Planning application submitted for 526 apartments at Stevenage Matalan site

PUBLISHED: 17:24 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:40 09 November 2020

The new homes would consist of one and two-bedroom apartments andThe Guinness Partnership plans to increase its initial number of afforable homes to up to half. Picture: The Guinness Partnership

The new homes would consist of one and two-bedroom apartments andThe Guinness Partnership plans to increase its initial number of afforable homes to up to half. Picture: The Guinness Partnership

Archant

An application to build 526 apartments on the former Matalan site in Stevenage has been submitted to the council, following a public consultation.

The Guinness Partnership has submitted its plans to build a new apartment block on the former Matalan site in Stevenage. Picture: The Guinness PartnershipThe Guinness Partnership has submitted its plans to build a new apartment block on the former Matalan site in Stevenage. Picture: The Guinness Partnership

Housing association The Guinness Partnership has submitted its plans for approval, after Stevenage Borough Council granted outline permission previously.

The site has long been identified by the council as suitable for redevelopment, and currently includes a retail store and associated car parking as well as adjacent car parking to the rear of the store and fronting Lytton Way.

In line with the outline planning permission, the application seeks to provide 526 one and two-bedroom apartments, along with 779sq.m of flexible commercial space, which will be located at ground floor level and activate street frontages.

The design by architects Maccreanor Lavington includes a 20-storey tower element on the north west corner of the site at Lytton Way, and lower perimeter buildings between four to nine-storeys along the rest of the site’s boundaries.

Plans for 526 new apartments on the former Matalan site in Stevenage include a twenty-storey tower. Picture: The Guinness PartnershipPlans for 526 new apartments on the former Matalan site in Stevenage include a twenty-storey tower. Picture: The Guinness Partnership

The tower will be a new distinctive landmark in Stevenage and the perimeter buildings frame two new landscaped courtyard gardens.

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Jon Milburn, group development director at Guinness, said: “The site presents a very important opportunity to transform an under-utilised brownfield site, which benefits from excellent links to the town centre, leisure facilities and public transport.

“We are grateful for the feedback we received from local people and organisations as we shaped these plans. One of the key things we heard consistently was the need to provide affordable homes for local people.

“We have inherited an existing planning permission which only allowed for around five per cent affordable housing – but in line with our 130-year history of meeting local community needs, we plan to increase this and provide up to half the homes as affordable.

“In working up the plans, we have been careful to ensure that we are sensitive to our nearest neighbours. We will continue to talk to our neighbours on issues like fencing and landscaping as well as the provision of public realm around the site.

“We also heard during consultation that providing an environmentally sustainable development was a priority for local people and we have addressed that through initiatives that promote ecology, biodiversity and energy efficiency.

“We have significantly reduced the car parking provision by 123 spaces in comparison with the outline permission.

“We also had a very positive dialogue with the Stevenage Cycle UK group to discuss improved cycle routes and on-site cycle storage. We very much share the council’s ambition to tackle the climate emergency and promote healthy lifestyles.”

This follows the news that an application for a major part of the Stevenage town centre regenation, SG1 – which would see 11 new buildings including residential, leisure, community, commercial and retail facilities - was approved by the council.


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