Council confirms Stevenage Old Town car parks 'may be redeveloped'

Primett Road car park in Stevenage Old Town

The car parks in Primett Road, behind Stevenage Old Town High Street, may be developed, Stevenage Borough Council has confirmed - Credit: Google Maps

Concerns have been raised that the car parks behind Stevenage's High Street in the Old Town have been earmarked for development.

A group of residents have highlighted a Stevenage Borough Council report that says: "The redevelopment of the town centre will require the rationalisation of existing car parking provision.

"The peripheral areas of the town centre are dominated by large, surface car parks and it will be vital to make more efficient use of this land.

"Similarly, the large surface car parks to the rear of the Old Town High Street [on Primett Road] provide opportunities for more development.

"New facilities will be supported in these areas to facilitate change."

The council has confirmed "the Old Town car park may be redeveloped", but that this is not part of the Stevenage Borough Local Plan up to 2030 and is not being "promoted" by the local authority.

Old Town business owners campaigned last year to retain free parking in the High Street, after a bid to make Stevenage Hertfordshire's first Sustainable Travel Town (STT) threatened its removal.

The campaigners were concerned the loss of free parking would deter customers, but the council signposted people to the car parks at the rear of the High Street.

It was announced in October that Stevenage would become a STT - with a package of measures to encourage walking, cycling and public transport - without the removal of free parking.

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A member of the group who highlighted the potential development said: "If we lose those two car parks to development, which is possible, it makes the free, front-of-shop parking even more essential to the success of the High Street shops.

"This confirms our concerns about the potential loss of the free High Street parking, and all the concerns of businesses who stood up to fight to save it with the ‘No’ campaign. Our campaign has been fully justified."

A spokesperson for the council said: “Refreshing and redeveloping areas within the town play an important transformational role in ensuring Stevenage is an attractive area that people want to live, work and visit.

"The 2016 report highlights the Old Town car park may be redeveloped. However, this is not in our Local Plan which shows the development within the town up until 2030, nor is it being promoted by the council for redevelopment.”