Great Leighs Masterplan

Cavendish supported Bellway Homes and Harrow Estates through a detailed masterplanning exercise for Great Leighs, Chelmsford


Bellway and Harrow Estates

Cavendish successfully led the political, community and stakeholder engagement to support the approval of the Great Leighs Masterplan at Chelmsford City Council, as part of City’s Local Plan making process.

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How we AssistedArrow

How we Assisted

Our role was to help the developers get approval for the proposed Masterplan from both Council’s Policy Board and at Cabinet level ahead of a series of planning applications coming forward.

Great Leighs is a significant development for the region, encompassing approximately 950 new homes – market, affordable and specialist later living accommodation – a new primary school, a nursery, a new neighbourhood centre along with a range of outdoor and community spaces for play and recreation.  

We developed an early and planned engagement strategy and sought key planning officers buy-in on the principles of our strategy. This ultimately helped us secure local politicians’ support for our activities as we had a clear and transparent approach from the get-go. 

Following an ‘activation’ stage where we focused on gathering intel, undertaking political analysis, community and stakeholder mapping, we had early discussions with key local politicians. This helped inform our forward plan of activities and key messaging and enabled us to stay abreast of community priorities in the face of change.

Prior to public consultation Cavendish led two workshops with the client and stakeholder groups to refine, develop and improve the proposals. One community-focused workshop was held, including senior representatives from the city and parish council and local community groups, and one technical-focused workshop featuring City Council planning officers and senior technical stakeholders including the Environment Agency and Natural England. This provided us an opportunity to pause and reflect, so the project team could refine proposals in response to our learnings from the project so far.  

The workshops were followed by a hybrid public exhibition, where residents and stakeholders could participate online, in-person, over the phone or in writing. We had dedicated contact channels to ensure all queries were handled by our dedicated contact team. Following the three-week consultation period, we carefully analysed and coded the feedback we received to support the team’s application to the Council. Following submission, we continued to keep stakeholders and the community informed of our progress and engaged with interested parties through the lifespan of the project.  

The outcomeArrow

The outcome

Cavendish successfully led the political, community and stakeholder engagement to support the approval of the Great Leighs Masterplan at Chelmsford City Council, as part of the Local Plan making process. Our engagement process – which was praised at Chelmsford City Council’s Policy Board – led to the successful agreement of the Masterplan by the council’s leadership in April 2023.  

Crucially, since the successful Masterplan application, Cavendish continues to support different applications across the site through the planning system. Ultimately unlocking development at Great Leighs and for the wider Chelmsford area.  

  • 117 visitors attended the consultation event at Chelmsford City Racecourse on Tuesday 29th March.
  • 542 unique have logged onto the consultation website across 796 sessions.
  • The website has had 1,991 page views, with 16.5% of visitors returning to the website.
  • The virtual consultation has a bounce rate of 49.62% (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page).

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