Work begins on Gresley Park site for 600 homes

Tree stumps off Gresley Way in Stevenage

Contractors have been clearing sections of the Gresley Park site in Stevenage - Credit: Supplied

Preparatory works for a controversial development of more than 600 homes have begun.

Outline planning permission for 618 homes, a primary and pre-school, an 80-bed care home and up to 50 assisted living homes on the outskirts of Stevenage was granted by East Herts Council in February last year despite fierce objection.

The development also includes shops, community facilities, a site for travelling showpeople and a spine road on the agricultural land to the east of Stevenage, on Gresley Way – between Fairlands Way and Lanterns Lane.

Housebuilder Redrow acquired the 93-acre site in July this year and is expected to submit an application for full planning permission shortly.

Full planning permission has already been granted for construction of the spine road, site accesses, drainage infrastructure and ancillary works.

Landscape of Gresley Park in Stevenage

The plan is to build more than 600 homes on the land off Gresley Way in Stevenage - Credit: Supplied

Planning permission was granted despite more than 1,200 people lodging formal objections to the plans with East Herts Council, with concerns including traffic congestion, insufficient infrastructure and loss of the Beane Valley view.

Recent activity on the site, including the felling of some trees, has caused concern. One resident said: "So very sad. All we hear about is climate change and then we just chop a load of trees down."

 Another said: "They don't care that they are taking away homes from our wildlife and destroying nature."

A third added: "I'm very concerned about the wildlife."

Trees felled at Gresley Park in Stevenage

Redrow says all maintenance on the Gresley Park site in Stevenage was supervised by an ecologist - Credit: Supplied

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A spokesman for Redrow said: “At Redrow, we are committed to biodiversity and, through our three-year partnership with The Wildlife Trusts, have created a dedicated, industry-leading strategy to improve the biodiversity across our communities.

“Redrow recently undertook some minor maintenance works on the Land East of Stevenage development site, which included cutting back and tidying the bridleway access off Gresley Way.

"The maintenance works also required the removal of a small section of landscaping close to an existing access onto the site.

“Redrow liaised with the relevant authorities before scheduling these works, and all maintenance was completed under the supervision of an ecologist. No further maintenance works are planned at present.”