Construction on 250 new homes near Stevenage to begin in autumn

East Herts District Council has approved a plan to build 253 new houses on a site which could feature up to 618 homes soon

East Herts District Council has approved a plan to build 253 new houses on a site which could feature up to 618 homes in the future - Credit: Redrow

More than 250 new homes are set to be built on the edge of Stevenage.

On Tuesday (August 23), East Herts District Council handed housebuilding firm Redrow permission to press ahead the first phase of a new development to the east of the town.

These houses will be constructed off Gresley Way in a 93-acre site named Hazel Park.

Two hundred and fifty three homes are set to be built, with Redrow having secured outline planning consent for up to 618 for the entire site in December 2020.

The 618-home plan also includes draft plans for a primary school and pre-school, one 80-bed care home and six self-build plots in the future.

Hazel Park will include homes and apartments ranging from two to five bedrooms, 40 per cent of which will be marketed as "affordable".

Redrow has confirmed construction is set to begin on the first 253 homes this autumn, with houses introduced into the market from January 2023.

Sales director at Redrow Eastern, Kerry McCoubrey, said: "We are excited to be delivering the first phase of homes in Stevenage.

"This is a significant milestone for the business, meeting local housing need and providing a wide range of options in terms of size and affordability, catering for a diverse mix of buyers across the property ladder.

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"Benefitting from excellent connections and surrounded by an abundance of green open spaces, we anticipate that Hazel Park will be an incredibly popular place to buy a home and we look forward to starting construction work."

A Redrow spokesperson added the site is "favourably located" - near the A1 and with a direct 24-minute connection between Stevenage railway station and London King's Cross.

Prospective homeowners and tenants can register their interest in the site online: https://www.redrow.co.uk/developments/hazel-park-stevenage-432745

During the planning process, residents raised concerns about both the approved 253-home plan and the original 618-home outline application.

Aston Parish Council sent a letter of objection during the planning process during the 253-home "phase one" process.

It read: "Aston Parish Council are opposed to this application on principle, as the development is to be built on what was vital green belt land between Aston Parish and Stevenage.

"It was removed from Green Belt status by EHDC when the current plan came in, even though there was ample development land in the district."

A resident in Conifer Close, Stevenage said she had concerns over traffic on the "already busy" Gresley Way - which runs along the eastern edge of Stevenage between the A602 near Shephall and Martins Wood.

She noted that a new school may be required during phase one of the development, rather than later on when detailed plans for the remainder of the homes are drawn up.

She wrote: "If a school is not going to be built in phase one, where are the children going to go to school?

"Walkern, one would presume, as this is an EHDC (East Herts District Council) development - not Stevenage.

"Nowhere in this plan has there been consideration for secondary education."

Education and roads management are under the control of the county council rather the Stevenage and East Herts district-level councils.

Hertfordshire County Council did not make any submissions to EHDC on education.

A Hertfordshire Highways statement from March 2022 reads: "The details submitted pertaining to the highways layout are acceptable."

Stevenage Borough Council did not object to the Redrow homes pressing ahead with phase one of the scheme.

Against the initial application for up to 618 homes, the council raised concerns about traffic noise on Gresley Way and the width of the B1037 Stevenage Road between Walkern and Chells.

On education, Stevenage Borough Council wrote in 2019: "The Stevenage Borough Local Plan, and any new schools being provided within the borough, do not make allowance for additional needs from outside the borough.

"As such, the necessary infrastructure would need to be provided within EHDC and extensive consultation should be undertaken with Hertfordshire County Council as Education Authority regarding future provision."