Application submitted for multi-purpose events space on former bus station

Stevenage former bus station

The planning application submitted features a large multi-purpose events space at one end, surrounded by seating and canopies - Credit: Stevenage Even Better

An application to transform the former bus station in Stevenage has been submitted to Stevenage Borough Council, after almost 300 responded to calls for suggestions on how to use the space. 

The community was asked to complete a survey and share views on what leisure activities, events and food facilities should be provided in the space.

There was support for music performances with other suggestions for a community area including dance shows, comedy performances, markets, parks and art exhibitions.

A high proportion of those who responded would like to see ice skating or roller skating as part of the leisure offering, with other ideas including arcade games and community yoga.

The majority of respondents would like to see street food on offer.

In response to feedback, the planning application submitted features a large multi-purpose events space at one end, surrounded by seating and canopies. This will allow spectators to enjoy the area in most weathers, including impromptu performances.

Green space, seating and lighting are proposed to act as a ‘pop-up park’ with informal play features and natural seating areas that face the performance area.

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If approved, construction works are expected to begin in the summer.

Cllr John Gardner at Stevenage Borough Council said: “I would like to thank everyone who shared their views with us. This is an important space for the town and we want to continue to work together as we move these designs forward.

"Stevenage town centre is going through a really exciting period of change, and the work we are doing on this particular site reflects our community spirit and will increase the time people spend in the town centre, in turn supporting our businesses”.

The current station will close when the new Bus Interchange opens and the council will be delivering a first phase of works to begin to transform the area.

Although the wider redevelopment of the current bus station site will happen later as part of the SG1 masterplan, when these works begin, it is hoped some of these ideas are integrated into permanently.