Chelmsford Garden Community

A nature first approach to masterplanning

An illustrative masterplan showing all the proposed development at Chelmsford

Chelmsford Garden Community


Ptarmigan Land & Countryside (Zest)


836 ha (2065 acres)




Strategic Green Infrastructure


new homes



garden village



ha of habitat-led open space

The front cover of the DFD document with a CGI render of the proposed landscape at Chelmsford Community Garden. © JTP

Chelmsford Garden Community will deliver a new landscape-led development comprising over 50% Green Infrastructure, around 5,500 new homes and 60,000sqm of employment floorspace.

The Garden Community is located in North-East Chelmsford and will build on the success already achieved at Beaulieu and Channels, which combined will deliver around 10,000 new homes.

BMD have worked collaboratively on the project for many years, for the developer consortium of Countryside L&Q, Ptarmigan Land and Halley Developments. We’ve combined our in-house landscape design, assessment and ecological expertise, to provide a high-quality green infrastructure network as an integral part of the scheme.

Chelmsford City Council approved the Development Framework Document (DFD) in January 2023 and BMD are currently working with Ptarmigan Land and Countryside L&Q to prepare Outline Planning Applications for Zones 1 and Zones 2 of Chelmsford Garden Community providing services covering landscape design, landscape masterplanning and landscape assessment.

Image caption: Development Framework Document front cover. © JTP

A photomontage section cutting through one of the key open spaces at Chelmsford Garden Community, showing the change in levels from the top of the site down to the lakeside. © BMD

Green Infrastructure

An illustrative masterplan of the green and blue infrastructure proposed at Zone 2 of Chelmsford Garden Community. © BMD

The landscape strategy for Chelmsford Garden Community delivers a Green and Blue Infrastructure network through exemplar multifunctional green spaces and corridors, to create a place where people live in balance with nature.

Chelmsford Garden Community delivers a linked network of unique, inclusive and diverse parkland destinations, each responding to the local landscape context and integrating existing heritage and landscape features.

Active travel is prioritised through a connected network of approximately 20km of multifunctional greenways that are available on people’s doorsteps and serve as landscaped leisure routes, connecting key destinations and nature corridors that promote and enhance local biodiversity and optimise the benefits for wellbeing.

Image caption: Zone 2 illustrative masterplan. © BMD

A photomontage view of a lakeside play area with footpaths, cyclepaths, woodland and grassland planting. © BMD


An illustration showing the vision for the discovery park at Chelmsford Garden Community. © BMD

Chelmsford Garden Community seeks to achieve an aspirational target of 20% for BNG, attained within the Garden Community itself, via the application of the BNG good practice principles.

The objective is to meet ambitious Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) targets by creating strategic nature recovery that reconnects nature within, to and from the Garden Community. This will include structural woodland planting and diversification of habitat types to create a vastly richer mosaic of biodiversity friendly areas than currently exist.

Chelmsford Garden Community prioritises nature recovery and connects people with nature through delivery of a comprehensive, and well designed, multifunctional green and blue infrastructure network for the safe movement of wildlife and people.

Image caption: Discovery park vision. © BMD

A photomontage view of proposed residential built form overlooking a parkland with woodland planting, grasslands and community park. © BMD


An illustrative diagram showing the connections between parklands at Chelmsford Garden Community. © BMD

The design proposals contribute towards a sense of shared community whilst delivering high quality development that is sensitive to and enhances the historic environment.

The landscape strategy for Chelmsford Garden Community delivers Discovery Trails that will celebrate, reference and interpret the area's rich history by connecting key heritage assets within the Site and linking to the wider area through a network of waymarked north, south, east and west trails.

The trails will run through and connect important assets, highlighting the area's heritage, through interpretation such as boards, signage, wayfinding, landscape features and public art. The trails will use landscape features such earthworks, tree planting and where appropriate public art to reinstate and interpret the postulated line of the earlier Park Pales and Ride from New Hall.

Image caption: Connected parklands. © BMD