A LONG-awaited station will move a one step closer to reality after £200 million of grant funding is approved.

Essex County Council is set to approve the station for Beaulieu Park Station between Hatfield Peverel and Chelmsford.

Witham MP, Priti Patel welcomed the news saying it will give a "real boost" as the county recovers from the pandemic.

The station will have three platforms and aim to ease some of the congestion on the Great Eastern Mainline, a campaign spearheaded by Ms Patel for a number of years.

Ms Patel said: "Bringing new infrastructure to this part of Essex benefits the wider area and supports investment in housing, jobs and growth.

"These long-term plans are essential for our county to thrive and will give us a real boost as we look towards the future and our recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

"The new station at Beaulieu Park has been a long time coming and getting this delivered will help improve rail services and support the campaign for wider improvements to our rail infrastructure.”

The station is part of major infrastructure plans including funding to help with the Chelmsford North-East bypass.

The bypass will connect the Deres Bridge junction on the A131- near Great Leighs- with junction 19 of the A12 at Boreham.

Essex Highways say the £252m scheme is being build to ease congestion in Chelmsford and provide direct access to the station.

Bosses also hope it will cut journey times for the 7,000 Braintree residents who commute to work in Chelmsford every day.

The plans will be discussed by Essex County Council's cabinet next week.