The Stevenage Borough Local Plan was adopted in May 2019. It contains planning policies and proposals which seek to shape the Town between now and 2031 and provide around 7,600 new homes, alongside new jobs and community facilities. It also provides the basis for the regeneration of the town centre.
Of the 7,600 new homes to be provided, around 20% are expected to be delivered on the land to the west of Stevenage. The Local Plan aims to deliver a new neighbourhood on the site through the site-specific policy HO2, which requires;
- the development of approximately 1,350 dwellings;
- 30% as affordable housing;
- Provision of supported or sheltered housing for the elderly;
- A new primary school;
- Local facilities to serve the development;
- Sports facilities provided on site;
- Land for the provision of 10,000m2 of employment floorspace;
- Improvements to existing access routes across the A1(M), via Bessemer Drive and Meadway;
- Encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport, and provision of electric car charging points at an easily accessible location;
- A network of green infrastructure, with an emphasis on high quality landscaping;
- The inclusion of measures to mitigate against noise impacts from A1(M);
- Ability to be expanded beyond the Borough boundary in the future into North Hertfordshire.
The Stevenage Local Plan can be accessed here. The site allocation boundary is identified on the Local Plan Key Diagram, as shown below:
Site Setting: What has been taken into account in our plans?
To understand the location and deliver the policy requirements for this new urban extension, a strategic landscape-led review of the site has been completed that considered the site area’s historic ‘New Town’ roots, the growth of Stevenage, the topographical and geological context, the site’s visual presence and influence and ecological context within the landscape. This review, informed by discussions with the Council, identified numerous key features that act as opportunities to guide the development, which include:
- the site lies on the edge of a natural plateau, providing far reaching views into the countryside and back into (and from) Stevenage;
- the location as an extension of the Stevenage New Town, and a study of the design of the Stevenage as a New Town;
- to the west of the site, the Langley Valley, its historic villages and hamlets, and its footpaths and bridleways are destinations for footpath users crossing the site, and the design of the site must recognise this as an advantage;
- the integration, retention, and enhancement of existing vegetation, and woodland on the edge of the plateau, and the retention, enhancement and enlargement of existing hedgerows and small woodlands influencing and leading the design of the site;
- there would be limited views of buildings on the site from the west and north west, but little or no views from Stevenage;
- it is not considered appropriate to screen or enclose the development by walls of woodland, rather that existing woodland should be used to provide visual context;
- the northern and eastern edges of the development should concentrate on providing usable open space, from which views to the west and north will be provided;
- existing routes to the town centre must be improved, so they are both attractive and safe; and
- there is a clear need to provide an acoustic bund to the A1(M), but this buffer provides an opportunity for tree, shrub and species rich grassland planting.