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Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan: Issues & Options Report – Public Consultation - closed on 5 September 2021

Stevenage’s Town Centre is undergoing a process of renewal and regeneration. As part of this, the area around the Railway Station bounded by the railway tracks and Lytton Way has been identified as a key site for new development and change.

This key gateway for the town has the potential for significant transformation, based on its well-connected position only 20 minutes from King’s Cross in London. Such development could form a key part of the regeneration of the Town Centre.

What is an Area Action Plan?

An Area Action Plan, or 'AAP', is a type of Development Plan Document or 'DPD' providing a planning framework for a specific area of opportunity, change or conservation. AAPs give a geographic or spatial dimension and focus for the implementation of policies for that area. AAPs can create new policy over and above a Local Plan, within the designated AAP area.

Stevenage Borough Council, in conjunction with consultancy David Lock Associates, is developing an emerging AAP for the Stevenage Station Gateway area, titled the 'Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan'. As it will be a DPD, this will become part of the overall Development Plan for Stevenage, and as such is required to be subject to statutory consultation and examination. The final AAP document is required to be adopted by full Council.

This report is the first stage in the process of producing an AAP for the Station area. It outlines the key issues that affect the area identified as site 'TC4' in the Stevenage Borough Local Plan. It then presents a series of potential options that forms the basis for targeted consultation with the public and key stakeholders.

This AAP consultation will provide an opportunity for the public and key stakeholders to engage and shape this area. It also acts as a catalyst for developers interested in supporting this key part of the Stevenage Borough Local Plan.

Stevenage Borough Council, as a co-operative Council, seeks to engage widely with businesses, residents and other stakeholder groups. This Issues and Options Report contains key concepts at this early stage and does not suggest specific proposals for the Railway Station or Lytton Way.

It is important to understand that this is an early stage of preparation of the AAP. The options proposed are high level, strategic options and scenarios to develop an improved environment, maximise density of space and economic opportunities around Stevenage Railway Station, in order to enable development.

Stevenage Borough Local Plan and Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan: Strategic Timeline

2016 / 2017 Examination in Public on Stevenage Borough Local Plan
2017 / 2019 Holding Direction placed on Stevenage Borough Local Plan by the Secretary of State
2019 Holding Direction lifted on Stevenage Borough Local Plan by the Secretary of State: Local Plan adopted May 2019
2019 Conditions of lifting the Holding Direction on the Local Plan included a requirement to produce an 'Area Action Plan' for the Station Gateway area (Policy TC4 in Local Plan)
2020 / 2021 Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan 'Issues & Options' report drafted
Summer 2021 Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan 'Issues & Options' report public consultation
Autumn 2021* Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan 'Issues & Options' report public consultation representations to be considered by the Borough Council
Early 2022* Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan 'Preferred Options' report to be drafted and go out to public consultation
Spring 2022* Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan 'Preferred Options' report public consultation representations to be considered by the Borough Council
Summer 2022* Submission of final Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan to Secretary of State
Autumn 2022* Examination in Public of Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan
Winter 2022* Likely Adoption of Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan
2022 / 2023*
Scoping for Local Plan Review (this is indicative at this stage and is subject to significant change) – the Area Action Plan will inform a future Local Plan Review

*All dates from Autumn 2021 are subject to change.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Screening Report

Sustainability appraisal and strategic environmental assessment are tools used at the early stages of plan-making to assess the likely effects of the plan when judged against reasonable alternatives. A sustainability appraisal should be prepared for any of the documents that can form part of a local plan, including site allocation documents and area action plans.

During preparation of the Stevenage Borough Local Plan, officers concluded that Policy TC4 (Station Gateway Major Opportunity Area) had no significant environmental impact.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Screening Report is included alongside the Stevenage Connection Area Action Plan as part of this consultation.