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Chelmsford - A wide variety of housing stocking is available including Victorian terraces, detached family homes from the 1920s and housing developments from the 1970s to the present day. Within the modern developments apartments are widespread.
Chelmsford for years the county town of Essex finally gained “city” status in 2012. It is positioned north-east of London and it is renowned for its excellent array of shops, leisure facilities and prestigious schools. With excellent transport links to London and elsewhere and an inward drive to keep improving physical spaces and services this city is constantly developing and it is proving to be hugely popular with families and young professionals.
Chelmsford railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line and westbound trains arrive at London Liverpool Street in around 34 minutes while eastbound trains run to a number of destinations including Braintree, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester Town and Norwich. Railway transport infrastructure improvements are planned with the regeneration of the existing station and the provision of a second station in the Beaulieu Park Estate which will also provide access to the Great Eastern Main Line thereby relieving some of the crowding at Chelmsford Station.
Travelling within Chelmsford by car there are two main routes with the A414 running east to west and the A130/131 running roughly north to south. The nearby A12 connects the city to London and the East Coast and it is only about 15 minutes’ drive to the M25, connecting the region with numerous Home Counties and Greater London. Chelmsford also benefits from being within about half an hour’s journey to Stanstead and Southend Airports and London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London City and Luton airports are all within a driving range of around 80 minutes depending upon the level of traffic.
Chelmsford is quite built up but throughout the city there is lots of green space and there are over twenty parks including Hylands, Admirals and Central Parks and some lovely walks to enjoy along the Can and Chelmer rivers. Chelmsford is a lively city with many attractions and it features the Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre, the Civic and Cramphorn theatres, numerous gyms and a host of bars and restaurants and it is home to the Essex County Cricket Ground. The city also offers excellent shopping facilities with large indoor retail spaces such as The Meadows Shopping Centre and the open air Bond Street which is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Essex with its range of designer shops and top brand names whereas more independent, quirky stores can be found in Moulsham Street and Baddow Road.
Chelmsford has long been credited with high performing schools and the King Edward VI Grammar School for Boys and Chelmsford County High School for Girls feature in the top 50 grammar schools nationally and there are also a number of reputable state schools including Beehive Lane Community Primary School, Chancellor Park Primary School and Perryfields Junior School rated by Ofsted as “outstanding” and notable secondary schools such as Moulsham High School, The Sandon School and The Boswells School all rated as good. In terms of higher education Anglia Ruskin University has a campus in the heart of the city, Chelmsford Campus which is made up of modern buildings that house state of the art facilities including the first School of Medicine in Essex.
One mile west of Chelmsford is the picturesque village of Writtle. It comes complete with a Norman church, pubs, restaurants and even a duck pond. Writtle's facilities include a GP surgery, dentist and a pharmacy. Sports available in the village include tennis, cricket, rugby and badminton. It has an Infant and Junior school and there is also Hylands School which caters for secondary and sixth form students. Writtle College is one of the oldest agricultural-based university colleges in Britain and is a partner to the University of Essex. This specialist college offers a range of courses and qualifications, the majority of which focus on agriculture and land-based industries, as the campus has its own farm. Whilst Writtle has a wide spectrum of housing there are limited opportunities to rent but when they do become available they are reasonably priced and you can expect to pay from £800 for an apartment and up to £1,400 for a family home.
The urban village of Great Baddow sits to the south east of Chelmsford and has a population of about 15,000. The centre of Great Baddow contains more than 30 listed buildings and has been made a conservation area. The 360 ft tall Great Baddow Radio Tower is the main landmark in the village and was part of Britain’s early warning defence system during the Second World War. It is the only complete tower left in the UK and was later used by the Marconi Company to continue the development of radar.
As a large village, Great Baddow has most of the amenities that would normally be found in a town. It boasts several pubs, The Vineyards shopping centre, all essential medical facilities and several sports clubs. Great Baddow contains four primary schools and two secondary schools. Although The Sandon School is not technically in Great Baddow, it is still attended by many of its residents. The rents are quite affordable here costing from £750 for a 1 bedroom apartment, whilst family homes can be rented for between £1,000 and £1,500.
The civil parish of Springfield lies to the north west of Chelmsford and has been expanding continuously since the 1950s when the site of the Essex showground was developed into a housing estate. Springfield is still growing and its latest development at Great Beaulieu Park will be the largest, with 3,600 new homes being built as well as a new train station, a hotel and a business park. This development will also contain two new primary schools and a secondary school along with health, retail and sports amenities. Eight primary schools serve Springfield while there are two secondary schools – one of which is the independent New Hall School. There is plenty of choice to rent her with apartments for around £800pcm and family homes for between £1,200 and £1,500.
Artist's impression of the new station set to be built at the Beaulieu Park estate, Springfield, as part of the Chelmsford regeneration project