Our Chelmsford, Our Plan is a strategy for creating a fairer, greener and more connected community. It takes forward our plan from 2019, so we can shape Chelmsford as a leading place in the East of England.

Our fairer and more inclusive place will prioritise sustainable development, housing needs, jobs and skills. Chelmsford (and much of southern Britain) faces a housing and homelessness crisis, which we are working hard to address.

Our greener and safer place will reduce energy and waste, protect the environment, and ensure safe and green public spaces. In July 2019, we declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency, and local action is underway to protect and grow green spaces and tackle habitat loss.

Our more connected place will support healthy and safe lives, enhance a network of community facilities and celebrate Chelmsford as a culturally ambitious place. We are developing a ‘Thriving Places’ framework which will measure the wellbeing of people, places and the environment, to help us make a flourishing city.

Proud history, bright future

Chelmsford is rightly proud of its pioneering history, which has created the innovative and dynamic city we know today. We are excited about opportunities to shape our district in the years to come, rather than just let things happen. We must find new ways to address our shared challenges and bring people together, with a sense of pride and purpose.

We’ve all faced huge and unexpected challenges over the last four years: a global pandemic, international events and a cost-of-living crisis with the highest inflation for more than 40 years. So, we cannot address all our challenges alone and we wouldn’t want to.

These ambitions will only be realised by working with our partners, our networks and our communities. Our Chelmsford, Our Plan is designed to unite us in shaping the next phase of our young city’s life and set us on a sustainable path to face the challenges ahead.

Promoting sustainable and environmentally responsible growth to stimulate a vibrant, balanced economy, a fairer society and provide more homes of all types.


A: Set out the approach and planning principles to guide housing and economic growth, promoting sustainable development and helping to create greener, fairer and more connected communities.

B: Put in place measures to help tackle local housing needs so everyone can aspire to having a home that they can afford, and which help address the causes and mitigate the impacts of homelessness.

C: Promote the area as a place for investment and business location, encouraging the creation of a wider range of jobs and excellence in education, skills and vocational attainment, thereby improving income equality.

  • Bringing investment into the area, together with an increase in skills, jobs, and overall employment.
  • Meeting the demand for new homes of all types and tenures, in particular homes to rent that local people can afford.
  • Adopting an approach whereby growth and development also delivers a broad range of social, community and environmental benefits that are sustainable over time.

Key outcomes, what success will look like…

  • Local Plan Review adopted in 2026.
  • High quality, sustainable forms of development delivered, where all new dwellings incorporate design features to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their environmental efficiency.
  • Housing delivery targets set out in the Local Plan achieved.
  • Increased supply and improved mix of the type and tenure of affordable housing.
  • Key infrastructure delivered to support the development of Chelmer Waterside and other strategic growth sites.
  • Beaulieu Park Station fully operational.
  • Chelmsford attractive to new businesses, particularly in the technology and innovation sectors.
  • An ongoing business support programme in place for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • An increase in the proportion of jobs based in and around Chelmsford.
  • New cemetery and modern crematorium constructed and in operation.
  • Improved ‘work and local economy’ scores in the Thriving Places Index.

Creating a distinctive sense of place, making the area more attractive, promoting its green credentials, and ensuring that people and communities are safe.


D: Lower energy consumption, reduce waste, carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, and improve air quality, creating a more sustainable approach to growth, development and everyday living.

E: Protect, expand and improve the quality and accessibility of green spaces, improving habitat value and increasing biodiversity.

F: Improve the environmental quality, attractiveness, safety, leisure and recreational potential of public spaces, green areas, rivers and waterways.

  • Protecting and enhancing wildlife, habitats, and landscapes, and connecting people with the built and natural environment.
  • Providing attractive, high-quality green areas and public places that are clean, safe and easily accessible for all.
  • Managing in a sustainable way to help reduce energy consumption and waste, and to preserve natural resources.

Key outcomes, what success will look like…

  • Council’s operations and activities to be net zero carbon by 2030.
  • Significant reduction in the amount of waste generated; refuse, recycling and composting levels exceed targets set out in the Environment Act 2021.
  • Public realm enhancements implemented at Market Square and the High Street from Half Moon Square to Stone Bridge.
  • Significant increase in woodland and tree cover with a target to plant at least 192,000 additional trees, creating the equivalent of 71 hectares of woodland and achieving tree cover of at least 20% in the Chelmsford area by 2030.
  • Continuous natural green wedges and wildlife corridors established running from Chelmsford City Centre north, through the Chelmer river valley to the Walthams. Then running east along the River Chelmer to Sandford Mill and beyond.
  • Habitat value of green spaces and waterways enhanced to promote greater biodiversity across the area.
  • A biodiversity net gain of at least 10% achieved in new developments.
  • Improved ‘sustainability’ scores in the Thriving Places Index.

Bringing people together and working in partnership to encourage healthy, active lives, building stronger, more resilient communities so that people feel proud to live, work and study in the area.


G: Improve opportunities for adults and children to live well, reducing health inequalities and social isolation, so that they can enjoy a healthy, safe and fulfilling life.

H: Help create a network of amenities and community facilities providing opportunities and access for people of all backgrounds to engage in healthy, active and socially connected lifestyles.

I: Celebrate Chelmsford as a culturally ambitious place providing opportunities for people to engage creatively and productively within their communities.

  • Promoting physical and mental wellbeing and reducing social isolation.
  • Providing access to sport, leisure and recreational activities that encourage healthy, active lifestyles.
  • Enlivening and enriching people’s lives through creative and cultural activities and events.
  • Engaging with local communities and fostering strong relationships, knowing that more can be achieved by working together.

Key outcomes, what success will look like…

  • Increased number of visitors attracted to culture, sports and leisure facilities, activities and events.
  • Network of indoor sports and recreation spaces, community facilities and creative hubs in place and extensively used, with new facilities strategically located to meet the needs of growing communities.
  • Play areas and informal recreation spaces integrated into all new developments.
  • A comprehensive ‘Livewell’ programme in place to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
  • Increased level of community involvement and volunteering where people feel better connected to their built and natural surroundings.
  • Improved ‘people and community’ and ‘mental and physical health’ scores in the Thriving Places Index.

We have included full details of the plan on this page, but you can also download the plan as a PDF or view the interactive PDF.

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