Shape of things to come

STEVENAGE, Britain s first post-war new town, could be about to receive a makeover. Better quality shops, improved public transport, new museum and library facilities and high-density town centre accommo-dation are the highlights of the new £500m town cen

STEVENAGE, Britain's first post-war new town, could be about to receive a makeover.

Better quality shops, improved public transport, new museum and library facilities and high-density town centre accommo-dation are the highlights of the new £500m town centre refurbishment.

On Saturday an exhibition opens which unveils plans showing there will be around 900 new apartments, many of which will take the place of The Towers in Southgate which will be demolished. There will also be around 90 new shops.

There will be a dramatic increase in town centre parking by around 2,000 spaces, making 2,700 altogether, and there are plans to improve cycleways and footpaths.

There are also plans to relocate and improve the bus station.

Talking about the exhibition, Simon Hoad, of ING Real Estate which is linking up with felloe developers Stanhope for the project, said: "This is an opportunity for people to see what we have been up to."

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Members of the public will be able to decide for themselves when the exhibition opens in the former Edward the Confessor pub in Stevenage town centre from Saturday (March 24) until Saturday, March 31.

The display will be open from 11am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. It is not open on Sunday.