Permission for 800 new homes and a Country Park

Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) have granted outline planning permission for 800 homes and a Country Park on allocated land to the north of Stevenage. Our clients, Bellway Homes and Miller Homes, welcome the decision.

The proposed neighbourhood will form distinct character areas, defined by building materials and landscape proposals. The development will include a new Local Centre, Primary School, and a network of accessible public open spaces.

Our work included visualisationecology, and landscape architecture services.

The consented scheme also proposes a new 38ha Country Park – ‘St. Nicholas Meadows’. It lies within the ‘St. Nicholas / Rectory Lane Conservation Area’. The area is commonly known as ‘Forster Country’ due to the influence the area had on author E.M. Forster’s writing. The author spent some of his childhood at Rooks Nest House near the site. The Park will provide informal recreational space for the community.

In the context of this sensitive setting, the team prepared an Environmental Statement. For this, we contributed assessments on Landscape Character and Visual Amenity and Biodiversity. Using these, the design team could fully understand the site’s environmental sensitivities. As a result, our designers were then able to positively respond to these through the masterplanning process.

The scheme

Landscape and ecological mitigation and enhancement will include:

  • The provision of networks of accessible paths, integrating existing public rights of way.
  • Retained and enhanced hedgerows and tree belts.
  • A new children’s play area, with Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) and skate provisions.
  • Tree-lined primary streets.
  • The restoration of hay meadows within the new Country Park.

The new Country Park will approximate the 19th Century field patterns described in E.M. Forster’s texts and shown on historic maps. As such, the proposals reflect the site’s historic and cultural landscape and contribute to the aims of the conservation area appraisal. The Country Park will provide new habitats for wildlife. Hay meadows and new tree planting will replace existing agricultural land.

Our Environmental Design team continues to support the project through Reserved Matters, Planning Conditions, and tender-stage services.

Anna is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute. She is experienced in Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments (LVIA) and applying her skills in landscape architecture across various sectors, including residential, education and sports facilities.

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