Owners of Grade II-listed farmhouse express concern over plans for Stevenage flats

PUBLISHED: 08:20 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:20 22 August 2019

Broomin Green Farmhouse is a Grade II-listed building. Picture courtesy of Bethany Joy.

Broomin Green Farmhouse is a Grade II-listed building. Picture courtesy of Bethany Joy.

Archant

Plans to build blocks of flats and offices up to eight storeys high in a small cul-de-sac next to a 600-year-old Grade II-listed farmhouse have been met with dismay.

Outline planning permission has been granted for 88 new flats off Maxwell Road in Stevenage.

The site is currently home to three businesses - Serviceline, Furniture Industry Research Association and Walton Lodge Veterinary Surgery - which will all have to leave if the plans go ahead.

The plan is for half the site to be residential, with blocks of one and two-bed apartments ranging between two and seven storeys high, and an office block in the footprint of the FIRA building ranging between six and eight storeys high.

Public objections include loss of privacy and sunlight, increased traffic, insufficient off-street parking and over-development.

But Stevenage Borough Council's planning and development committee has granted outline planning permission, to the horror of the owners of Broomin Green Farmhouse, which is next door to the site.

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Lady Norma and John Somers have lived in the farmhouse for more than 20 years. Norma said: "We are shocked at the proposals, which will take away our privacy and light. Tenants will be able to look straight into our house and garden.

"It will have a major effect on a very small cul-de-sac and will make traffic even worse.

"The proposed office block is huge and right next to our house. It will affect our quality of life and our historical property, probably the oldest in Stevenage, will be threatened.

"It is a huge over-development for such a small site and we are seriously worried."

Julia Smeaton, of Philbeck House in Maxwell Road, also objects to the plans. She said: "New housing around the town has all been flats, and many high builds. How about some family housing, with gardens, for people to settle in Stevenage, rather than making Stevenage a commuter town?"

The borough council's planning and development committee has granted outline planning permission, but the applicant will need to seek full planning permission for the detailed plans before any work can begin.

The Comet has contacted TTL Chiltern Property Ltd for comment, but is yet to receive a response.

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