31 March 2021

posted Apr 6, 2021, 4:42 AM by Stephen Robinson

Trustees met for a brief update, 6:30pm 31st March 2021, on Zoom

Present: Stephen Robinson (chair), Darren Moore (minutes secretary), Jude Deakin.

Apologies: Smita Rajesh

  1. Peter Brooks, CVS Charity Engagement Manager, is likely to be able to do the role discussed in the previous meeting, of following up on potential community partners to help complete the "Statement of Needs".

  1. Bank Transfer. Just after the next £5 is taken from the account, proposed we make a cheque to the CVS, then close the existing one. (NB Jude Deakin still needs to be reimbursed for purchasing flowers for Jill’s “thank you”).

Action: Caroline Rassell

  1. Membership and fee (£5). Need to re-establish membership. This will be done once CVS has setup an online donate link and we can then call a Members' meeting.

  1. Essex Housing's Dan Taylor had presented the Fox Crescent Masterplan to councillors. It is now out for consultation with previous respondents and will be presented to Chelmsford Council's Policy Board and then Cabinet over the summer.

  1. As previously reported, CHP are keen to be involved in developing a community hub in Fox Crescent and could manage it according to their charitable status. However, it is unlikely that they will be able to make a lottery application as they are a charitable company. The CVS may be a good organisation to apply through.

Action: Stephen Robinson and Caroline Rassell to meet Peter Brooks at CVS

6. Joe Reidy, head of property at Chelmsford City Council, is drafting layout options for a community hub, contingent on responses from the above and other possible partners.

3rd March 2021

posted Mar 31, 2021, 2:42 PM by Stephen Robinson

NCCT Trustees meeting - 6:30pm 3rd March 2021, on Zoom

Present: Stephen Robinson (chair), Darren Moore (secretary), Jude Deakin, Caroline Rassell (treasurer), Smita Rajesh

Apologies: Jill Smith-Hughes

In attendance: Cllr. Chris Davidson 

  1. Update on the Fox Crescent masterplan – Chair

Last week the masterplan was formally submitted by Essex County Council Housing to Chelmsford City planning department and there will now be a brief consultation, to follow up with the people who contacted the council last time. See

For anyone looking at the drawings, the proposed community building will be in the purple area.

  1. Agree the proposals from the Treasurer

The CAF account is proving expensive. Lorraine from Chelmsford CVS is happy to act as Treasurer for NCCT and keep the accounts separate and clear. CVS is used to doing this for other organisations.

CVS do charge an admin fee, but will be waiving this for NCCT until it is generating an income. Even then it will be cheaper than bank charges.

Proposed by Caroline Rassell; all trustees agreed.

Action: Caroline to transfer NCCT funds to Chelmsford CVS.

It is also hoped that CVS will be able to set up an online donation platform with our own URL.

Proposal: Caroline Rassell proposed that Lorraine (CVS) reviewed the NCCT constitution, all trustees agreed.

It is also noted that Jill Smith-Hughes had kindly loaned NCCT £1,000 to help us set up. Recently she had written to the Chair to make this loan into a donation. We note this with thanks and asked Jude Deakin to pass on our immense gratitude.

Funds currently stand at around £1,200

  1. Agree to issue request for members subscriptions

Once all the above arrangements are in place. Trustees agreed to continue the membership fee of £5 a year. It is important to define who are NCCT members.

  1. Agree to pursue a grant application for (say) £2000 for item 5

Agreed, in principle. But NCCT funds may be able to cover this.

  1. Procure admin support to finalise the Statement of Needs

Since the agenda had gone out, it appeared that the expression of interest in this role was not now available. It was noted that, beyond the initial contacts that have been made, there needs to be somebody to do this as a dedicated task, as at this stage it requires many return calls (someone who is polite, persistent and patient).

A few potential people were suggested.

Action: Smita, Darren and Caroline

Potential tenants need to be asked

  1. Are you interested in permanent office space? (and how much?)

  2. Ad hoc meeting room space? (nature of use, size, frequency)

  1. Report from Chelmsford City Council

Cllr. Chris Davidson attended to report that the City Council and CHP (Chelmer Housing) were keen to work together on the delivery of affordable housing and an extensive community hub on the site.

The City Council's planning department has appointed an officer to specifically work on developing the community hub framework, which needs to include a statement of local needs.

Clarity is needed from CHP as to the extent of their involvement and discussions would be ongoing.

  1. Next NCCT Members' meeting

To be fixed once the above financial issues resolved and membership subs were being collected.

  1. AOB

Date of next meeting. 31st March, 6:30pm on zoom

26 October 2020 - Progress report

posted Nov 4, 2020, 3:54 PM by Stephen Robinson

North Chelmsford Community Trust
Trustees meeting 26 October 2020

Held on Zoom.

