Major application submitted for 1,500 new homes on land west of Stevenage

Stevenage development on land west of town

Land west of Stevenage had been earmarked for development in Stevenage Borough Council's Local Plan - Credit: Taylor Wimpey

A planning application for 1,500 new homes, a primary school, local centre and more, has been submitted to Stevenage Borough Council - with land to the west of the town earmarked for the project. 

The application by Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes relates to a site which has been allocated within Stevenage Borough Council's Local Plan. 

aerial view of plans for west of stevenage

Plans for 1,500 new homes, a care home, primary school and pavilion for land west of Stevenage have been submitted to the borough council - Credit: Taylor Wimpey

The developers are seeking full planning permission for part of the Potters Green project, which includes the erection of 390 dwellings - including 117 affordable houses and four self-build plots - a cricket or football pitch and pavilion, public open space and children's playground.

It would also bring improvements to existing access routes across the A1(M) via Six Hills Way, Bessemer Drive, Redcar Drive and Meadway, and highway improvements along Chadwell Road. 

Meadway Playing fields

The proposals includes plans for a new car park and pavilion at Meadway Playing Fields - Credit: Google

The land is situated across from the A1(M), with proposed access through Meadway - off Redcar Drive - and Bessemer Drive.

The major 'hybrid' application also seeks outline planning permission - to establish whether the scale of the development would be acceptable to the planning authority before a fully detailed proposal is submitted - for up to 1,110 dwelling units, 30 per cent of which will be affordable or self-build plots.

The outline application also proposes a principle employment area, a residential care home with up to 72 beds, local centre, a primary school and more.

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Assistant director for planning and regulation at Stevenage Borough Council, Zayd Al-Jawad, said: "The council has received an application for development of land to the west of Stevenage from Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes.

"The application is for 1,500 new homes, including 30 per cent affordable homes, along with sports facilities, open spaces, transport and access arrangements, a primary school and a local centre. This application relates to a site which has been allocated within the Stevenage Borough Local Plan.

"This is a major application, and will be subject to extensive review and consultation with residents and statutory organisations in the months ahead. 

"The application can be viewed online through the council’s planning portal, and further information on how residents can provide feedback on the application.

"It will be reviewed by the council’s Planning and Regulation department, and is expected to be considered by the planning and development committee later in the year."

Stevenage Borough Council has adopted its Local Plan, outlining how the town will be developed to 20

Stevenage Borough Council's Local Plan was adopted in 2019 - Credit: SBC

Submitted along with Taylor Wimpey's application was a statement of community involvement, which states it "recognises the importance of listening and responding to local residents". To that end, a public consultation event was held on the Vision, Framework Masterplan and emerging detailed proposals in September 2020.

Due to the pandemic, a virtual exhibition for Potters Green was developed on a dedicated website, which was advertised through a community newsletter.

It was sent to approximately 300 properties and 120 businesses in the vicinity of the site. Members of the public were also invited to submit their comments on the proposals over a three-week period following the website launch in September.

It also states its vision: "West Stevenage will be a new neighbourhood with a great sense of place and its own distinct identity.

"It will be a development that embraces, the principles of healthy living, sustainability and water sensitive design with high quality and well-designed buildings and public realm." 

The land was released from the green belt in the council's District Plan (Second Review) to allow for a large-scaled residential-led scheme. The District Plan was replaced by the Local Plan 2011-2031 that was adopted in 2019 .

The Local Plan includes scheme to redevelop the town centre - many of which are under way - and delivering 7,600 homes.

It was first submitted to central government for consideration in July 2016, but Stevenage's MP Stephen McPartland requested it was placed on hold in November 2017, arguing it failed to adequately regenerate the town centre.

By January 2019, the holding direction was still in place, and the borough council mounted a legal challenge and it was lifted.

The public consultation will close on Friday, May 7. To view the application, go to Stevenage Borough Council's planning portal, and search 21/00356/FPM.

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