Planning permission set to be granted for Gresley Park on Stevenage outskirts

A view of the proposed Gresley Park site in Beane Valley, Stevenage. Picture: DANNY LOO

A view of the proposed Gresley Park site in Beane Valley, Stevenage. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Plans for 618 homes, a primary and pre-school, an 80-bed care home and up to 50 assisted living homes on countryside on the edge of Stevenage are recommended for approval by the planning authority’s case officer.

Developer Pigeon Land Ltd's plans also include 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 Council, has received 1,273 objections - concerns include traffic congestion, insufficient infrastructure and loss of the Beane Valley view - and an e-petition of 590 signatures.

But the council's case officer has recommended the application is approved, subject to conditions including Pigeon's financial contributions to infrastructure.

A spokesman for campaign group PACE - Protecting Aston's Community Existence - said: "Residents feel they have been ignored, disenfranchised and have no sense of ownership of the current plan."

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The case officer's report says the council "has considered the applicant's proposal in a positive and proactive manner" and it complies with the local authority's development plan and national policy, so permission should be granted.

A spokesman for Pigeon said: "The scheme has been carefully designed to create a high-quality landscape-led sustainable new neighbourhood, fully in accordance with the adopted East Herts Local Plan and key design principles set out within the East of Stevenage Masterplan Vision Document; following extensive community engagement.

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"Notwithstanding provision of much-needed new homes, including a significant proportion of affordable housing, the scheme has been designed to deliver all its requisite infrastructure.

"The current application for the scheme has been revised, in line with feedback, so its central access will become a bus only egress onto Gresley Way to support an extended new bus route serving the new neighbourhood hub.

"The addition of new on and off-site cycleway infrastructure and traffic signal-controlled crossing facilities will prioritise walking and cycling over the car in order to support a change in travel patterns for this highly sustainable new community."

A final decision is due to be made by the council's Development Management Committee on Wednesday, February 5.

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