The design evolution process in liaison with planning officers, their consultants and Design South East has led to the production of the Framework Masterplan set out on this page.
This Masterplan is a Local Plan Policy requirement and will guide the development to deliver on the shared Vision for the development of site. It will be submitted as part of the planning application and is the basis for the detailed design of the development. The Framework Masterplan provides for up to 1,500 new homes together with the necessary infrastructure detailed in the Local Plan Policy.
The components of the Framework Masterplan (numbered in green on the plan above) are summarised below:
- A new viewpoint open space, Langley Prospect (1), will offer a place to think with views to the valley beyond. This open space would also help soften the development edge facing towards the countryside, yet still providing the internal view of the Potters Spring tree group directly to the south.
- A strategic footpath (2) provides cycle and footpaths to link the major features of the site and to follow and make the most of views and links to the countryside. Entrance spaces into the development will create a welcoming environment for the visitor. Some edges will be hidden, others open to view, and designed to provide a frontage to the landscape.
- Situated along what is understood to be the route of a Roman Road, Roman View (3) will comprise a landscaped footpath with explanatory signs detailing the history of this route.
- The emphasis at Potters Green will be to encourage active forms of travel and recreation, including connections to and from Stevenage (4). A key objective will be to encourage residents to make sustainable travel choices, and as part of this the Applicant’s will work with Stevenage Borough Council to improve the quality of offsite walking and cycling connections to the town centre. See ‘Connections to/from Stevenage’ for further detail.
- An initial proposal for a spine road linking the two points of vehicular access to the site has been reformulated as a main street (5), which will be designed with bends and other features to slow vehicles down and provide a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. The central part of the main street will be of a higher density, with the high-quality hard landscaping softened by specimen trees and with the benefit of seats and meeting places.
- The Local Plan identifies a need for land to be provided for a new cricket pitch, subject to an up to date assessment of local demand. This assessment is in the process of being undertaken, although a large green open space has been incorporated on a flat part of the site which could accommodate a new cricket pitch and pavilion (6). This has been designed as a community green, with dwellings fronting onto it, and offers scope to accommodate a wide range of day-to-day activities such as kicking a ball around, dog walking, having a picnic or providing a venue for a summer fayre. This space also offers a potential Community Centre location (8).
- At the heart of the site a Community Orchard (7) is proposed to the east of a retained tree group in the central open space area, with a Community Garden (10) located to the south within the main open space. This central area also offers formal play equipment, including a Multi-Use Games Area and/or skate park and a further potential Community Centre location (8).
- The primary school and a residential care home are also located here and linked to open space, community facilities and gardens around the local centre, café, potential GP surgery and village shop (9). It is envisaged that the primary school will be an asset for the whole community by providing facilities which are available for public use outside of school hours. This central area will be a hub of activity.
- The layout also provides for play trails (11) around and throughout the site. These will be exciting and challenging, to provide a contrast to the traditional equipped play areas and more formal spaces. The play trails will traverse sections of an earth noise bund which is proposed along the A1(M), and this change in levels provides opportunities for the creation of mountain biking routes or a BMX track.
- There are also areas along the strategic footpath (2) that could accommodate woodland play (12) such as natural play equipment, wildlife ponds, camps and dens.
- Locations along this route have also been identified as ‘stop and stare views’ (13) which are simply surprises that make people think and consider, whether they be smaller viewpoints, logs on which to rest, artworks from the school, information signs, or just features of delight.
Connections with Stevenage
Potters Green will be served by two main entrances. These are from Meadway to the north and Bessemer Drive to the south.
The Meadway entrance is currently only wide enough for a one-way carriageway and options are being explored for a new underpass to provide a new route for two-way vehicular movement to allow the existing underpass to be used exclusively for walking and cycling.
The emphasis at Potters Green will be to encourage active forms of travel and recreation, taking advantage of the close proximity of the site to the town centre. The Masterplan design has therefore given priority to people walking and cycling through an extensive greenway network which can be accessed easily and provide an attractive, safe and often more direct route than by car to destinations within the development such as the new Primary School, GP Surgery or shops. Enhancements to connections with the town centre are also proposed to encourage residents to walk or cycle as much as possible to destinations such as the railway station, which can be reached within a 10 minute bike ride from the majority of the proposed development.
A frequent bus service will also form a key feature of the proposals to ensure that the new neighbourhood is connected to the town centre, railway station and other key destinations, such as the Lister Hospital.
Within the proposed local centre, a mobility hub will be established, offering opportunities for electric car sharing schemes, electric charging points to be provided, cycle hire and parking, and lockers for deliveries and collections.