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.

24th May 2016

posted May 24, 2016, 4:39 AM by NorthChelmsford CommunityTrust

Essex CC Education Department is still debating what exactly they want to happen on the Fox Crescent site. They are in discussions with Chelmsford City Council Planning Department about what is likely to be acceptable in planning terms on the site.

There will be a document published for consultation later in the summer. This Trust will continue to push for a strong community legacy on the site as part of any plans.

2 March 2016

posted Mar 2, 2016, 9:25 AM by Stephen Robinson

The Trustee meeting for 20th January 2016 was cancelled due to lack of business and nothing of note has happened since then.

25th November 2015

posted Mar 2, 2016, 9:20 AM by Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson was invited to a meeting at Essex CC with the Cabinet Member for Education Cllr Ray Gooding, an Education Officer and a Property Officer.

Officers are still working on a business case for three, separate but small, schools for special needs on the site. It will be important that the users of the three units are kept separate, especially as some of the children attending the Autistic Spectrum School will be living on site Monday-Friday.

Architects have been asked to come up with a design that inspires and lifts the site, to give a real sense of place.

Essex CC officers will be meeting with Chelmsford Planning Officers within 10 days to discuss the planning brief for the site.

It was hoped to get ECC's Capital Programme Board to sign off the scheme in March/April, then to Cabinet and then to a planning application in late 2016 and procurement in 2017.

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