Beaulieu Keep

Beaulieu Keep



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Number/street name:
Off Linge Avenue

Address line 2:
Centenary Way




Architect contact number:

Countryside Zest.

Countryside Zest

Planning Authority:
Chelmsford City Council

Planning consultant:

Planning Reference:
Outline approval – 10/00021/EIA; Reserved matters - 15/02072/REM; Revised reserved matters – 16/01471/REM

Date of Completion:

Schedule of Accommodation:
266 x house; 55 x apartment

Tenure Mix:
29% affordable; 71% affordable

Total number of homes:

Site size (hectares):
12.38 ha

Net Density (homes per hectare):

Size of principal unit (sq m):

Smallest Unit (sq m):
542 sqm (1-bed apt)

Largest unit (sq m):
3,336 sqm (5-bed house)

No of parking spaces:
2-3 per home

Scheme PDF Download

Planning History

Outline approval for the Beaulieu masterplan was granted in May 2013; Reserved Matters for Beaulieu Keep in March 2016; and Revised Reserved Matters in December 2016. Beaulieu Keep is now an established community, connected to high-quality amenities within the masterplan including new schools and forthcoming station.

The Design Process

Designs for Beaulieu Keep build on our initial work developing the overall masterplan for 3,600 homes and extensive community facilities – an exemplar development within the Essex Design Guide.

Comprising 266 houses and 55 apartments, Beaulieu Keep offers 30 unique house types and 29% affordable housing – serving the needs of different households and fulfilling the brief for an inclusive and sustainable community.

Beaulieu Keep is set in a unique parkland location surrounding a former Tudor palace, and forms part of an aspirational, sustainable garden suburb. It is one of a series of individually designed neighbourhoods that integrate into the historic landscape. The layout for Beaulieu Keep is informed by ancient field boundaries and hedgerows identified on historic maps.

Building designs are inspired by the local vernacular of barns and farmsteads. This includes continuous brick gables reminiscent of traditional Essex villages, and courtyard forms derived from farmsteads previously on site to support the Tudor palace. With a variety of homes set around these landscaped courtyards, intimate social spaces are created. Towards the centre of Beaulieu Keep, a central ‘island’ of larger houses is formed on an area historically known as Moat Field. The historic setting was further considered with views towards New Hall and other landmarks preserved through street orientation and graduated massing.

Health and wellbeing are promoted throughout the design with generous private amenity spaces and extensive accessible parkland including pocket parks and ‘The Chase’ – a linear park over 1km in length. With extensive use of terraces and balconies, homes are afforded greater flexibility and views of landscape features, maximised by first-floor living. Active travel routes permeate the green spaces.

Permeability and wayfinding were also integral to the design approach. Key streets are marked with different materials/building types or with existing landscape features such as mature oak trees.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

• Expansive landscape spaces and blue/green infrastructure create biodiversity net gain and enhance community wellbeing
• Field boundaries, hedgerows and trees retained to preserve biodiversity and define housing arrangements
• Strong framework of connected and overlooked streets, courts and landscape spaces
• Courtyards build on traditional farmsteads once part of palace estate
• Distinctive gables, projecting upper floors, and materials palette all reference surrounding context
• Marker buildings and landscape features assist wayfinding and placemaking
• Variation in dwelling size and tenure type creates balanced community
• Extensive public consultation and engagement with Essex Review Panel
• Array of pedestrian and cycle routes connected to public transport, bridleway retained

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Scheme Information


  • Courtyard House
  • Back to Backs
  • Multi-Aspect Apartments
  • Innovative House Types
  • Mews
  • Detached
  • Semi-detached
  • Terrace
  • Town house


  • Medium density
  • Low density


  • Affordable
  • Private Ownership
  • Shared Ownership
  • Mixed Tenure


  • Large New Settlements


  • Brickwork
  • Contemporary Design
  • Local Vernacular


  • Sustainable

Outdoor areas

  • Private Terraces
  • Roof Terrace
  • Outside Terrace
  • Biodiversity
  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Healthy Streets
  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Play Spaces
  • POS
  • Public open space


  • Wheelchair


The landscape-led masterplan creates extensive parkland on the former farmland site, conducive to low-carbon living and travelling. Embracing the Essex Design Guide’s garden community principles, Beaulieu Keep incorporates extensive pedestrian routes and dedicated cycle routes to promote sustainable travel. An existing bridleway is retained, and enhanced to provide year-round access for riding, cycling and walking. The neighbourhood’s successful integration into the masterplan provides connections to extensive community amenities (neighbourhood centre, shops and schools) located within walking distance of homes. With pedestrian and cycle routes linking up to public transport options, the site’s permeability also allows easy access to the new station. Shared surfaces across the walkable neighbourhood afford priority to pedestrians. Parking is carefully manged in small discreet courts or garages to further promote active travel and avoid car dominated streets. Working with partner practices, Beaulieu Keep was established in accordance with planned infrastructure provision to encourage sustainable travel (and community cohesion) from the outset. A bus link to Chelmsford was immediately introduced with a free one-year pass for residents. The new station will provide a direct link to London (from 2025). Generous private outdoor spaces, communal pocket parks, and the expansive linear park maximise greening and de-carbonisation. The sustainability strategy makes use of the existing network of ditches, hedgerows and verges to enhance biodiversity. SuDs features extend across the site and include swales, rain gardens, balancing ponds, and bio-retention strips – creating new wildlife habitats. Additional landscaping has also been designed to adapt to all seasons, adding interest through the year. Beaulieu Keep was designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 (a requirement of the outline planning permission), which includes space for a home office within dwellings, further minimising travel.