As the county of Essex’s only city, Chelmsford carries the weight of a whole region on its shoulders.
This is a task that the city is tackling with a confidence and enthusiasm that is to be expected from the home of Towie.
Towie jesting aside, Chelmsford has long attracted a host of different families and residents.
Being one of the home counties, Essex has always been a popular area with commuters.
This demand has certainly driven interest in moving to Chelmsford and has accelerated the success of the city.
Its popularity alone could be enough of an indicator that Chelmsford is a great place to reside.
Since its promotion to city status in 2012, Chelmsford has thrived, excelling in its new role as chief representative of Essex.
Finding the perfect balance of urban city living and a rural lifestyle, there are various reasons why Chelmsford is a nice place to live.
Continue reading to find out the many reasons Chelmsford is great for you.
Who knows before long you may be calling it home!
Since the 2012 jubilee, Chelmsford has been granted the title of being a city.
This is not the first time in the history of the city that area has had a promotion in its significance.
For a short time in the 14th century Chelmsford was considered the capital of England.
Whilst it was only for a week, this strange historical quirk certainly adds an interesting side to the history of Chelmsford.
Despite there being no direct benefits to this elevation to city status, there are certainly secondary gains as a result, as well as some bragging rights.
During the 2012 bid, the local council of Chelmsford injected large investments into the city.
These investments fuelled massive improvement to the region, many of which are still being invested in today.
The city was seen as impressive enough to gain city status, indicating the success of the council regeneration plans.
Chelmsford has been historically popular amongst critics.
In 2008 the area was ranked as the 8th best place to live by Channel 4’s prime time property programme Location, Location, Location.
The popular television show certainly highlighted why Chelmsford is a nice place to live, with the popularity of the area skyrocketing ever since.
The city took top spot in the East, in the 2018 Sunday Times best places to live guide.
Three Essex regions had also been named among the best areas to live in the East, with Chelmsford also seeing off competition from popular areas such as Chesterton in Cambridge as well as Norwich.
Despite not achieving the top spot in 2019, Chelmsford still ranked amongst the top 10 places to live, showing its continued success in representing Essex as its only city.
Two integral factors to ask when deciding is Chelmsford a nice place to live?
Location and connections.
It is only a 15-minute drive to the M25, connecting the region with the numerous home counties and greater London.
The nearby A12 also connects the city to London and the east coast, making a day at the beach stress free and speedy.
For city workers, the train is a far more popular option.
This is where Chelmsford shines particularly brightly, providing an amazing commuting time of just 34 minutes directly to London Liverpool Street station.
We all love our ‘reliable’ great British railways and Greater Anglia is certainly not immune to delays.
But with such a fantastic service, Chelmsford is certainly top of the pile for commuters looking to live Essex.
Since its establishment as Essex’s only city, Chelmsford’s station has become one of the busiest across the whole of the eastern region.
Having been refurbished shortly after its introduction as a city in 2012, the station provides an integral service to all residents.
With further plans of redevelopment in the pipeline, its ‘all aboard’ for Chelmsford’s splendid station.
The pro-active approach taken by Chelmsford council both before and after becoming a city is certainly a driving force behind its prosperity.
With continued investment in key sectors, there is a strong, clear-cut plan being implemented.
A prime example of this is found in the increased popularity and usage of Chelmsford station.
This has not gone unnoticed, with the proactive local council developing plans for a large portion of the £318 million investment budget being allocated to rejuvenating the station.
Positive action like this will certainly only improve the city’s transport links.
Further examples of this continued investment can be found at Bond Street.
The popular shopping region has also had a huge influx of investment, certainly adding to the appeal of Chelmsford as a retail haven.
The pinnacle of this redevelopment project is certainly the new flagship John Lewis store, described by Chelmsford’s economic and growth manger Stuart Graham as ‘a major jewel in the Chelmsford retail crown’.
The arrival of John Lewis, as well as the new Everyman Cinema, has escalated retail shopping in the area, which is now competing with the nearby Lakeside.
Chelmsford council’s forward-thinking approach is certainly shaping the future of the city, with all the indicators shows continued success for Essex’s city.
Desirable transport links have attracted many commuters and subsequently their families.
The single most important factor to consider when moving with your family, schools alone can determine where your next home is.
