Save Our Green campaign launched over Stevenage housing development plans

A campaign against the proposed housing development is gathering momentum. Picture: Nick Groves.

A campaign against the proposed housing development is gathering momentum. Picture: Nick Groves. - Credit: Archant

A Save Our Green campaign has been mounted after plans emerged for a housing development on a patch of land which has been a public amenity for more than 30 years.

A developer has submitted a planning application to Stevenage Borough Council for three detached houses to be built on land between Watercress Close, Coopers Close and Walnut Tree Close in Stevenage.

Tracy Kosmalski, who has lived in Watercress Close for 13 years, says residents are up in arms over the proposed development.

She said: “We have had meetings, involved a planning consultant, put flyers up and carried out leaflet drops.

“The open green space has been there since the mid 80s, when the development was built. It’s the only piece of open green space for a good distance and it’s well used. You would need to get in a car to go to another one.

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“We know new houses have to be built, but this is an inappropriate development.”

Residents have lodged formal objections with the council, with a decision on the application set to be made in early March.

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Paul and Fiona Brooks, of Watercress Close, said: “The green is valued and used by the local community. It is used daily throughout the year by people exercising their dogs, and in the warmer months the green is used as a play area for families.”

Mary and Mike Weller, also of Watercress Close, are concerned the proposed houses will not blend with the appearance of the existing properties in the surrounding area, with the proposed brick and tile colours, as well as the house style, “significantly different”.

Residents have instructed Barker Parry Town Planning Ltd to act on their behalf. In a letter to SBC, director Liz Fitzgerald writes: “The proposed development will result in the loss of a valued area of open space to the detriment of the character of the area and the amenity health and wellbeing of local residents.

“The development is cramped and contrived in its layout and the design of the properties distinctly at odds with the context of the surrounding area.

“The application is also considered to lack significant information in respect of ecology and highway safety.”

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

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