Stevenage residents speak out against plans to build on green spaces

Residents protest on the Marlborough Road green

Residents protest on the Marlborough Road green - Credit: Archant

Residents have spoken out against plans to build homes on green spaces in Stevenage with claims that the council involved “does not care” about its potential impact.

Proposals have been submitted by Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) to build two four-bedroom houses on green space in Marlborough Road and 34 homes on grassland off of Ferrier Road.

People living in Marlborough Road and the surrounding area gathered on the green on Saturday to protest against plans for the site.

They have also delivered a petition containing 205 signatures to SBC.

Paul Tansley, 47, said: “It doesn’t make any sense. When I moved here, the green space was part of the appeal of the area and somewhere for the kids to play.

“People from around here regularly take their children and their grandchildren there. There is no good reason to get rid of it.”

Michael Orchard has lived on neighbouring Cromwell Road since 1992.

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The 66-year-old said: “I raised two children here and I know they hope to one day take their children to the field on which they used to play.

“I think these houses would be unnecessary and, if they were built, they would be very unpopular with the people who live here and have lived here for so many years. The council has to listen to what local people want.”

Ferrier Road residents have also criticised plans to build 14 three-bed houses, nine four-bed houses, seven two-bed houses and four one-bed flats on grassland where a children’s play area is situated.

Commenting on the application, Jane Winters, who lives in Ferrier Road, said: “The area is well-used by by local people and provides an area for children of all ages to play. Are we going to be compensated for the loss of our environment? The council really does not care about the impact this will have on everyone’s lives.”

A spokesman for Stevenage Borough Council said after carrying out a review, land on Marlborough Road was identified as a site which could be used for much-needed housing. “If the council, in its capacity as the local planning authority, grants planning permission, then its intent is to sell the site.”

Regarding the Ferrier Road development, SBC plans read: “The site is currently undeveloped except for an area of hard standing – now vacant and out-of-use as a children’s playground and recreation area. We do not consider that there are any identified obstacles or issues that would prohibit development in this location.”

A public consultation about building on the Malborough Road green closed on Tuesday, with a decision expected to be taken on February 17.

A consultation concerning the Ferrier Road development runs until February 11, with a decision earmarked for April.