A framework for the future: Stevenage’s long-awaited town centre revamp is back on track as guidelines are agreed
- Credit: Archant
Could the future look like this? A framework for the long-awaited revamp for Stevenage town centre has been given the green light as planners start the work of attracting the investors who will make it a reality.
Public and private sector partnership Stevenage First has given the blueprint – dubbed ‘Stevenage Central’ and with an aim to make the railway station an integral part of the town centre – the thumbs up and Stevenage Borough Council’s executive is expected to add its blessing tomorrow.
The first sight of artist’s impressions of what the future could hold include some familiar landmarks – but many existing buildings are missing.
The framework produced by consultants David Lock Associates outlines the opportunities available to regenerate the town centre by attracting inward investment and development, and aims to rekindle the 1960s spirit when Stevenage was bright, modern and cutting edge.
Stevenage First chairman Andrew Percival, who is also a board member of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Stevenage is rich in possibilities so this is an incredibly important and exciting programme.
“The framework presents an ambitious plan but we are confident that this will provide the planning guidance needed to deliver the best outcomes.”
Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor, who is also a Stevenage First board member, says the framework’s vision has been tested and is deliverable.
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She added: “While there will be challenges, we’re focused on ensuring that Stevenage attracts strong inward investment and becomes a destination town with a strong mix of retail, leisure and residential offerings.”
Councillor Derrick Ashley, Herts County Council’s lead member for planning, said the framework could be “transformative in realising the aspirations of Stevenage residents.”
He added: “This presents a smart and forward-thinking approach to identifying key investment opportunities for the public and private sectors.”
Stevenage Central covers the area from the leisure park to Town Centre Gardens and from the start of the Old Town to Six Hills Way, with the railway station at its heart.
It aims to make Stevenage a destination town centre with a wide variety of shops and leisure providers.
There would be more people living in the town centre, a planned ‘public sector hub’ with library, drop-in health centre and access to council services, and top-class public transport links.