A planning application for an adult day service centre in Stevenage has been submitted to the local authority. 

Hertfordshire County Council wants to replace the current Leyden House Day Service, in Stevenage's Leyden Road, with a new purpose-built facility on the former Pin Green Primary School's playing fields in Hayward Close. The school closed in 2005.

Hertfordshire County Council's Cabinet approved the relocation plans in October last year, and a planning application was submitted to Stevenage Borough Council last week.

Leyden House "is now considered inappropriately located amongst a wider industrial area, with the building being no longer fit for purpose," says a planning statement accompanying the application.

Leyden House is a county council building that provides daytime services during the week for adults with a learning disability.

Rachel Halliwell, the council's head of day services, has previously said: "The current building needs extensive repairs and improvements. Relocating the service to a modern purpose-built building will secure a local service for the future."

The planning statement explains that "the day service facility will provide a space for vulnerable adults to socialise, relax and enjoy activities, and will be predominantly for individuals from Stevenage but would also be available to individuals from across the county."

The plans include 24 car parking spaces, with the majority of service users arriving by minibus, as well as widening the access road off Hayward Close and creating a pedestrian pathway.

It is currently the county council's intention to develop a 50-unit extra care housing scheme on the remainder of the site, which would be the subject of a separate planning application.


Following community engagement, "the comments regarding the proposals were generally positive and supportive of the proposed new day care facility," the planning statement says, adding that "concerns were raised about the proposed access and the impact this would have on pedestrian safety and potential increased on-street parking."

The statement concludes: "Overall, it is considered that the scheme represents an exemplary development, when considered against all the relevant development plan policies and other material considerations, 
with the benefits of the scheme outweighing any identified harm.

"The site is viewed as an excellent opportunity to deliver a replacement day service provision."