New Essex railway station could be on its way

Train 166 Portishead Railway

More trains on the horizon? A new railway station could be on its way for Essex - Credit: Archant

A £157million new railway station could be on its way to Chelmsford.

Chelmsford City Council has received an environmental impact assessment application for Beaulieu railway station, which may have a significant influence on the final plan.

The application ensures that the city council, the local planning authority, decides planning permission in the full knowledge of the likely significant effects.

The aim of environmental impact assessment is also to ensure that the public are given early and effective opportunities to participate in the decision making process.

The long-awaited railway station is part of a £218m project to improve the city, and the aim is that the new £157m station will bring in more trains to London and reduce congestion at Chelmsford’s current train station.

With a 2025 opening date target, engineers are also progressing designs for the Chelmsford North East Bypass to support the creation of over 14,000 new homes in the Chelmsford to Braintree corridor.

In January, Essex County Council said the project could have been scrapped because of “ongoing and unsubstantiated budget pressure”.

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The value engineering process has been helped by the county council requesting a scope change that will see the multi-storey carpark removed from the scheme and replaced by a surface level car park.

This change was requested when data showed that the capacity provided by a multi-storey car park was not required. Benefits from car park revenue from the surface car park is separate from the station.

However, the estimated cost of parking at £8 per day has been questioned.

In March, Councillor Chris Pond said: “The suggestion that car parking spaces could generate £8 each a day should be revised.

“We should not be encouraging another parkway station. What we should be encouraging in the context of the climate change emergency is an electric bus or ultralight rail hub, not just a car park.”