Chelmsford is highly regarded for its educational institutions.
With two schools, Chelmsford County High School for Girls and King Edward VI Grammar School both placing in the top 10 for the county and top 50 nationwide.
Both schools placed in the top 25 in this year’s Sunday Times Parent Power guide.
There are currently 37 primary and 11 secondary schools within Chelmsford, with exceptional primaries including; Beehive Lane Community Primary School, Perryfields Junior School and Chancellor Park Primary School, all rated outstanding by Ofsted.
Other notable secondary schools include Sandon and the Boswells, both rated good by Ofsted.
With such a range of exceptional education institutions within Chelmsford, it is understandable why the city is as popular as it is for families.
Chelmsford is generally regarded as a safe city to live in, with a lower crime rate than the UK average.
In November 2019 there were 618 incidents, well below the expected amount of 645 for a city of Chelmsford’s size!
Areas such as Moulsham, Melbourne and Springfield have slightly higher crime rates, with most of recorded crimes being either violent or anti-social incidents.
However the majority of areas in Chelmsford and the surrounding towns are safe places to live.
Known historically as the home and birthplace of radio, Chelmsford has a tradition of being a pioneer.
Nothing much has changed, as the city still strives for greatness.
As part of the town’s application to become a city, Chelmsford promised an astounding 8,500 new homes, 15,000 new jobs and 210,000 square metres of retail and business space by 2021.
Now only one year away from this deadline, the city has exceeded expectations, with further development now the primary focus.
As part of the towns modernisation, Chelmsford is home to both e2v and BAE Systems, each leading innovators in the technology field, with developments routing from their respective Chelmsford headquarters.
One of the only negative impacts of having such a fantastic infrastructure and persistent growth is housing costs.
The average cost of property in Chelmsford has risen rapidly by 40% since 2014 to over £320,000 and shows no signs of slowing down
Whilst on the surface this is a negative, the average price in Chelmsford is significantly lower than the capital.
London house prices, which have decreased by 0.5% in recent months, currently sit at an average of £475,458.
This means the average property in Chelmsford is a stunning £155,000 cheaper!
Families have already started moving into Beaulieu, a new settlement on the edge of the city.
It will deliver 3,600 new homes upon completion in 2028.
Located on past royal hunting grounds, it will house various parks, shops, schools and a station.
Some of the most popular areas around Chelmsford include; Writtle, Springfield and Broomfield.
All of which provide a more village-style way of life, offering a great break from city living.
With various property types available in and around the city, including a planned 8,500 new builds, there really is something for everyone.
With so much development taking place in Chelmsford, it would be easy to think that it is devoid of any character.
Quite the contrary, the city has an abundance of character, reflected in the plethora of things to do.
Those who prefer a more refined outdoors experience have the option to visit the beautiful Hylands Park, and the Hyde Hall Gardens.
History enthusiasts aren’t neglected either.
The city has a number of historic buildings, including the second smallest Cathedral in England.
Who knows, you may even bump into one of the many Towie stars who frequent the city!
For lovers of the great outdoors, Chelmsford is home to over 20 parks ideal for summer picnics and autumn strolls, you’re never too far away from a green space.
There are some stunning strolls along the River Can and River Chelmer towards Sandford Mill, with various historic landmarks including the impressive 18-arch Victorian railway crossing which spans the River Can.
For more fantastic ideas and amazing scenic walks in the area you can visit the Essex Walks website here: http://www.essexwalks.com/walks/st_chelmsford.html
There are plenty of options when it comes to family days out in Chelmsford.
Activities in and around the area include the Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, The Chelmsford Miniature Railway, bowling and the new Jump Street trampoline park.
The Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre also provides various different activities that all the family are sure to enjoy; whether it’s a fun afternoon ice skating, enjoying an ice hockey match or some time in the kids soft play zone, there’s something for everyone!
For even more ideas of fun activities and days out with the kids, visit https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/east/essex/chelmsford
With such a variety of different outings and activities on offer, there’s never a dull moment in Chelmsford.
Chelmsford has certainly emerged as one of the most desirable places to live in the East of the UK, as the city really offers its residents the full package.
And with London only a stone’s throw away, Chelmsford is a prime location for those looking to take a break from capital city living, whilst not losing all sense of civilisation.
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