Suffolk Design Study Tour

Suffolk Design Study Tour
Tuesday 21st February 2023
Beaulieu Park & City West, Chelmsford Essex


Purpose of visit

As part of the Suffolk Design initiative three study tours were held in 2019, visiting sites in Essex, Norfolk, and Cambridge.

Those attending the tours welcomed the opportunity to visit examples of national and international award-winning design (sites were specifically identified to showcase exemplar features including energy efficient homes/buildings, connected neighbourhoods with a focus on active travel, mixed use developments incorporating homes, educational, community and commercial facilities) hearing first-hand from those that designed, built and live in the neighbourhoods.

Delivering well designed new developments that meet local need is not solely the responsibility of the local planning team and the planning process.

By working in partnership with other service areas, e.g. housing, infrastructure and transport, communities teams, and visiting award winning design developments within the region, we anticipate our upcoming series of study tours will enable colleagues to gain insight and context that will support them in future decision making.
The two sites have been selected to provide those attending an opportunity to experience varying development approaches.

Participants will be able to experience successful approaches to town/city centre high-density mixed-use development along with an award-winning edge of settlement residential community. Both schemes promote strong approaches to green infrastructure and public realm which incorporate sustainable drainage and biodiversity enhancements. The sustainability credentials of the projects demonstrate varying approaches to energy, transport, and biodiversity enhancement. Both schemes have been recognised through national design awards where the quality of the built form and open spaces are seen as exemplar. The projects have been selected where similarities can be applied to development similar in Suffolk. Whether this is strategic approaches or successful approaches to detailing and delivery.


This event has now passed – If you would like to be added to our mailing list to find out about future events/study tours, please e-mail us at

Draft itinerary

09:50 Latest arrival time Chelmsford Train Station Please make own travel arrangements to get to Chelmsford

Chelmsford Civic Centre – Please be at the Chelmsford Civic Centre reception just before 10:00 where we will check in as a group and go to Marconi Room.

Overview of development by Mike Jamieson (Tate Hindle Architects) Please ensure you have reviewed the background material for the study tour prior to the visit.

Coach travel to Beaulieu Park/walking tour of Beaulieu Park Attendees to be split into 2 groups to tour the site – please wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

Return coach to Chelmsford Civic Centre We will return to the Marconi Room for about an hour to have lunch (please bring your own*) and informal Q&A.

*Please bring a pack lunch or money to purchase lunch at local shops 

Walking tour of City Park West led by Pollard Thomas Edwards (Architects). Attendees to be split into 2 groups to tour the site – please wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

End of Study Tour – Attendees to make their own way home.

Key Outcomes/Experiences
  • Understanding strategic approaches to green infrastructure
  • Design rational to award winning architecture
    Understanding approaches to successful mixed-use development
  • Experience high density urban development
  • High quality public realm
  • Biodiversity enhancement
  • Sustainable infrastructure
  • Maintenance and Stewardship

The Sites


A vibrant new district for Chelmsford offering inspirational architecture and landscape. It has its own unique identity inspired by its rich heritage, offering premium housing and exemplary community facilities. Set around the majestic New Hall School, formerly King Henry VIII’s Tudor palace, and its estate parkland, the development is conceived as a series of individually designed neighbourhoods that connect to the wider landscape and countryside.

Project Website: Beaulieu – TateHindle



Information Video: Beaulieu

City Park West

A new mixed-use neighbourhood in Chelmsford with more than 600 homes alongside cafés, restaurants, public realm, workplaces, and community facilities. Located by the railway station on a former university campus, it features five new residential buildings, four new public squares, and three refurbished buildings, one of which is listed. The development acts like a jigsaw piece within the local built environment, which had been disjointed by dual-carriage highways, reconnecting Central Park to the south with the civic quarter and historic core to the east and the arts district in the west end. It encourages families, first time buyers and older citizens to live in the centre of Chelmsford, with a range of home types and tenures, from one-bedroom extra care flats to three-bedroom mews homes. City Park West is a walkable, cycle-friendly community.

Our Partners

from across Suffolk and the wider East of England region:


Subscribe to 'Suffolk Growth Updates'