Community Update

Footpaths
There has been continued discussion with local stakeholders (Chelmsford City Council, Countryside & Ptarmigan Land) about the fact that residents of Channels have no hard, lit, access to and from the development by foot either down to Essex Regiment Way or across to Beaulieu.

As a result of information received from the above stakeholders over recent weeks, which sadly confirmed that we would indeed be stuck for another winter with the same situation, a meeting was held with City Councillor Barry Knight so that he could see first hand (in the dark) the issues that we face. He agreed that it was far from ideal and that he would not be happy with the situation if he lived on the development.

Cllr Knight has lobbied on our behalf and a further meeting will now take place with planners and Countryside to explore whether a re-phasing of works can be agreed which could potentially see a hard, lit path extend from Niblick Green much earlier than the planned implementation date of May 2020. In addition Ptarmigan Land are working with Marden Homes (who are responsible for building the open spaces on the other side of Channels Drive) with a view to accelerating the installation of a hard lit path to and from the retail units on Essex Regiment Way.

It has taken a great deal of persistence to get this far and there is still no guarantee that matters will improve however the Estates & Amenities Sub Committee will take this action forward and do its best to secure better access for all off of the development.

Bus Issues
It has become apparent that there are issues with the 51 Bus Service again with many reports of buses breaking down or not turning up. It is important that if there is an issue that you continue to log it via the website so that evidence can be collated and presented to the organisation that is responsible for managing the contract with First Bus. There is now an option added to cover the scenario of the bus breaking down!

For those that have been waiting for it, the ‘real time’ bus display board is due for installation at the bus stop on Friday 1st November.

Community Fundraising
Other than securing grants when available, the Community Group is reliant on the goodwill of residents to continue with its activities. This could include helping out with the running of community events or fundraising for specific projects such as benches on our land.

The CRCG now has a Paypal account and as such if residents wish to assist with fundraising via donations, it’s easy to do so!

Channels Fountain
Our fountain is back and running again! Unfortunately despite much investigation, it is still unclear why the water level dropped so much and then did not refill, despite the extensive amount of rainfall that has led to other ponds and swales retain plenty of water. Bellway do believe that there is a link with the draining of the main lake however we will need to to monitor the situation over the coming months.

For now enjoy the fountain 🙂

Landscaping Preparation

Please note that a large area of land (shown in the images below) is currently being prepared prior to handover to the RMC. We have pushed Bellway hard recently to ensure that the land is prepared to the requisite standard and this has led to the delivery and laying of new topsoil before seeding of the grass takes place. Frequent watering will be undertaken over the coming weeks to ensure the grass can become established.

The area needs to be free from any form of human traffic and as such residents (and anyone else) should refrain from walking or cycling over it at any time.

Bellway will be leaving the site imminently and once the land is deemed to have been prepared appropriately, it will be handed over to the RMC and new managing agent (once formally appointed).

It is important to note that from the point of handover to the RMC, any further remedial work required to ensure the land can be maintained in line with the agreed Grounds Maintenance Specification will be at the expense of residents via the annual service charge.

It is therefore in our interests to ensure that the area is left to become established so that it can be enjoyed by all in the future!

Landscaping Update

As part of the ongoing landscaping remedial works, many of the small trees which form boundary hedgerows are being replaced. This is a significant undertaking with preparation and planting due to take place over the next couple of weeks.

The new hedgerow ‘whips’ are young trees of approximately 0.5-1.0 m in height and 2–3 years old that have been grown specifically for planting out. They will generally be supported by canes to ensure they remain in place and upright as they grow.


It is important that the newly planted areas are not interfered with as the tree ‘whips’ need to become properly established over the coming months and as such it is asked that children are advised not to play in these areas and especially not to remove the supporting canes.

The remedial works are being undertaken at no cost to residents. However the gardeners will be providing photographic evidence once the planting has been completed and the cost of repairing any damage to these areas subsequent to the work being signed off will fall to residents via the service charge we all pay.