Present: Stephen Robinson (Chair); Jude Deakin; Paul Greenland; Jill Smith-Hughes
Apologies: Darren Moore

1. Update from the Chair
NCCT had been held in abeyance over the last 18 months as nothing had been happening with the Fox Crescent site. However, SR advised that Essex County Council, as developer of the site, had consulted over the summer on their Masterplan for the site and will submit a revised Masterplan to Chelmsford City Council soon, before a planning application in early 2021.

So NCCT now needs to restart discussions about what should go into a community hub on the site.

2. Changes of Trustees
Paul Greenland was resigning as a Trustee, due to moving out of the area. Everyone present thanked Paul for his input into the community around St. Andrews.

SR proposed the co-option of Caroline Rassell and Smita Rajesh as Trustees.

Caroline Rassell
Board level experience as CEO, Deputy CEO, Chief Finance Officer and Director of Finance in health as well as in 2 private limited companies focused on estate. Currently trustee of charity; non executive director. An energetic, collaborative and inclusive leader with a passion to use engagement to drive change and improvement.   

Smita Rajesh
Experienced Founder with a history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in Strategic Planning, charity governance, Event Management, communication at all levels, leadership qualities and a team player. Strong business development professional with a MA focused in English Literature from South Gujarat University. 

Darren Moore had indicated by email his support. The existing trustees unanimously co-opted the above.

3. Treasurer
SR proposed the appointment of Caroline Rassell as Treasurer. This was agreed unanimously. CR and PG to liaise to hand over paperwork.

A further Trustee meeting to be arranged shortly after consulting diaries.

13th March 2018

posted Mar 14, 2018, 10:49 AM by NorthChelmsford CommunityTrust

NCCT Minutes 13th March 2018

  1. Present:

Stephen Robinson (Chair), Paul Greenland (Treasurer), Darren Moore (Secretary), Jude Deakin.

  1. Apologies:

Jill Smith-Hughes

  1. Strategic Plan:

No actual changes here, but Brian Priestley, a local retired planner has very enthusiastically offered to help bring this together. He and Stephen are meeting to discuss tomorrow.

  1. News

    1. Kids Inspire have been given notice by Thriftwood school, as they need the extra space by September. The Model Railway seems secure there. Kids Inspire were one of the organisations we had had conversations with about Writtle Wick and a potential community centre.

    2. The council’s Development Policy Committee met recently and agreed that    Planning Performance Agreements (PPA) would be required from the developers of all larger stites in future, The St.Peter’s/Rainsford site is one of those, but the Planning Brief already agreed covers much of the ground.

  1. Finance:

PG confirmed that we are paying £5 per month bank fees (£60p.a.). There appears to be nothing that can be done about this, as it appears most banks are doing a similar thing.

  1. Date of next meeting: 10am 17th April at St Andrew’s Church.

9th January 2018

posted Feb 6, 2018, 5:36 AM by NorthChelmsford CommunityTrust   [ updated Feb 7, 2018, 1:04 PM ]

North Chelmsford Community Trust

Trustees meeting 9th January 2018, 10am, at St Andrew’s Church

Present: Paul Greenland, Stephen Robinson (chair), Jude Deakin, Jill Smith-Hughes, Darren Moore

1. Financial update

Apologies from PG, couldn’t access accounts (password issues) but is on to it. However, not much has changed.

2. Membership and Fees

It was agreed that annually membership fees should be paid by 1st September which is the start of the NCCT financial year and in advance of the AGM, usually held by the end of September. Membership will officially lapse on 1st November 14 months later. This would then give the opportunity to collect both past year's and current year's subscriptions at the AGM to be held in that period.

The date of the 2018 AGM is 7:30pm Tuesday 9th October at St Andrew’s Church.

3a. Fox Crescent Update

Since AGM, the special school proposal inches forward. The Business case has been signed off, although no planning application has been submitted. This makes the hoped-ford school opening in 2018 impossible.

Corporate Parenting note that there is a lack of appropriate accommodation for care leavers, with few places to build or convert. It was mooted that some of the St Peter’s site might be used for this, perhaps as part of affordable housing.

3b. Other building/community updates

  1. Writtle Wick

Still waiting for some answers about who is buying and reason for a private sale, rather than continuing the discussions with NCCT.

  1. Meteor Way

Seems that E2V is not redeveloping, so the four community groups located there are safe.

  1. CIL from Houses north of Copperfield Road

CIL from this project allocated to St Andrew’s/Patching Hall will be three instalments of £95,000. There have been meetings about how it should be spent. It has been agreed that some will go towards the 5th/9th scouts meeting at the scout hut at St Andrew’s. PG confirmed that both the Parish and Diocese were keen to extend to lease.

