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Bedwell Crescent (Shephall View) (Planning reference 22/00965/FPM), 10A and 10B Burwell Road (Planning reference 22/00437/FPM) and Brent Court, Silam Road (Planning reference 22/00963/FPM) planning applications were discussed at Stevenage Borough Council’s Planning and Development Committee last night (Tuesday 18 July).

The new development off Bedwell Crescent on land adjoining Shephall View will see the provision of 57 new homes with the gain generated being paid back into the provision of essential Council services. Alongside this application for the residential development at Bedwell Crescent, revisions were also made to the application for the housing development at Burwell Road. These revisions comprised a change of tenure for the previously approved housing development. The previously approved application for Burwell Road was initially only for 5 affordable homes which has now been increased to 20 affordable homes and can be delivered onsite far more quickly as this is an advanced project.

In addition to the above projects, the newly approved planning application for the former garage site at Brent Court will see a new state-of-the-art independent living scheme delivered, which will provide an opportunity for our older residents within the local area of Stevenage, to downsize to high-quality supported housing. This, in turn, will free up much-needed 2, 3 and 4-bed council properties for families in housing need.

Our dedication to capturing the views of the community means we undertake a robust consultation process to effectively engage with all those affected and offer the local community an opportunity to feedback on their thoughts on proposed developments. We use a wide variety of different channels, including an online consultation platform, and many face-to-face consultation events to supplement the formal planning consultation that is carried out with a dedicated planning case officer in accordance with planning regulations.

Accordingly, these schemes have been consulted on and adapted many times over a two-year period following feedback from the local community. Over 6,000 people have engaged with and given their views on these proposals. An overwhelming majority of these views support the principle of development across these sites and whilst we respect that there is still an element of local opposition to the plans, we will strive to keep them informed of progress and work hard to minimise any negative impact on them.

Councillor Jeannette Thomas, Deputy Leader of the Council and Housing Development Portfolio Holder said: “It’s never easy balancing the need for more housing and managing the impact of the developments within the local area. There are lots of families in Stevenage that need access to better housing and we’re working hard to construct affordable homes for local people.

“We have worked collaboratively with the organisations needing to relocate at Bedwell Crescent, taking account of their requirements to assist them in finding suitable alternative venues too.

“It has been challenging, and we are still in discussions with a couple of the organisations, but I am confident this will come to fruition, and we will be able to come to an understanding with all those affected, helping them to settle into suitable venues soon.”