South Woodham Ferrers


Highways and transport (HT)


How will traffic speed on Burnham Road be reduced?


All parties are agreed that the speed limit on Burnham Road should be reduced from 60mph to 40mph.

Appropriate crossing facilities at Burnham Road and Woodham Road will be provided.


How will the Masterplan address traffic congestion on Burnham Road?


Sustainable transport measures to reduce reliance on private car, primarily through a new bus service, alongside excellent cycle and pedestrian links between the site and SWF town centre.

Potential improvements to the Burnham Road / Ferrers Road and Burnham Road / B1418 roundabouts to improve capacity.

Potential improvements to the A132 / B1012 Rettendon Turnpike.

The highways improvements required and the details of these will be outlined as part of a future planning application.


How will the Masterplan address the issue of pedestrian safety, particularly when crossing Burnham Road?


Integrating the proposed scheme with the existing town is essential and the environment for pedestrians and cyclists will be improved.

Speed limit will be reduced on Burnham Road from 60mph to 40mph.

Sainsbury’s / health centre development has delivered a Toucan crossing on Burnham Road and zebra crossing on Hullbridge Road.

New crossing points will be provided at locations identified on the Masterplan – the form of these crossings is to be defined. A full overview of the proposed crossings can be viewed on the Movement Strategy page of this website.


Traffic congestion on the wider road network is a big issue, especially on the Rettendon Turnpike? How will this be addressed?


Queuing on the A132 is due to a lack of junction capacity.

Potential improvements to A132 / B1012 Rettendon Turnpike and localised junctions on Burnham Road are proposed and will help to ensure that the Masterplan development does not exacerbate existing congestion issues.


What are the proposals to improve public transport, particularly rail and bus services?


A viable bus service to route through the development can be secured, which would serve the wider area of SWF.

This service would deliver new vehicles, bus stops and real time passenger information.

A direct bus service to Wickford rail station could also be provided.

Rail service improvements are at the discretion of the rail franchise operator.


How will pedestrians move across the site and between the site and the town centre? Have footbridges and underpasses been considered?


A pedestrian access strategy has been developed that has considered all crossing options for Burnham Road.

Consideration has been given to whether the crossings could be either footbridges or underpasses instead of at grade crossings.  The view is that people generally prefer to cross at grade when they can. 


The proposed Bradwell B nuclear power station, combined with the northern growth area, will create significant traffic congestion through South Woodham Ferrers. Is a new town bypass needed to address this?


The Bradwell B project does not have planning permission. Any future planning application will need to take full account of the development of the northern growth area, which has been allocated in the new Chelmsford Local Plan, including all relevant traffic and transport issues.

Drainage, flood risk and utilities (DU)


The area south west of the site on Burnham Road / Willow Grove often floods. How will the Masterplan address this issue?


The new development will reduce flood risk from the site through reducing the rate at which water flows off the site, including in extreme rainfall events.

Rainfall will be managed through providing on-site attenuation features to limit discharge to Fenn Creek to a green field run off rate. These include several Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), such as drainage basins and swales, which are shallow, long, thin ditches, usually located next to roads.

More information on the SUDS proposed for the site can be found in the Drainage note, which is available to download on the resources page of the website.


There have been similar flooding issues at Fenn Creek and on Hullbridge Road. How will the drainage system help with this?


The site’s attenuation / SUDS features reduce the rainfall discharging from the site in all rainfall events greater than the yearly average, so discharge into Fenn Creek and Hullbridge Road will be reduced.


How does the SUDS system work and are there good local examples of this that we can see?


Swales and attenuation basins will convey surface run off to the watercourse, providing managed storage and mitigating flood risk.

The basins will provide rainwater storage capacity to control discharge to Fenn Creek for up to a 1 in 100 year storm event, plus 40% additional climate change capacity allowance.

The attenuation pond will mimic the natural drainage regime. Groundwater levels will be assessed and managed through the scheme design.

