Housing plan to be submitted for Stevenage school site

Plans for a major housing development and residential care home on a school site will be submitted by county planners after the go-ahead was given by council leaders.

Herts County Council education and skills cabinet panel members agreed on Monday that applications to redevelop the grounds of Lonsdale Special School in Stevenage, which is due to close this summer, can be made to Stevenage Borough Council.

The four hectare site will be vacated when the school moves to new premises at the redeveloped Marriotts School in the town, a move expected to be completed by the beginning of the academic year in September.

County Hall made an application to the planning authority, Stevenage Borough Council, in October last year for 90 one to four bedroom properties on the eastern part of the site – 36 of which were affordable homes. But this was withdrawn to allow reconsideration of school place provision in the town.

The decision by the council this week means the plans can now be resubmitted as well a scheme drawn up for a residential home within the redevelopment. This could replace the HCC owned Wisden Court – a 48-resident care home which is coming to the end of its life, the authority said. If Wisden Court is demolished this would free up space for a possible future expansion of next door Trotts Hill Primary School to meet anticipated demand for extra school places in the town, a spokesman added.

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