Consultation opens on plans for 200 flats on Office Outlet site

An artist's impression of how the flats would look on the former Office Outlet site in Stevenage

An artist's impression of how the flats would look on the former Office Outlet site in Stevenage - Credit: Q Square

A consultation is under way to demolish a former Staples and Office Outlet store in Stevenage town centre, to make way for more than 200 flats.

Developers Q Square Group have submitted an application to Stevenage Borough Council to tear down the current building, and replace it with a part-15 storey building.

The plans will include 226 flats, as well as floor space for commercial units on the ground floor.

The building, off Fairlands Way, was granted permission as a wholesale market in October 2020 but has remained empty, leading to developers to put forward plans for demolition.

Developers have put forward a design which varies between nine and 15 storeys. The plans show the 13 and 15-storey blocks placed on the east and west of the site respectively.

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The new development would include 142 one-bedroom apartments, 72 two-bedroom apartments and 12 three-bed units.

Two roof terraces, one per each core, are located on the ninth floor to offer views across Stevenage, as well as a ‘podium garden’ available on the first floor level.  Private amenity space will also be available to the “majority of flats”.

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The planning statement argues that the design and size of the flats will be in keeping with other projects under way in Stevenage town centre as part of the regeneration project, and will “enhance the surrounding townscape”.

It also reveals that the plans will include space for 38 car parking spaces, including 10 blue badged spaces, but argues that its sustainable location reduces the need for private cars.

The developers’ statement adds: “It is not anticipated that future residents will rely on private cars and this has the benefit of minimising traffic impacts.”

Residential development company Leo Homes, who are also named on the planning statement, reached out to nearby residents in May to inform them of the plans, which were finalised and submitted last week.

If approved, the developers are also committing to improvements to the public space around the site, including to the existing underpass in Fairlands Way.

A consultation on the plans opened on September 15, with a decision expected before the end of the year.

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