A similar scheme is in place at the Countryside schemes at Beaulieu, Chelmsford and St Luke’s Park, Runwell. Photos from Beaulieu can be seen on the drainage strategy page of the website.

Landscape, ecology and open space (LEOS)


Who controls the land between the northern site boundary and Edwin’s Hall Road? What will happen to this land to stop it being developed in future?


This land is not suitable for development and likely to be retained by the landowner for continued agricultural use.


What are the reasons for the location of the allotment sites? How many allotment plots would this provide?


Three allotment sites are proposed in the west, central and eastern parts of the site. This is to ensure easy access to an allotment area from all parts of the site.

These locations would collectively deliver c.30 allotment pitches, subject to the final number of new houses across the allocation area.

The plot by the Garden of Remembrance was moved here following a request by SWF Town Council during Stage 1 stakeholder consultation. This was previously positioned on the eastern part of the site north of the Burnham Road.


What is the extent of open space within the scheme and will this be publicly accessible?


A minimum requirement of 5.8 hectares of open space is needed, including 3.96 hectares of formal recreation space, i.e. sports pitches.

The masterplan secures a total of 12.7 hectares of publicly accessible open space.

Play spaces are distributed around the site for ease of walking access. Use of natural materials will be encouraged.


How will the landscape proposals help to integrate the scheme?


To the north of the Masterplan boundary, the land between the Masterplan area and Edwin’s Hall Road will be retained for agricultural use, but will be opened up for greater public access with the creation of new routes for recreational use, so that the agricultural land also contributes to the ‘parkland arc’ around the town.

Key views from Bushy Hill and Mill Hill would be protected.

Most existing trees and hedgerows will be retained and incorporated into the scheme and new trees will be provided to strengthen gaps within the existing hedgerows.

Suitable footpath links created through the scheme would reduce pressure on sensitive routes around the estuary.


What are the measures to improve ecology and wildlife across the site?


Protecting and enhancing habitats has been a key consideration in developing the Masterplan.

Bushy Hill Wildlife Site is an important ecological location. Additional grassland areas and new ponds will be created around it.

Existing streams, mature trees and hedgerows will be retained and enhanced across the site – a grassland buffer will be provided to improve species habitat.

A management regime will be established to ensure habitats are maintained.

Land use, layout and design (LLD)


What are the main uses being provided through the masterplan?


Around 1,000 new homes, including affordable housing and range of size and type.

Travelling show persons site for five serviced plots.

1,000sqm of flexible business floorspace.

1,900sqm of retail floorspace (this has been provided through the new Sainsbury’s store).

Potential primary school and early years nursery.

Neighbourhood centre, incorporating retail, business and health care provision. (Retail and health care elements already provided).


How many houses are going to be built on the site?


An EIA scoping opinion has been submitted to test the capacity of the site in terms of environmental constraints and how many homes could be accommodated. This is being tested at a maximum upper capacity of 1,500 homes across the whole site area for robustness.

The final number of homes that will be subject to a planning application is to be confirmed.


What type of houses will be provided and will some of it be affordable?


A full range of new homes will be provided, from 1&2 bedroom properties to a small number of 5 bedroom homes.

35% of homes will be affordable, in accordance with the Chelmsford Local Plan.

Specialist housing, such as homes for older people, are also under consideration.


What is the reasoning for the location of the preferred travelling show people site?


Three potential locations have been considered, with the preferred location on the east portion of the site, accessed off Burnham Road / Ferrers Road roundabout.

A number of factors have influenced the preferred location, including: ease of vehicle access; avoidance of flood risk areas; need for a clearly defined area; sensitivity to existing and proposed residential areas; and minimising visual impact.


When will the school be built and what is its capacity?


The promoters will provide land for a new primary school and early years nursery. The preferred location would be close to the newly opened Sainsbury’s supermarket and health centre to create an easily accessible central hub.

The capacity and delivery of the school would be subject to the requirements of ECC Education.


CCC has declared a climate emergency. How will the plans address this issue?


