Masterplan drawn up for city

A MASTERPLAN to guide exciting changes to Chelmsford town centre has moved a step nearer with the unveiling of visions and options for its future.Local people and key stakeholders are now being consulted by Chelmsford Borough Council on the plan, which will guide development in the town centre over the next 15 years.

A MASTERPLAN to guide exciting changes to Chelmsford town centre has moved a step nearer with the unveiling of visions and options for its future.

Local people and key stakeholders are now being consulted by Chelmsford Borough Council on the plan, which will guide development in the town centre over the next 15 years. People have until August 9 to comment on the different options.

Consultants Buro Happold and Fluid are trying to discover people's views on the future direction of the town centre having identified two visions and clear identities – either an "aspiring city" or a "contemporary market town".

"Aspiring city" imagines a higher density development, with a significant increase in retail floor space, focus on city living and working, with taller and iconic buildings, a wider choice of evening and cultural entertainment and substantial development on the waterside.


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This model will seek to bring in more office use, to upgrade the railway station and to build greater diversity in the town.

Meanwhile, the "contemporary market town" envisages a daily market as the town focus, a more intimate network of arts and cultural facilities, as well as building on creative industries, while assuming an ongoing tendency towards commuter travel and night time shut down.

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Both options seek to focus activity on the rivers and green corridors to ensure Chelmsford should be easy to get to and get around, with a priority on public transport, cycling and walking.

Neil Gulliver, council cabinet member for planning and building control, said: "Public consultation has revealed some clear desires for the future and our consultants are making sure these are reflected in the emerging masterplan.

"The consultation has shown that people want Chelmsford to be a unique town that integrates the urban with the rural, new, high quality buildings and landscapes with the natural environment, a place of hustle and bustle, of living and working with new public squares, tranquil local parks and green spaces."

To find out more or to give views, people can view the options at the Civic Centre receptions at Duke Street and Coval Lane; central library South Woodham Ferrers; at borough's mobile libraries; an exhibition Backnang Square on July 17 or online at www.chelmsfordcentral.org.

n CHELMSFORD Borough Council and Chelmsford City Football Club have signed an agreement that will allow City to play their home games at Melbourne Park Athletics Centre.

Chelmsford Borough Council's cabinet member for leisure and community, Maureen Moulds said: "I'm really pleased that we're now able to tie up the legal documents. A great deal of planning and preparation has gone into this project to ensure a long- term partnership is established with the club while maintaining the excellent community facility at Melbourne.

The proposal to find permanent accommodation for the football club by investing in Melbourne Park Athletics Centre was agreed by the council's cabinet in March 2004. This includes a new 1,000-seat stand, new toilets and catering.

Paul Hopkins, joint chairman for Chelmsford City, said: "We are delighted that things are now in place to construct the clubhouse and for home games to begin in January 2006.

"It is fantastic news for everyone associated with the club and is the basis for the future development of senior football in Chelmsford."

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