The development of Channels, Chelmsford is a key component of Chelmsford City Council’s Adopted Core Strategy for meeting the expected future housing, employment, recreation, and leisure requirements. It was allocated for development as part of the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan (NCAAP).
Located four miles to the north of Chelmsford town centre on the grounds of a 27-hole golf course, this project required sensitive interaction with the local community. A 14th Century clubhouse, an 18th Century thatched barn, a number of privately owned homes and the facilities for a local bowls club all presented important features to be incorporated with the development.
The Channels development was granted planning permission for 750 homes in 2012 and since then has been built in a number of phases by different developers. The image below shows the overall site management plan which includes each phase of the Channels development:
Site-Wide Communal Areas
There is another legal entity, Channels Management Company Ltd, who own and are responsible for maintenance of the wider Channels estate. This is a completely separate company that has their own annual budget for costs associated with running the wider estate, mainly grounds maintenance and ecology, and which covers all shared areas of the Channels development.
This budget is apportioned to all residents across the various ‘development parcels’ based on the number of properties built/to be built in each phase. Residents across all development parcels will therefore see a wider estate cost shown on annual Service Charge demands.
The image below shows the shared areas of the wider Channels estate that are owned by Channels Management Company Ltd and which will be available for residents to use.
Currently the areas open to residents are the main portion of the Country Park (with skate park) which includes a lit path to the retail units on Essex Regiment Way and the wildlife area. The village green is due to become accessible by the Spring of 2021.
It is important to note that this land remains under the ownership of Channels Management Company Ltd however residents are granted access to it as part of planning conditions for the wider Channels development.
There have been some key updates that will impact on the way site-wide matters will be managed and Channels Management Company Ltd (the entity that owns and is responsible for maintenance of the wider Channels estate) has provided a briefing for all residents of Channels.
The briefing covers how site management will be coordinated moving forward and outlines key updates in relation to the areas of communal land that will be made available to residents.
The briefing makes reference to the “Channels Residents Association” in relation to organising events on the Village Green. For clarity this is the Channels Residents Community Group and the best way to contact the committee is via their website at www.channels.community/contact/.
The Channels site contains a number of landscape features which are considered important for the enhancement and protection of species within the ecological environment such as great crested newts, badgers and reptiles. There were strict planning conditions that required developers and residents to comply with ecology plans which were worked up in conjunction with Southern Ecological Solutions.
The site is inspected regularly by an ecologist who looks at the impact on the overall area and who will issue on-going guidance accordingly. As such there are limitations on what can be done with the land.
For reference, documents outlining the original vision for Channels can be found below:
Channels News Article
Channels Exhibition Boards
Site-Wide Estate Issues
If you have queries, concerns or issues in relation to the site-wide managed estate, you can log them using the form below. The information will be sent automatically to the Channels Estate Site Manager for action and ongoing correspondence will be via that Site Manager.
Alternatively, you can call the Site Manager (Olly Stubbings) directly via a dedicated phone number, 07795 478171, which may be more appropriate if you need to flag a site-wide estate problem that needs attending to urgently.
Information submitted via the above form will be held only for the purpose of formally recording, dealing with and resolving site-wide estate management issues raised by residents. Eagle Rise & Aqua Verde residents are encouraged to use the contact forms on the CCMC Ltd website to ensure that RMC directors are copied in.