Plan for seven high-rise tower blocks in Stevenage prompts raft of concerns

PUBLISHED: 08:47 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:47 09 August 2019

View of play space and central garden looking toward the proposed apartments.

View of play space and central garden looking toward the proposed apartments.

Archant

Plans to build seven high-rise blocks of flats in Stevenage have been met with horror by people living in the town.

View of the proposed development from Chequers Bridge, looking south over the railway line.View of the proposed development from Chequers Bridge, looking south over the railway line.

Last week the Comet reported how housebuilder Hill Residential Limited intends to submit a planning application for the Icon site - known locally as the eagle building - on Lytton Way which, if approved by Stevenage Borough Council, will create 574 flats in blocks up to 18 storeys high.

The plans have prompted outrage from Stevenage residents - with concerns surrounding increased traffic, lack of parking, inappropriate homes for families, a lack of affordable homes, and that the development will look unsightly.

Reacting to the Comet story, one woman said: "It's a dreadful idea and a blight on the landscape. It would be an absolute atrocity if approved."

A Hitchin resident has described the proposed tower blocks as "monolithic carbuncles" and a Stevenage woman added: "We need family homes and bungalows, not high-rise ugly flats creating a concrete jungle."

Site layout showing location of apartment blocks. Site layout showing location of apartment blocks.

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One resident states children need gardens, and growing up in a high-rise is not a good idea, emphasising the need for more family homes in Stevenage.

And there are concerns surrounding inadequate infrastructure for the development. A worried resident said: "What about the schools for the children in these houses and flats? The schools around are already at full capacity."

Hill proposes to create 274 parking spaces and provision for 587 cycles, but one man pointed out: "274 parking spaces for 574 flats is a disaster. There is already nowhere to park next door in Monument Court, or the surrounding roads."

The Icon site in Stevenage, where there are plans to build seven high-rise flat blocks.The Icon site in Stevenage, where there are plans to build seven high-rise flat blocks.

A minority of people reacting to the story on the Comet's Facebook page have backed the plans.

One person said: "For all you moaners against development, would you rather see Stevenage crumble and become even more unsavoury, or would you actually like to see it move forward?"
Another added: "The town needs more housing, but we don't have an infinite amount of space."

The Comet contacted property agent Savills, representing Hill, but a comment was not received at the time of going to press.

Hill intends to submit its planning application this summer and, if approved, aims to start construction next summer.

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