A planning application for the Chelmsford North East bypass has been submitted by Essex County Council working with Chelmsford City Council.

The scheme is part of a £250 million investment which also includes a new railway station at Beaulieu.

It supports the development of a new railway station, homes and businesses.

It would connect to the new Beaulieu Park Development in the south and Deres Bridge and Great Leighs in the north, providing a link between the A120 and the A12.

The new route would bypass residential areas and relieve high levels of congestion in Chelmsford, and provide a strategic link between the city, Braintree, London Stansted Airport and the wider east and southeast of England, including South Essex and the Lower Thames Crossing.

If approved it will provide 4.6km of new road and a 1.2km dual carriageway along the existing A131 in North East Chelmsford, helping the 7,000 commuters who travel to Chelmsford from the Braintree area to get to work more quickly, and easier access to Park and Ride services.

Cllr Lesley Wagland, cabinet member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning said: “As well as closing a gap in Essex’s strategic road network, easing congestion and reducing journey times in and around Chelmsford, the bypass is a key part of a scheme which would support the continued economic success of the area.”

The bypass would take traffic to and from the planned station and nearby housing development. Travelling from the north, it would be up to 12 minutes quicker to drive to the new station rather than Chelmsford station.

The public can comment on the planning application ahead of the decision, anticipated early next year.

If approved, construction could begin in 2023 and open in 2024.

The Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund has given nearly £218m in funding, with £34m of other funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and developer Countryside Zest.

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council said: “This important infrastructure investment will support the development of the new Chelmsford Garden Community and enable people to access the new station.

"It will take pressure off existing local routes like White Hart Lane, that can then be prioritised for walking, cycling and buses, to create greener, healthier and better-connected communities.

“It helps deliver long-term sustainable growth across Chelmsford and mid-Essex, including up to 14,000 new homes, generates employment, creates a wider pool of labour for businesses and encourages sustainable travel by bus, cycle, electric vehicles and on foot.”

The application can be viewed online and refers to planning application CC/CHL/85/21