Aylett’s Green, Kelvedon

Aylett’s Green, Kelvedon, delivers high-quality landscape-led community


Aylett’s Green is the development of former agricultural land in Kelvedon, found between Colchester and Chelmsford, close to the town centre and Kelvedon station. Aylett’s Green is being transformed by Cala into a thriving community of 238 new homes, 40% of which are affordable.

The site is a 10-hectare parcel of former agricultural land, and the former owner had secured outline planning consent from Braintree District Council for up to 250 homes. Cala achieved detailed planning consent in March 2021, sales launched in December 2021, and saw the first residents move in during March 2022 – just 12 months from planning approval.

As well as the wide range of homes, Cala has improved local infrastructure by widening existing footways and introducing a 7.4km safe walking and jogging circular route, plus both a 5km and 1.6km route within the development. Furthermore, Cala is providing over £1.6m to Braintree District Council in Section 106 to fund new allotments and a new community building, a children’s play area, sports pitches, early years and childcare, secondary school transportation, and public green space for residents and the wider community to use.

The opportunity

Our land strategy seeks to identify opportunities to develop new communities within well-connected and aspirational locations: Kelvedon offers both. The Blackwater Estuary National Nature Reserve is a short drive from the site, and River Blackwater flows through Kelvedon. A train station just a few minutes' walk from the development provides a direct connection to London Liverpool Street. The site is also within the A12 corridor.

Cala has already had success in the area, with nearby development Audley Chase in Earls Colne being well received by the community, and the Cala site manager receiving an NHBC ‘Pride in the Job’ award’. Consequently, the opportunity presented in Aylett’s Green was a logical step to further establish the company’s presence within the district.

Cala worked closely with Braintree District Council’s Planning and Urban Design Officers to agree a site wide masterplan which set out the general principles of the detail planning proposals. The company also engaged with Kelvedon Parish Council, Kelvedon and Feering Wildlife Group, and Councillors to ensure all stakeholders had an opportunity to review our proposals. 

Invitations to the public consultation event were distributed to 1,900 homes in proximity to the development. The event attracted 105 attendees, and feedback exampled a high degree of awareness of the proposals, which translated into a broad acceptance of the principle of development.

Our approach

Following close cooperation between Cala and Planning Officers at Braintree District Council, a detailed planning consent was issued in March 2021 for 238 homes, of which 95 are to be offered as affordable rented and shared ownership.

The design of the scheme followed the principles of the outline planning consent – observing the site requirements, which governed aspects like roof heights to ensure minimal disruption of sightlines. Urban design and sense of place was a focus, which included detailed landscape considerations which would ensure the setting of the homes would create a quality environment. As part of the approach, Cala has commissioned site-specific public artwork, inspired by archaeology findings on site, the design of which will be agreed with the local community through a public vote.

Thanks to many years of experience within the locality, and close working with the District Council, Cala’s North Home Counties team has depth of understanding of the area’s design and infrastructure needs, to ensure that the new community delivered is sustainable and the site is in keeping with local character.

The materials, such as red brickwork, grey slate effect roof tiles, and cast stone windowsills, and architectural detailing, such as Georgian style windows and the strategic use of chimneys to form a strong, rhythmic streetscape, reflect existing buildings in Kelvedon and add variation within the scheme, denoting the character of the area.

Cala has taken a comprehensive approach to incorporate biodiversity-conscious design principles at Aylett’s Place, which is designed to protect and enhance the nature conservation value of existing and new habitats within the site. These measures integrate habitat and nesting opportunities that include bird nesting, specialist hedgehog fencing, bat boxes and native tree planting. The site also includes a 1.7-acre ecological protection area to provide the perfect habitat for local species that is designed to protect and enhance existing and new wildlife habitats within the site, as well as to protect native flora.

Additionally, a circular walking route wraps around the development which will be enhanced with tree planting and wildflower meadows to provide an attractive leisure route that connects to wider public rights of way across the countryside.   

Where are we now?

Aylett’s Green offers a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments and two- to five-bedroom houses, suitable for a range of homebuyers whether they be growing families or first-time buyers. The scheme provides a high-quality and sustainable living environment which is sensitive to the existing town and surrounding context. First residents moved into Aylett’s Green in March 2022.

The design of Aylett’s Green maintained conservation-led principles to ensure that the homes enhance the local landscape and the wider development positively contributes towards the protection and improvement of local wildlife and greenery.

The development makes a positive contribution to the character of the area, with public art, commissioned by Cala and informed by wider the community, being installed on the site. There has also been substantial investment towards improving public rights of ways to make the site and surrounding scenery easily accessible for residents and the wider community.

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