Controversial plan for 600 homes forges ahead

Artist's watercolour impression of a proposed new housing development on the outskirts of Stevenage

An artist's watercolour impression of the proposed new development - Credit: Courtesy of Instinctif Partners

Full planning permission for a controversial development of 600 homes will be sought this autumn, with the housebuilder promising 40 per cent will be affordable housing.

Outline planning permission for 618 homes, a primary and pre-school, an 80-bed care home and up to 50 assisted living homes on the outskirts of Stevenage was granted by East Herts Council in February last year despite fierce objection.

The development also includes shops, community facilities, a site for travelling showpeople and a spine road on the agricultural land to the east of Stevenage, on Gresley Way – between Fairlands Way and Lanterns Lane.

More than 1,200 people lodged formal objections to the plans with East Herts Council, with concerns including traffic congestion, insufficient infrastructure and loss of the Beane Valley view.

An appeal to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, to consider calling in the application to determine himself was also submitted but ultimately failed.

Housebuilder Redrow has now acquired the 93-acre site and says it is working towards submission of a detailed planning application to East Herts Council for the first phase of development in early autumn.

Redrow says it will deliver a mix of family homes and apartments, catering to local housing need, and 40 per cent of the new homes will be affordable.

A view of the Gresley Park development site in the Beane Valley on the outskirts of Stevenage

A view of the development site in the Beane Valley on the outskirts of Stevenage - Credit: Danny Loo

A spokesman for the housebuilder said: "Alongside new homes and community facilities, the development will unlock improvements to local highways infrastructure, as well as new on and off-site pedestrian and cycle routes, and a central bus-only route onto Gresley Way to support an extended bus service."

Tom Hughes, head of land at Redrow Eastern, said: “This latest acquisition perfectly reflects our strategy to deliver family homes in well-connected areas, meeting the strong demand for spacious characterful homes with easy access to green spaces.

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"Our proposed scheme will showcase Redrow’s placemaking credentials by creating a sustainable new community, with a mix of housing and on-site amenities.”