Campaign to save green from homes development
A campaign is underway to try and force Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) to drop plans to build homes on what was once a community green. Fifteen years ago SBC erected 10 temporary homes on Longmeadow Green. Now the homes are empty and about to be demolish
A campaign is underway to try and force Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) to drop plans to build homes on what was once a community green.
Fifteen years ago SBC erected 10 temporary homes on Longmeadow Green. Now the homes are empty and about to be demolished to make way for a housing project.
But one local resident is leading a push to have the plans thrown out after learning they existed, claiming residents had not been told of the project.
Tony Glanfield, 67, who lives near the green in Oakfields Close, says SBC is reneging on a promise it made to residents that when the temporary homes were removed it would be restored to its original condition for the community.
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This week Mr Glanfield met with an official from the council and was given copies of the proposed plans for 16 houses and six flats for the green.
"Residents never complained when the council took the green because we were told the homes would be temporary. Now these homes are going we want our green back," said Mr Glanfield.
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"This was once an area for the whole community to enjoy and we even had parties there. We were given a promise by the council and want them to stand by it.
"The green should never have been selected for mobile homes in the first place. It was like putting up a Berlin Wall here. After, school children could not meet and socialise; it was unsafe to play in the street so they stayed at home. It is a mile and a half to the nearest park with a main road to cross.
"If the green is returned to what it was, the local community would regain what was taken from use many years ago. The cost of returning the green to what it was would be cheaper than the cost of building 16 houses and six flats."
Mr Glanfield added: "I am now calling a meeting inviting the local community here for their views and I am sure they will be 100 per cent behind a campaign to get our green back."
Cllr John Gardner, deputy leader of SBC, said: "There are currently 10 mobile homes on the site which have provided temporary accommodation for the last 15 years. These temporary houses are no longer required.
"We understand that some local residents believe that they were promised that all of the site would revert to being open space. We can find no record of this.
"We expect shortly to receive a planning application from a registered social landlord for a development of 22 social housing units at Longmeadow Green. However, it is anticipated that the plans will retain the best of the open space and trees on the site.
"At present we have approximately 5,000 people on our housing waiting list, so the homes proposed for Longmeadow Green are much needed."
Mr Glanfield responded to Cllr Gardner's comments saying: "It was a verbal agreement. We wanted it in writing but the council wouldn't do it. We will fight this.