Planning Consultants Sphere 25 have submitted a Reserved Matters Application on behalf of The Guinness Partnership for their Matalan Site in Danesgate, Stevenage. The application follows the approval for Outline Planning Permission in October 2017 for 526 residential units, 18’300 sq ft of commercial floorspace and 175 parking spaces following the demolition of the existing buildings.

The site has previously been identified by Stevenage Borough Council as an area for redevelopment. It currently includes a retail store and associated parking. The Guinness Partnership acquired the site in 2019.

The new application details 526 one and two-bedroom apartments with 8’385 sq ft of flexible commercial space that will be located at ground-floor level. The current planning permission, inherited by The Guinness Partnership, allowed for 5 percent affordable housing. The company now hopes to increase this to up to 50 percent in order to meet local community needs.

Stirling Prize winning architects Maccreanor Lavington has designed the development, which has also been independently reviewed by the Design Council. The plans include a twenty-storey tower on the north west corner at Lytton Way and lower perimeter buildings between four to nine-storeys along the rest of the boundaries. The tower will be a new distinctive landmark in Stevenage and the perimeter buildings frame two new landscaped courtyard gardens.

Jon Milburn, Group Development Director at Guinness said, “Since we acquired this site last year from its previous owners, we have been working hard to bring forward excellent design and new attractive green open space. The site presents a very important opportunity to transform an under-utilised brownfield site which benefits from excellent links to the town centre, leisure facilities, and public transport.”

“We also heard during the consultation that providing an environmentally sustainable development was a priority for local people and we have addressed that through initiatives that promote ecology, biodiversity, and energy efficiency. We have significantly reduced the car parking provision by 123 spaces in comparison with the outline permission. We also had a very positive dialogue with the Stevenage Cycle UK group to discuss improved cycle routes and on-site cycle storage. We very much share the Council’s ambition to tackle climate emergency and promote healthy lifestyles.”

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