Stevenage Save Our Green campaign gains support from council’s deputy leader

Councillor Joan Lloyd is backing the Save Our Green campaign. Picture: SBC.

Councillor Joan Lloyd is backing the Save Our Green campaign. Picture: SBC. - Credit: Archant

A campaign against a proposed housing development on a patch of land which has been a public amenity for more than 30 years is being supported by the deputy leader of the planning authority.

A planning application submitted by a developer to Stevenage Borough Council for three detached houses to be built on land between Watercress Close, Coopers Close and Walnut Tree Close in Stevenage has triggered a Save Our Green campaign by residents living nearby.

Those against the development have held meetings, put up flyers, carried out leaflet drops and employed a planning consultant.

As well as the loss of a well-used green space, there are concerns surrounding highway safety and that the new houses will look cramped and will not blend with the appearance of the existing properties.

Now Councillor Joan Lloyd, who is deputy leader of Stevenage Borough Council and represents Bandley Hill and Poplars, has raised objections to the proposed development and asked for the planning application to be called in. This means it must be discussed in public and is expected to be determined by the Planning and Development Committee in early March. The developer and a spokesman for the objectors will also each have three minutes to put their case forward at the committee meeting.

Councillor Lloyd said: “The area they want to build on was designated as open space in the original layout in about 1985 and has been an open space all of that time. It serves the local population and is much-used.”

She said SBC would have granted planning permission for the existing housing estate based on this green space being designated amenity land.

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Mrs Lloyd also has concerns regarding highway safety. She said: “One of the properties has vehicles reversing onto Walnut Tree Close because there is no space on the site for vehicles to turn around. The access is on the inside of a bend and there have been accidents on this road in the past.”

Mrs Lloyd does not sit on the Planning and Development Committee and therefore will not have a vote on the matter.

The developer, Daria Rusu, has previously told the Comet: “We will address the key issues raised by members of the public formally and directly to the case officer in due course.”