Stevenage MP seeks dismissal of 600-home Gresley Park plan due to 'shocking betrayal of public trust'

PUBLISHED: 08:30 03 October 2019

A view of the proposed Gresley Park site in Beane Valley, Stevenage. Picture: DANNY LOO

A view of the proposed Gresley Park site in Beane Valley, Stevenage. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

The Stevenage MP has lambasted the handling of a consultation into plans to build more than 600 homes on swathes of countryside as "an absolutely shocking betrayal of public trust", and is calling for the planning application to be dismissed.

Developer Pigeon Land Ltd wants to build 618 homes, a primary and pre-school, an 80-bed care home and up to 50 assisted living homes on agricultural land bordering the east of Stevenage, off Gresley Way - between Fairlands Way and Lanterns Lane.

The plans also include creating shops, community facilities and a site for travelling showpeople.

The planning authority, East Herts District Council, has received 1,267 objections - with concerns including traffic congestion, insufficient infrastructure and loss of the Beane Valley view.

There is concern Stevenage will be expected to provide the services required by the new residents, such as schools and GP surgeries, but the planning decisions are out of Stevenage Borough Council's jurisdiction.

Herts Highways requested an alternative site access strategy to the one proposed, to refine non-car access.

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The subsequent revision suggests one of three proposed vehicle site access points on Gresley Way is allocated bus only.

In a letter to EHDC, Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland wrote: "The applicants have simply forced traffic into two access points instead of three.

"The application still does not provide sufficient mitigation schemes to alleviate the increased flow of traffic."

He continued: "The revisions made give no indication suggestions by residents were ever considered. I find this to be an absolutely shocking betrayal of public trust.

"I request you dismiss the development on the grounds of insufficient revision to negate concerns over site access and traffic impact, as well as breach of duty by the developers to take into account the suggestions and comments of residents."

A Say NO to Gresley Park campaign group activist said: "A feature of the National Planning Policy Framework is that planning applications should reflect community engagement. There has been no attempt by the applicant to engage the public in this revision to its earlier plans."

A Pigeon spokesman said: "As the scheme is progressed through the application process, matters raised will be given due consideration and addressed appropriately."

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