  1. Langton Avenue Scout hall

Planning for redevelopment now moving on.

  1. Dickens Place

Stakeholders meeting planned on how additional money to be spent, particular interest in working together to avoid library closure and assist the school’s needs for extra space.

  1. Cycle Path

A cycle path from the new houses heading east to Broomfield Road might a possibility for some of the neighbourhood CIL money.

4. Business Plan

No movement here. We have had offers for help and passed on the work, but have yet to hear back. DM to continue to chase. Recently had more offers of help with developing a business plan.

5. Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 6th February, 10am at St Andrew’s Church.

15 November 2017

posted Jan 9, 2018, 3:40 PM by Stephen Robinson   [ updated Jan 9, 2018, 3:41 PM ]

North Chelmsford Community Trust AGM

15th November 2017, 7.30pm

At St Andrew’s Church, Melbourne Avenue

In attendance:


Stephen Robinson

Jude Deakin

Darren Moore

Paul Greenland

Other Members:

Ruth Hughes

Margaret Doyle

Jill Smith-Hughes
Karen Whybro

1. The minutes of NCCT’s September 2016 AGM were discussed & agreed and are available on the website at

2. Chair's Report

Stephen Robinson reported that Essex CC had planned to put up for sale the bulk of the Rainsford High / St. Peter’s site by now. He had not been given a new date by ECC.

The planning brief for the site, including provision of a site of "at least 300 sq metres for a community building, subject to a credible business plan" had been agreed by Essex CC and Chelmsford CC. The decision on what actually that entails will be decided when a planning application comes in for the site after sale.

Earlier in the year, Darren Moore and Karen Whybro had made some progress with the draft business plan, and discussed ideas and amendments with Mark Springett, Chair of Moulsham Lodge Community Trust, who had gone down a similar route a few years ago.

Stephen reported that Karen would be unable to help further with this or continue as a Trustee due to her growing business. Stephen had spoken to another contact who may be able to assist with the costings elements of the plan.

Writtle Wick

All six trustees had been involved in various meetings during the year with a wide range of potential partners from local charities and community groups. This had led to a formal bid to take a lease of Writtle Wick in Chignal Road on behalf of Homestart, Action for Family Carers and Carealot. Unfortunately, Essex CC had decided to sell the building instead.

Although this was a major disappointment, much of the joint working on the bid could be carried forward to the plans for the old school site.

3. Financial Update by Paul Greenland (treasurer)

PG would circulate accounts but he summarised the position as:

Balance of c. £1250, comprising a £1,000 loan (required minimum balance for a charity account); £180 brought forward; £70 in subscriptions for this year.

No spending

4. Election of trustees for the coming year

As Trustees and Officers

Stephen Robinson: Chair

Darren Moore: Secretary

Paul Greenland: Treasurer

Other Trustees:

Jude Deakin

Jill Smith-Hughes

8:00pm AGM formally closed.

6th November 2017

posted Nov 6, 2017, 4:17 PM by Stephen Robinson

The AGM of the North Chelmsford Community Trust is Wednesday 15th November at 7.30pm in St. Andrew's Church, Melbourne Avenue.

Not much has happened since the last AGM, as Essex CC has continued to ponder the plans for the site.

The Planning Brief for the site was consulted upon a year ago and agreed jointly between Essex CC and Chelmsford CC.

The Trustees of NCCT have met a couple of times during the year, to update each other on the limited progress and to move forward with a draft business plan for the proposed community hub. However, the bulk of the site is due to be put up for sale soon and so there may be more news before long.

I hope to see you on the 15th. The Agenda is fairly simple:

  • 2016 minutes
  • Chair's report (essentially, as above)
  • Treasurer's report
  • Election of officers / Trustees for the year ahead

Stephen Robinson
Chair, NCCT

14th September 2016

posted Oct 31, 2016, 9:28 AM by Stephen Robinson

North Chelmsford Community Trust AGM

14th September 2016, 7pm

At St Andrew’s Church, Melbourne Avenue

In attendance:

Stephen Robinson

Jude Deakin

Karen Whybro

Darren Moore

Jill Smith-Hughes

Paul Greenland

Ruth Hughes

Edith Miller

Sayed Rahman


  1. Agree minutes of previous AGM

  2. Update on council decision regarding former St. Peter’s site.

  3. Financial update

  4. Election of trustees and officers

  5. Proposed register of Writtle Wick as a community asset

  1. The minutes of NCCT’s September 2015 AGM were discussed & agreed and are available on the website at

2. Stephen Robinson described the update on council’s decisions regarding planning for the old St. Peter’s College site. Essex Education have decided that two special needs schools would be provided on the site and the rest to be sold for development.

