Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, will work together with Mersea Homes to bring forward plans for a new garden community on a site in excess of 1,000 acres in East Colchester.
Working alongside Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council and Essex County Council, Latimer will act as Master Developer to deliver up to 9,000 new homes, of which 30% will be affordable, as part of the development which has a current Gross Development Value (GDV) estimated to be in excess of £3bn.
There will be an extensive programme of community and stakeholder engagement over the summer and early autumn to help shape the masterplan for the area. The proposals include a Country Park, commercial space, provision of primary and secondary school facilities and significant employment opportunities for local people. A new rapid transit system and improved cycling infrastructure will enable easy access to Colchester and beyond, with a link road also joining up the A133 and A120 and connecting to the community.
The proposals will focus on creating a sustainable 21st century garden community where people aspire to live, work and visit. Taking an ‘infrastructure first’ approach to development will be key, working in collaboration with the combined authorities, stakeholders and the local community to deliver local facilities and amenities alongside the new homes, 30% of which will be affordable.
In 2020/21, Clarion Housing Group completed 2,126 new homes of which 90% were for affordable tenures. Any profits from Latimer schemes are reinvested into Clarion Housing Group to build more affordable homes, improve and maintain existing homes and support communities through the Group’s charitable foundation, Clarion Futures.
Richard Cook, Group Director of Development at Clarion Housing Group, said:
“We’re excited to be working with Mersea Homes and the combined authorities to develop this innovative and sustainable garden community, providing thousands of much-needed affordable homes and employment opportunities over the next 30 years.
“Placemaking is at the heart of what we do at Latimer, and this project presents an opportunity for us to set a new standard for the delivery of affordable and private homes, community facilities and employment opportunities whilst improving connectivity in the North Essex area. We want to create a lasting legacy by delivering high-quality sustainable new homes of mixed tenure that meet the varied needs of people for generations to come.”
Stuart Cock, Managing Director of Mersea Homes, continued:
“I’m really pleased today to confirm Latimer as Mersea Homes’ development partner for the Garden Community. This is the beginning of an exciting and important journey as we work together with local communities plus Colchester, Tendring and Essex Councils to deliver a high-quality place for people to live and thrive in. Mersea Homes has been building homes locally for over 70 years and I have always been a huge advocate of the local area, having lived here all my life. This is a wonderful opportunity.”
The members representing the three Councils for the project (Cllr Paul Dundas, Leader of Colchester Borough Council; Cllr Carlo Guglielmi, Deputy Leader of Tendring District Council, and Cllr Tom Cunningham, Deputy to the Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning at Essex County Council) released a joint statement saying:
“We are pleased to welcome Latimer to the project, alongside Mersea Homes, and look forward to what will be a productive and meaningful relationship over the coming years. We will work closely to ensure that this community is sustainable, future proof, of the highest quality and achieves the very best for new and existing residents”.
Back (L-R): Cllr Tom Cunningham (Deputy to the Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning at Essex County Council), Cllr Carlo Guglielmi (Deputy Leader of Tendring District Council) and Cllr Paul Dundas (Leader of Colchester Borough Council)
Middle back (L-R): Nick Wood (Director of Development, Clarion Housing Group) and Clare Miller (Chief Executive, Clarion Housing Group)
Middle front (L-R): Rob Draper (Senior Development Manager, Clarion Housing Group) and Rebecca Ogunmodede (Development Graduate, Clarion Housing Group)
Front (L-R): Richard Cook (Group Director of Development, Clarion Housing Group) and Stuart Cock (Managing Director of Mersea Homes)