingatestone
  • Wickford
  • mobile library for Chelmsford area

The Green Belt is an area of land around a built-up area, which helps prevent urban sprawl. 

It is a national designation, which is set out in full in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  There are restrictions on the types of new buildings, extensions and uses which are allowed in the Green Belt.

The Green Belt in Chelmsford covers almost 34% of the land in the south and west of the borough. It is part of London's Green Belt (also known as the Metropolitan Green Belt).

You can download an indicative map, which gives an overview of the Green Belt in Chelmsford.

You can visit our Local Plan evidence base and search for green belt to download: 

  • more accurate maps, showing the Green Belt on a larger scale
  • our policies around protecting the Green Belt

We need to review the adopted Local Plan at least every five years. 

We started that process in early 2022 and you can follow progress of the Local Plan review.

Masterplans are high level documents, which set out what we expect from a new development on strategic growth sites allocated in the Local Plan. 

We use masterplans to help create excellent places to live, work and enjoy, and which are suitable for the individual site. They help us to make sure developments deliver what the area needs, while giving developers some flexibility.

You can find out more about the current and adopted Masterplans.

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