'Developer of Gresley Park on Stevenage outskirts must not fall foul of sewers upgrade'
PUBLISHED: 08:32 29 August 2019
More than 1,100 people have objected to plans for 618 homes, a primary and pre-school, an 80-bed care home and up to 50 assisted living homes on swathes of countryside on the outskirts of Stevenage.
Developer Pigeon Land Ltd also wants to create shops, community facilities and a site for travelling showpeople on the agricultural land to the east of Stevenage, off Gresley Way - between Fairlands Way and Lanterns Lane.
The planning authority, East Herts District Council, has received 1,172 objections - with concerns including traffic congestion, insufficient infrastructure and loss of the Beane Valley view.
Now Thames Water has waded in, saying the current sewage infrastructure can only support 150 new homes.
It says: "Thames Water is currently working with the developer to identify and deliver the off-site foul water infrastructure needed to service the development.
"Some capacity exists within the foul water network to service 150 dwellings, but upgrades will be required to avoid sewage flooding and pollution incidents."
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Roy Falder, Aston Parish Council's clerk, says the sewer flows through Aston End and has "a history of very bad flooding with foul water when there is a storm", happening six times in the last 20 years.
EHDC's environment health department has recommended planning permission is refused due to concerns over air quality, noise and contaminated land.
More than 800 people have joined Facebook group Say NO to Gresley Park and more than 1,000 people have joined the Gresley Park Interest Group.
While Stevenage Borough Council did not object to "a well-planned residential extension to the east of Stevenage" during preparation of the East Herts District Plan, it says adequate infrastructure is imperative.
Manor ward councillor, Robin Parker, is concerned "Stevenage will be expected to provide the services required by the new residents and will suffer extra overcrowding on the roads".
NHS England has asked for almost £500,000 from Pigeon for GP provision, with an influx of 1,400 new patients expected.
A Pigeon spokesman previously said: "The planning application has been submitted in accordance with the adopted East of Stevenage Local Plan allocation and will deliver a high quality landscape-led scheme. Comments on the scheme will be considered during the application process."
To comment visit publicaccess.eastherts.gov.uk/online-applications using reference 3/19/0118/OUT.