Essex Highways, Safer, Greener, Healthier
25 March 2022 Press Release

Chelmsford North East Bypass granted planning approval

A proposed new multi-million-pound bypass between Chelmsford and Braintree took another significant step forward today after the scheme was granted planning approval.

Essex County Council, working with Chelmsford City Council, submitted a planning application for the planned new Chelmsford North East Bypass, which is part of a £250 million investment that also includes a new railway station at Beaulieu.

The scheme will connect to the new Beaulieu Park development in the south and Deres Bridge and Great Leighs in the north, providing a vital link between the A120 and the A12.

The new 4.6km single carriageway road will be constructed between the current Beaulieu Park development and a new roundabout on the existing A131 at Chatham Green, while a 1.2km stretch of the existing A131 between Chatham Green and Deres Bridge will also be widened to a dual carriageway as part of the scheme.

The new route will bypass residential areas and help relieve congestion in Chelmsford, as well as providing a strategic link between the city, Braintree, London Stansted Airport and the wider east and southeast of England, including South Essex and the planned new Lower Thames Crossing.

It will also help unlock housing and economic growth to the north-east of Chelmsford, connecting proposed new communities with Chelmsford and Braintree.

A planning application for the scheme was today (Friday, 25 March) approved by Essex County Council’s Development and Regulation Committee.

Cllr Lesley Wagland OBE, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning, said: “Today’s planning approval is another important milestone for the Chelmsford North East Bypass project.

“This represents a big step forward for the scheme and demonstrates our commitment to delivering the infrastructure needed to support future growth and prosperity across the county.

“The bypass will not only create a crucial link between the A120 and A12 but will also provide easier access to our Park and Ride services, improve journey times and ease congestion in Chelmsford.”

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said: “The bypass is an important part of the extensive infrastructure being put in place to support the new Chelmsford Garden Community. It will ease pressure on routes through residential areas like White Hart Lane. We want to redress the balance between cars and encourage greener options like cycling, walking and public transport and reduce congestion.”

The scheme and proposed new railway station at Beaulieu are progressing with more than £218million in funding from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, plus £34million of other funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and developer Countryside Zest.

Construction of the bypass, which also includes walking, cycling, horse riding and bus improvements, is currently scheduled to begin early next year, with the new road expected to open in 2024/25.

For more information about the scheme and to sign up for the project newsletter, please visit: www.essexhighways.org/chelmsford-north-east-bypass.