Approval for 3,600 homes to be built in Stevenage

OUTLINE planning permission for 3,600 homes to be built west of Stevenage has been granted by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. MP John Denham s decision was announced yesterday (Tuesday) and includes permission for shops, and l

OUTLINE planning permission for 3,600 homes to be built west of Stevenage has been granted by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

MP John Denham's decision was announced yesterday (Tuesday) and includes permission for shops, and leisure, social and community amenities, as well as provision of infrastructure, highways and public transport facilities on land west of the A1(M) at Stevenage.

It follows the submission of two planning applications in 2001 by the West of Stevenage Consortium for permission to build 3,600 and 5,000 homes. These applications were called in by the Secretary of State in 2002, and a public inquiry was launched.

In 2005, the Secretary of State refused planning permission for the development of 5,000 homes, but indicated permission for a development of 3,600 dwellings may be granted subject to concerns about the delivery of supporting infrastructure being addressed.


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Due to the size and complexity of the development, and the scale of the infrastructure to be provided, this has been a long process.

Tim Akeroyd, chairman of the Campaign Against Stevenage Expansion group, said: "It comes as no surprise they have got this in before the general election. When we have seen the decision we will consider whether or not we will challenge it. That's certainly an option - you can't have massive delays and then pretend nothing has changed in the intervening years."

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Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council and Labour's parliamentary candidate, called it "an exciting development" which "aims to deliver 1,375 affordable homes for people in housing need in our area". She added: "It will also provide housing for skilled workers that our key businesses in Stevenage have been asking for.

"This decision has been made with infrastructure, sustainability and impact to the surrounding area in mind. I am sure the development will be a huge boost to the town and will ensure the redevelopment of the town centre and Lister Hospital."

Barbara Follett, MP for Stevenage, added: "This is great news for Stevenage, especially in today's difficult economic climate. It will bring much needed investment, jobs and homes into the town."

Mr Denham's decision letter is expected to be posted at www.communities.gov.uk today (Wednesday).

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