The submission of an environmental impact assessment application to Chelmsford City Council for the proposed £157m Beaulieu railway station marks the next step in the ambitious project.
The aim of the environmental impact assessment is to ensure the local planning authority – the city council in this instance – decides planning permission in the full knowledge of the likely impacts and effects to the local area.
It also ensures that members of the public are given opportunities to participate in the decision-making process early on in the project, and the findings could have a significant influence on the final plans submitted for the station.
Beaulieu railway station is part of a major £218m regeneration project to improve the city, with the station brining more trains to London and reducing congestion at Chelmsford’s current station.
The station has a proposed opening date of 2025.
Creation of the new station is being developed alongside designs for a new Chelmsford North East Bypass to support the creation of over 14,000 new homes in the Chelmsford-Braintree corridor, part of the London commuter belt.
The submission of the assessment application is a significant step forward towards delivering the Beaulieu station, a project which back as recently as January 2021 was described by Essex County Council as potentially at risk of being scrapped due to “ongoing and unsubstantiated budget pressure”.
Essex County Council, in partnership with Chelmsford City Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), had been responsible for securing the wider £218m funding from the Government’s Housing and Infrastructure (HIF) fund, alongside contributions from other sources.
The new station would sit on the Great Eastern Main Line and have three platforms, serving medium and long-distance trains from London Liverpool Street to Norwich.