Back in October 2020, Stevenage Borough Council’s Planning and Development Committee resolved to grant planning permission to SG1, following a recommendation of approval for the proposal by the Council’s planning officers.

Subsequent to this decision, the Council was advised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) that the Secretary of State had issued a ‘holding direction’ on the planning decision.

The direction meant that the grant of planning permission would be delayed until the Secretary of State had decided whether or not to ‘call-in’ the SG1 planning application for his own decision following the holding of a public inquiry conducted by an independent planning inspector.

On Tuesday 19th January, 2021, Stevenage Borough Council was advised by the Secretary of State that he would not be calling the SG1 application and that the Council was now in a position to implement its resolution to grant permission.

The Council’s next steps now will be to finalise and conclude a legal agreement with its development partner Mace, allowing planning permission to be granted and this major town centre regeneration project to proceed.

The Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, Cllr Sharon Taylor said:

‘We are delighted that the Secretary of State has given the green light to this vital regeneration project.  With Covid-19 bringing so many challenges to the country and to Stevenage, the regeneration of the town centre is critical to our recovery efforts.  This project will create vital local jobs and opportunities, new public areas and green spaces, improved health and community facilities, new homes and places for people to enjoy.

Our regeneration programme is well underway, with the finishing touches being put to the Town Square, the new bus station being built and the regeneration of part of Queensway also making great progress.

These investments are needed now more than ever, so that we can create a vibrant town centre and hope for a brighter future.

This now allows the Council to finalise and conclude the Section 106 legal agreement with the developer Mace and to issue the planning permission accordingly.’ 

Kevin Cowin, Development Director at Mace said:

We’re very pleased by the news that Stevenage Borough Council can now proceed to issue planning permission based on their decision last October to support the SG1 proposals.  We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Council to bring forward this exciting and ambitious project which will transform the town centre and create social and economic opportunities for the local community.

We will now focus on the phased delivery of the revitalisation at the heart of the town, which will be crucial for Stevenage as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to start work later this year and will keep everybody up-to-date with our progress.’