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7th December 2015

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The delivery of a brand new railway station at Beaulieu in Chelmsford took a major step forward today (7th December 2015), with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Civic Centre of Chelmsford City Council. The station is part of the ambitious plans to create a vibrant new neighbourhood in North East Chelmsford at Beaulieu over the next decade, with 3,600 new homes, new primary and secondary schools, a neighbourhood centre, parks and recreational facilities and a business park.

Representatives from developers Countryside Zest, a 50/50 joint venture partnership between Countryside and L&Q, and Network Rail were joined by the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Paul Hutchinson, and Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure Councillor Rodney Bass, to sign and witness the MoU. The Memorandum records the principles of collaboration between the parties,outlining their commitment to the delivery of the eagerly-awaited new railway station.

Beaulieu Station represents a major addition to the sustainable transport infrastructure of both the City of Chelmsford and the wider county of Essex. The new services will make commuting into the capital even quicker and easier, with direct services into London. It is anticipated that the station will open in 2022.

The vision is for Beaulieu Station to be a new transport hub where passengers can complete journeys using sustainable modes of transport, and the proposals also include a bus interchange and substantial cycle parking. The existing Chelmsford Station is one of the busiest commuter stations in the Anglia region, handling 8 million passenger trips each year, so the addition of Beaulieu Station will not only help to ease passenger congestion at Chelmsford, but will also assist in reducing traffic congestion in the town centre and on radial routes.

Graham Cherry, Chief Executive of New Homes and Communities at Countryside, commented: “The signing of the MoU is a significant and exciting step forward in making the new railway station at Beaulieu a reality and highlights a very robust commitment to such a momentous project. Alongside a whole range of high quality homes designed to meet people’s needs and aspirations the new neighbourhood will offer work, leisure and community facilities. This new station is at the heart of our vision for Beaulieu.”

Adam Simpson, Regeneration and JV Equity Director at L&Q, said: “New infrastructure to support sustainable transport options on this scale offers huge benefits to residents at Beaulieu and the surrounding area. We are committed to delivering Beaulieu Station as a key part of our mission to create and foster vibrant communities where people want to live, work and bring up their families.”

Steve Hooker, Network Rail Area Director, said: “This new station will be a huge boost to people in Chelmsford and help to unlock growth in this part of East Anglia.It will provide fantastic facilities for passengers and help take pressure off the main station and reduce congestion in the city.”

Cllr Rodney L Bass, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “The County Council is committed to the provision of supporting infrastructure to both the road and rail networks to serve Chelmsford and the broader needs of mid Essex. This new railway station at Beaulieu will be the first for many years on the Great Eastern Main Line and will provide further significant growth to the city.

“We very much welcome the progress being made and are determined to ensure that Beaulieu Station complements existing stations.”

Cllr Roy Whitehead, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said “This is a key milestone to deliver the new rail station. Beaulieu Station has been a key infrastructure priority of the City Council for many years. Not only will it serve the new Beaulieu development, where 3,600 new homes are underway, but it will also ease capacity at Chelmsford’s main rail station, one of the busiest stations in the country, currently handling some 8 million passenger trips per year.

“Coupled with the huge economic boost it will give sitting alongside the new Beaulieu Business Park, it will also prove invaluable in continuing to attract new high value business to Chelmsford and we look forward to working with our partners to bring it to fruition.”

The design of the new station will enable a quality customer experience and will minimise its environmental impact through a number of sustainability features. It has been specifically designed as a low profile building, set behind a landscape setting to minimise any intrusion on the New Hall School and surrounding homes.

The proposal is supported as part of Essex County Council’s Local Transport Plan, as well as forming a key component of Chelmsford City Council’s adopted development strategy. The funding for the new railway station is being met by Countryside Zest and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, and will be delivered as part of a comprehensive package of infrastructure and community facilities for Beaulieu.

Information correct at time of publication.