Stevenage town centre regeneration: SG1 development given green light
- Credit: Archant
A major part of the Stevenage town centre regeneration, named SG1, has been approved by Stevenage Borough Council’s planning and development committee.
The plans, which were approved on Tuesday evening, will bring forward the development covering 14.5 acres of the town centre and introducing 11 new buildings including residential, leisure, community, commercial and retail facilities.
Mace, Stevenage Borough Council’s development partner, says this landmark proposal will create a new heart for Stevenage, and serve the needs of residents and businesses for decades to come.
With a focus on inclusivity, environmental sustainability and wellbeing, SG1 will create new streets, squares and public realm as well as improving pedestrian and cycle connections across the town.
The first phase of SG1 includes the demolition of Swingate House on Danestrete and the former police station on Southgate.
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Councillor John Gardner, portfolio holder for regeneration at Stevenage Borough Council, said: “This is another major milestone in our ongoing 20-year, £1bn regeneration programme and marks a really significant moment for the town. We all know that the town has needed regeneration for some time and we are now delivering real change in the town.
“The plans for the SG1 programme that Mace has brought forward will have an enormous impact on the town both now and in the future and are likely to encourage even further investment. We would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone involved so far, this really is testament to everyone’s hard work.”
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Subject to the outcome of a review by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, construction will now be scheduled to begin in the coming months, joining ongoing regeneration projects which form part of the wider regeneration plans for Stevenage.
These include the Town Square and Town Square North Block, Queensway North and the new bus interchange, all currently under construction.
Mace’s development director Kevin Cowin added: “We’re delighted to receive the strong support of the council, and this marks the culmination of a huge amount of work by our team.
“We have developed an excellent partnership with the council since we were selected in February 2018 to bring forward this exciting town centre regeneration.
“We’d like to thank the officers and elected members of Stevenage Borough Council for the proactive approach they have taken in pursuing the vision for their town and we will continue to work closely with the council to transform the town centre, creating social and economic opportunities for the local community.
“This is the largest town centre regeneration plan in eastern England and a project that Stevenage deserves. We know from our extensive engagement and consultation with local people last year that residents and businesses are very eager to see SG1 become a reality.
“High streets and town centres face major challenges which have been amplified by the COVID-19 epidemic. We are confident that a review at national level will conclude that SG1 is even more crucial now for the revitalisation of the heart of the town so that it can look forward to a better, brighter future.”
Council leader Sharon Taylor said: “This is a really fantastic moment for Stevenage and we’re delighted that such a major scheme has been approved. When we started this journey we aimed as high as possible and working with world-class firms like Mace will help us to achieve our goals and make the town an even better place for people to live, work, play and relax.
“Mace’s proposals are truly transformational and we can’t wait for work to begin. This year has been challenging for everyone, but hopefully this announcement, combined with the progress being made on our other ongoing developments, will give everyone cause for optimism.”