Stephen McPartland MP said, “I am disappointed by the Draft Local Plan that has been produced by Stevenage Borough Council (SBC). Why have they not considered creating a new Garden City? The Draft Local Plan takes no account of the need for highways, social and affordable housing, education, health and potential social and leisure infrastructure that will be required by this amount of housing in each community. A new Garden City in partnership with North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) could resolve all these issues.
"There is also a great deal of concern locally that the information leaflet published by SBC in January 2016, ‘A new plan for Stevenage’ is inaccurate and misleading. It suggests the plan is a fait accompli. It also states ‘existing open spaces will be protected’, which is not true and makes no mention of the new Travellers Site to be constructed.
"Another area of concern is the lack of deliverability on plans to regenerate Stevenage Town Centre. The Stevenage Central Town Centre framework is not a regeneration plan, it is not an investment vehicle, it has not been costed, it has no access to funding and does not have my support. In fact, it is a barrier to any future regeneration of the town centre and for over thirty years SBC have launched several regeneration plans and failed to deliver any of them.
"I am working with the Government on an entirely different scheme to establish a new Stevenage Development Corporation to undertake the radical regeneration our town centre needs. This has to be established under energetic and independent leadership. It would have its own planning powers and ability to compulsory purchase the property needed. The Stevenage Central Town Centre framework is not deliverable, as it has no support from myself, Government or a funding partner and the scheme would be dependent on public and private finance.
"The Draft Local Plan 2011-2031, should be withdrawn. A five year land supply should be identified and consideration given to the development of a new Garden City in partnership with NHDC to meet future housing needs.”
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