The NCCT proposes to:

  • Gather community views on use of site according to needs

  • Consider housing, open spaces & community facilities

  • Create a credible business plan for a community hub to include space for local community, recreational facilities, changing facilities for sports associations, co-working space for local businesses, working space for charities

Stephen had agreed with Simon Carpenter (former head of St. Peters & trustee of Kids Inspire) that he could help with business plan writing. It was noted that County Cllr. John Spence had been instrumental in ensuring that the PRU did not relocate to the site. He could be a good advocate for NCCT plans.

It was agreed that NCCT’s plans could help meet community needs identified by the County and City Councils e.g. reducing unemployment, social exclusion, skill shortages.

Ideas already discussed include:

  • Co-working space in collaboration with Daniel Kenning from Ideas Hub

  • Collaborative work space with on-site creche for working parents in collaboration with Karen Whybro from Stay, Play & Work

In collaboration with The Ideas Hub in town, it has been suggested that NCCT might temporarily use space in Threadneedle House in Chelmsford City Centre to road-test the ideas of coworking & creche. The Ideas Festival taking place on Friday 11th November has already advertised to local community for taster day for co-working space.

3. Financial Update by Paul Greenland (treasurer)

Current financial overview stands at:

£1,000 loan (required minimum balance for a charity account)

£185 in bank from donations & some subscriptions for this year

No spending

NOTE: Membership year needs clarifying. It was agreed that this should probably be a couple of months before the AGM in future. Stephen Robinson suggested we discuss & decide at next Trustees meeting.

No questions.

4. Election of trustees

Ruth Hughes proposed (seconded by Sayed Rahman) all of the following:

As Trustees and Officers

Stephen Robinson: Chair

Karen Whybro: Secretary

Paul Greenland: Treasurer

Other Trustees:

Jude Deakin

Darren Moore

Jill Smith-Hughes

Stephen thanked Karen and Darren for agreeing to become Trustees.

5. Writtle Wick Family Centre

Stephen Robinson explained that the local Family Centres were being closed at Writtle Wick & Witham, to be amalgamated at Duke Street in early 2017. Writtle Wick has facilities that would make it ideal for use as a first community hub for NCCT to pursue its community objectives, including for creche and associated working space.

Stephen therefore proposed that NCCT nominate Writtle Wick as an Asset of Community Value to avoid Essex County Council selling the building to developers for at least 6 months. All agreed.

7:45pm AGM formally closed.

Post-meeting note: other Trust members were contacted after the AGM and gave their assent to Item 5.

8th August 2016

posted Aug 16, 2016, 10:45 AM by Stephen Robinson

Minutes of a Trustees meeting of the North Chelmsford Community Trust - held on 8th August 2016

Present: Stephen Robinson (SR - Chair), Rev Paul Greenland (PG - Treas), Jude Deakin (JD)

Apologies – Jill Smith Hughes (JSH)

Consultation plan

JD reported on the meeting she had attended at Chelmsford Council, with a consultant appointed by the council to manage the consultation with the public on the future of the St.Peter's site. JD was optimistic that this would be a meaningful process, with real opportunities for the community to contribute.

JD had emphasised the importance of involving young people and ensuring that any residential element reduced the impact of vehicle movements.

Around 2.5 hectares will be retained by Essex CC for special educational needs and the remaining 8.6 hectares sold off. The plan assumes Middle Block and all the outbuildings on the site will be demolished, but takes no final view on the original, redbrick North Block. 

Refurbishment could represent poor value for money, especially as it would attract VAT whereas new build would not. Views will be sought in the consultation. 

NCCT Business Plan

It was agreed that it was now urgent to complete the Trust's draft business plan for the site, so that it could be presented to the two councils to convince them to allocate land to the Trust for a community hub in the future development.

SR would contact again the local groups that expressed interest in the site to see if they are still interested e.g. Meadow Youth Football Club and the dance and drama groups.

JD agreed to speak to Chelmsford Leisure Services re. their view on the need for playing fields and play space on the site.

Additional Trustee

SR proposed Karen Whybro as an additional Trustee. Karen had offered her experience setting up a small business locally and in project management to the Trust. This was agreed.


It was agreed to convene the AGM on 14th September 2016 at St Andrew's Church.

14th July 2016

posted Aug 7, 2016, 6:40 AM by Stephen Robinson   [ updated Aug 21, 2016, 2:22 PM ]

A Draft Planning Brief for the future of the St.Peter's/Rainsford School site has been agreed by Chelmsford Council's Development Policy Committee.  It proposes a mix of uses for the future - a mix of special educational needs facilities, public open space, community use and housing.

There will now be 6-8 weeks public consultation starting soon. Chelmsford council will deliver a leaflet to houses nearby.

Download the draft brief here.

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