The promoters would seek to ensure that the Masterplan and subsequent planning applications reflect current and future planning policy and regulations in respect of climate change.

In particular, Countryside is considering a range of sustainable development initiatives to ensure the scheme reflects current carbon-neutrality requirements. This would include initiatives such as:

Giving consideration to all electric development and low carbon renewable energy options;

Measures to ensure resilience to climate change, including reduced water consumption; minimising flood risk, overheating risk and risk to habitats through enhanced biodiversity;

All homes to be constructed to future building regulation requirements, including consideration of passive house design options;

Electric Vehicle charging to reflect Local Plan requirements (1 charge point per home; 1 charge point per 10 communal spaces; 10% charge points in non-residential development).


Why do we need a Travelling Showpeople site?


It is a requirement within national planning policy that local authorities plan for and provide pitches and plots for both Gypsies & Travellers and Travelling Showpeople, in the same way as housing or employment requirements. Further details are set out in the City Council’s Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment. 

It is a policy requirement within Local Plan Policy SGS10 for the site in South Woodham Ferrers to provide 5 serviced plots for Travelling Showpeople.  


What is the difference between Travelling Showpeople and Gypsies & Travellers?


Travelling Showpeople are defined as:

“Members of a group organised for the purposes of holding fairs, circuses or shows (whether or not travelling together as such). This includes such persons who on the grounds of their own or their family’s or dependants’ more localised pattern of trading, educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily, but excludes Gypsies and Travellers.”

Gypsies & Travellers are defined as:

“Persons of nomadic habit of life whatever their race or origin, including such persons who on grounds only of their own or their family’s or dependants’ educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily, but excluding members of an organised group of Travelling Showpeople or circus people travelling together as such.”

We are required to provide 5 serviced plots for Travelling Showpeople but no plots for Gypsies & Travellers.  


How is the Travelling Showpeople site going to be used?


At this stage of the process – master planning – we are required to identify a potential location for a Travelling Showpeople site.  Access to the main highway is a key consideration. 

In order to accommodate 5 pitches, the site is anticipated to be one hectare in total and will provide an area for living and storage of fairground equipment. 

We are required to provide plots that are serviced, i.e. have mains water, energy and electricity connections. The plots will then be transferred either to a management company, Essex County Council or a specific group of Travelling Showpeople.  This is subject to further discussion and agreement following submission of a planning application for this part of the site. 

The design of the Travelling Showpepole site is subject to more detailed design at a later stage. The site will be subject to strict planning conditions that will control the use of this site, who will live there and how it will operate.  


What will the mixed use area look like?


At the master planning stage, we are focusing on identifying an area that would deliver the requirements of Policy SGS10, which is 1,000sqm of business floorspace. This means floorspace that creates jobs, such as offices or research and development and light manufacturing spaces.

The exact design and layout of this mixed use area will be explored in more detail at a later stage. However, the business uses proposed would not be noise or nuisance generating, such as heavy industry, but instead appropriate for a mixed use area.


Why are you showing an early years nursery in the mixed use area? 


Policy SGS10 requires land to be safeguarded for a primary school co-located with a nursery/early years facility, and provision for a separate standalone early years facility. 

A standalone early years facility could be provided within the mixed use area to enable parents to drop and pick up their children in close proximity to their work place, as well as serve the proposed new homes in this location.  We have sought to spread proposed facilities across the whole Masterplan area to ensure maximum benefit for the existing town and new residents. 

Timing and programme (TP)


What is the timetable for getting planning permission and when will construction start?


At the end of the public consultation period the feedback will be reviewed by CCC and further evolution of the Masterplan considered where necessary. The final version of the Masterplan will then be considered by the CCC Policy Board and Cabinet for adoption as part of the Local Plan policy, against which future planning applications will need to be assessed.

Outline planning applications will subsequently be submitted to CCC after the Masterplan is approved.

The planning applications will need to be consistent with the Masterplan principles – we are currently reviewing our planning programme as a result of the recent challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.