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Urban village

Garrison masterplan map With the construction of a new Garrison in Colchester, some 134 hectares of land previously occupied by the MoD are being transformed into an urban village. The majority of the 2600 new homes that have been earmarked for this development will be built close to the town centre around the Abbey Fields, with other redevelopment sites to the south eastern corner of the new Garrison development.

Examples of the new housing created at the former Garrison site are shown below.

A distinct local character

As the former home of the Army Garrison in Colchester, this area has a distinct identity. As well as its many listed and historically interesting buildings, the area is also home to Abbey Fields, 29 hectares of open parkland including a sports pavilion, running track, various pitches and a number of large mature trees.

The aim of the new development is to enhance the existing character of the area by following the structure of the roads, open spaces, landscape and retaining and reusing buildings wherever possible.

Taylor Wimpey are the lead developer of the proposed urban village site which is anticipated will evolve over a period of 10-12 years.

Key projects to be delivered within this regeneration area include;

• New health centre

• New primary school

• Public open space

• Sport and recreation facilities

• Colchester Town Station improvement

• Pedestrian / cycle links to Town Centre

It is likely that employment generated in this area will be in business and services, with some retail work, but this will be on a small scale with no major industrial or commercial employer. Due to the proximity of the town centre and rail connections, the northern area may attract people wishing to run their own business from home.

New housing in Urban Village New housing in Urban Village 2 New housing in Urban Village 3

Roman Circus

Garrison mosaic Archaeological excavations undertaken within the Colchester Garrison site have identified the remains of a Roman chariot racing track or circus. Although circuses are known across the Roman world, the circus at Colchester is the first to be positively identified in Britain.

It is believed that the Colchester Roman Circus was around 450m in length and some 75m wide. The starting gates appear to have been located at the west end of the structure with the semi-circular end to the east.  It has been anticipated that the circus had a seating capacity of around 12,500-15,000. 

The remains of the circus are of national significance and the site has now been given Scheduled Ancient Monument status by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Plans are now underway to create a new visitor experience at the site.