SG1 regeneration officially under way as holding direction is lifted
- Credit: Mace
The holding direction for the largest development in Stevenage's regeneration, named SG1, has been lifted by the Secretary of State for Communities.
Stevenage Borough Council has welcomed the news, having granted planning permission for Mace’s development in October last year.
The development - which is the single largest within the 20-year, £1bn regeneration programme - is now under way in the town, has received public support and has been consulted on widely by its developers.
SG1 will deliver a range of new residential, commercial, leisure and retail facilities and will cover 14.5 acres of the town centre.
It will also bring 11 new buildings and include a new park in the heart of Stevenage along with a new Garden Square and Public Services Hub.
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Mace expects the development to provide an additional £38.6m in new spending power per annum from the residents of the 1,800 new homes it will deliver.
It will also create over 1,000 jobs, including 36 new construction apprenticeships that can boost the skills of local residents.
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Council leader Sharon Taylor said: “We are delighted that the Secretary of State has given the green light to this vital regeneration project.
"With COVID-19 bringing so many challenges to the country and to Stevenage, the regeneration of the town centre is critical to our recovery efforts.
"This project will create vital local jobs and opportunities, new public areas and green spaces, improved health and community facilities, new homes and places for people to enjoy.
"Our regeneration programme is well under way, with the finishing touches being put to the Town Square, the new bus station being built and the regeneration of part of Queensway also making great progress.
"These investments are needed now more than ever, so that we can create a vibrant town centre and hope for a brighter future.”
SG1 joins ongoing regeneration projects which form part of the wider regeneration plans for Stevenage, including the Town Square and Town Square North Block, Queensway North and the new bus interchange, all currently under construction.
Kevin Cowin, development director at Mace, said: "We’re delighted by the news that Stevenage Borough Council can now proceed to issue planning permission based on their decision last October to support the SG1 proposals.
"We look forward to continuing our partnership with the council to bring forward this exciting and ambitious project which will transform the town centre and create social and economic opportunities for the local community.’
"We will now focus on the phased delivery of the revitalisation at the heart of the town, which will be crucial for Stevenage as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to start work later this year and will keep everybody up-to-date with our progress."
A holding direction can restrict the relevant Local Planning Authority from granting planning permission essentially until the Secretary of State has had time to make a final decision on whether to call it in.
Further information about the regeneration programme is available at www.Stevenage-Even-Better.com.