*We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.

skip to main content

Corporate blog


Share this page



 Building good partnerships with developers is essential in helping the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) ensure delivery of new homes across the country. This was fully demonstrated with our successful long-term working relationship with Countryside when the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Patricia Hughes recently came to visit St Luke’s Park in Runwell, Essex.

Successful partnerships play a vital role in placemaking - by Mike Goulding of the HCA

The guided tour, with representatives from the HCA (including myself) and Countryside provided the Mayor with a great opportunity to view the three new show homes and gain an insight into how St Luke’s Park will benefit the community and Chelmsford as a whole.

The former Runwell Hospital site was originally built in the 1930’s, providing mental health services until it was closed in 2010. Since then our two organisations have striven to work closely together, to ensure the delivery of a scheme that continues to serve the community. In total, 575 much needed new homes will be delivered as well as up to 2,800 sqm of non-residential space, which will be used for commercial spaces and a community centre. There are also plans for a brand new primary school and significant improvements to the nearby A132 and Runwell Sports & Social Club.

The scheme has already proved popular with buyers, with the first phase of the scheme attracting record levels of interest and demand from home buyers when it launched in April this year. Since then momentum has continued at a pace to push on with the new energy-efficient homes set within the site’s 200 acres of mature landscaped grounds.

Our work with St Luke’s Park follows on from our successful partnership with Countryside to transform the former site of the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham into Britain's first and only strategically planned island community, St Mary's Island. We have worked with Countryside since the mid 1990’s and there are currently over 1,300 new homes at St Mary’s Island with a mix of downsizers, families and young couples now calling it home. This sustainable community also includes a doctors’ surgery, community centre, church and primary school, as well as approximately 20 acres of open space, linked by footpaths and cycleways.

Here, the last phase of new homes has recently been released at Azure where Parklands and Water’s Edge, the first collections of properties benefit from some of the best views across the River Medway to the picturesque Upnor Castle, as well as green open-space. For further information about the HCA please visit our website.

Mike Goulding,
Senior Area Manager, HCA

Share this page

About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

News subscription

Select the alerts that you would like to receive

Your contact details

First name:*
Last name:*
Email address:*

* denotes required fields

You can change your preferences or unsubscribe at any time.