Stevenage town centre regeneration: Work to start on £18 million flats

An artist's impression of how the new flats off Stevenage's London Road will look. Picture: Blackmor

An artist's impression of how the new flats off Stevenage's London Road will look. Picture: Blackmore Group - Credit: Archant

Work is set to start next month on an £18 million block of flats in Stevenage, as the regeneration of the town centre gathers pace.

The eight-storey building off Six Hills Way and London Road will replace a car park next to Six Hills House – an ex-office block that has already become flats.

The new block north of the existing building will include 64 flats, and developers The Blackmore Group hope to have the scheme finished by late 2019.

Blackmore’s Ricky Poonia said: “The regeneration plans for Stevenage town centre are really exciting and will see the town becoming more of a destination of choice for young professionals.

“We are delighted that one of our flagship developments will be part of the transformation of Stevenage. It’s an exciting time for us to be coming to the area and we have ambitious plans to invest more into Stevenage in the near future.”

According to its planning statement, the development is “designed to emphasise the significance of the site’s location as a ‘gateway’ into the Stevenage town centre”.

The block’s 64 flats will be spread over seven floors – with 12 three-bed flats, 35 two-bed homes, 15 one-bed flats and two studio apartments. There will be 32 car parking spaces in a ground-level undercroft, and a cycle store for 72 bikes on the block’s first floor.

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In his report approved by Stevenage Borough Council’s planning and development committee, council planning officer James Chettleburgh wrote that there was sufficient off-street parking to meet the authority’s standards as the site was within walking distance of Stevenage’s town centre, railway station, Asda store and leisure park.

Under a section 106 agreement with the borough council, the site’s owner LC Herts Ltd will provide a £62,290.05 affordable housing contribution, £46,845 towards the expansion of Broom Barns Primary School in Bedwell, £3,082.24 for sporting activities in the town, and £2,782.71 to help fund children’s play spaces.

In the heart of the town centre yesterday, borough council chief executive Scott Crudgington cut the ribbon at Park Place to mark the second phase of the housing and retail development there.

The developer behind Park Place, MBU Capital, says about 60 per cent of the flat sales there so far have gone to “local people, many using the government’s help-to-buy scheme”.

The borough council has appointed Mace – the developer behind The Shard in London – to regenerate central Stevenage with new homes, restaurants, a new town square and boulevard, and a public services hub as part of a £350 million project called SG1.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland has consistently opposed the plans, saying they are centred on “fancy new Labour council offices” and that he doesn’t believe they have public support. The Conservative MP thinks regeneration should start with the shops in Queensway.