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Gresley Park - East of Stevenage - Here's what's happened so far

The canvass


  • Aston Parish Council (APC) held a special Parish Meeting to outline the proposal and issues
  • It issued a hard copy survey to all Aston Parish households
  • PACE set up an online survey and promoted that on its Facebook page and Twitter account
  • Walkern Parish Council held a question and answer meeting  and issued a leaflet to all households
  • Walkern Action, promoted and guided residents though its own Facebook page  and Twitter feed
  • Aston Village Society canvassed its Members to gain support to respond to EHDC
  • The Chairman of APC kept other Parish Chairs in touch with developments
The combined APC and PACE Surveys attracted responses from 471 people. Of whom just 10 supported the EHDC proposal. The online survey attracted significant responses from  Aston, Chells Manor, Walkern,  most adjacent Parishes and Wards in Stevenage.  Email  or use the Contact Us box if you want a copy of the results.
EHDC Consultation


 Key issues arising

Change of plan?
APC, PACE and Walkern Action provided guidance on the issues and how to respond. That was promoted via our social media channels and on this website.

We are the leading responder. If we exclude the proposed Gilston (Garden Town) site, responders commenting on the Gresley Park - East of Stevenage (EOS1) proposal exceeded that of Hertford, Buntingford, Sawbridgeworth & East of WGC  combined. Unlike contributions  in other areas those commenting on EOS1 had individual views. Well done everyone, particularly our friends in Walkern for a tremendous response.

In total some 181 individuals and organisations commented. Collectively they made at least 276 comments. All but a handful opposed the EHDC proposal. A full list of commentators can be viewed here

New landowners join the Pigeon Trojan Horse, potentially boosting the land take and increasing the Gresley Park proposal to 1,650 houses.  See map (Fig 1b in Gallery or below). Here are those currently  'offering' their lands to expand Gresley Park:
  • Pigeon Management Investments Ltd. for Hythe Ltd. 600 houses
  • Simmons & Sons for Warner-Smith Trustees 600-900 Houses south-east
  • Sworders for The Gates Family 150 houses to the north
Statutory agencies pose some interesting challenges for EHDC
  • Thames Water advised "The waste water network capacity in this area may be unable able to support the demand anticipated from this development ..." see Para 12.2.10
  • Hertfordshire Education Authority advise that if EOS1 and Gt Ashby (N. Herts) proceed there is an unmet {and unfunded] shortfall of Secondary School places in Stevenage (para 12). It also advises that Walkern & Watton Primary Schools are at near capacity (para 10)
  • Stevenage Borough Council objects to degree of assumption made by EHDC  that SBC will provide  infrastructure support for its plans without prior consultation with the Council.  See Para 12.2.  It particularly draws EHDC's attention to a potential shortfall in Secondary School places; its failure to build in or recognise  SBC's 'neighbourhood & New Town design principles';  and,  suggests its transport mitigation measure may be inadequate in the light of the latest HCC (Highways) studies.  Its also reveals some significant design amendments allegedly put forward by the Hertfordshire Design Review Panel - see below.  You can view Stevenage Borough's full submission, with our highlighted text here.
Change of plan? Pigeon Land Limited seeks to modify its community benefit statement. It suggests modification of the plan layout with regard to the Showman's facility, and wishes to place a caveat on community provision [Neighbourhood centre, providing local retail and community uses, including a possible healthcare facility]. It would like to modify the Policy wording  
"to only require the provision of local retail and community uses where there is evidence to demonstrate
demand and/or a need for such facilities." (Para 12.2.10) 
It does not indicate how and when such demand/need might be assessed or provided! You might draw your own conclusions.  Heard it all before Chells Manor and Great Ashby?  

Change of Plan? Hertfordshire Design Review Panel suggest change in the layout, reducing the community benefit and increasing site density, according to Stevenage Borough's submission to EHDC (para 12.2). It comments that the Panel, on 22nd November advised Pigeon Land Ltd, that it should: 
  • Increase the housing density
  • Fell the entire tree-line along Gresley Way [PACE suggests this is code for complete removal of the bund  to create  inclusivity with Chells Manor]
  • Re-orient the houses on the western edge of the development so that they face onto Gresley Way
  • Move and down-size the neighbourhood centre so that it is placed on Gresley Way.  [PACE: Downsize?  Does this mean fewer shops, no medical facility - the Consultation response from Pigeon (after the meeting - see above),  may be significant]
   To view enlarged image click on Fig 1b (opens in a new window)
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