Two new homes can be built on green space in Stevenage after outline planning permission was granted by Stevenage Borough Council's planning committee.

The land, adjacent to Marlborough Road and the cycle track running alongside Six Hills Way, is owned by the council and is currently grassland with a number of trees.

Now, two three- or four-bedroom properties can be built on the land. A previous application for the site, which would have seen three new properties built, was withdrawn by the council in 2022.

All 13 trees on the site will be removed under the current plans, with five replaced elsewhere on the site and a further eight trees planted on Six Hills Way. 

The council's planning committee decided to grant permission at their meeting on Tuesday, January 9. Responsibility for the decision lay with them, rather than a planning officer, because the land is owned by the council and the application received a number of objections.


45 public comments were received, with 44 objecting to the development and one remaining neutral.

Respondents cited concerns about the impact on congestion and car parking in the area, as well as the consequences for the environment including the potential loss of trees and wildlife.

When council planning officers visited the site, they found "no discernible level of congestion" and that existing houses in the area meet the standard parking provision of two to three off-street spaces for three- and four-bedroom properties.

This was an outline planning application, meaning some matters - such as appearance and parking provision - are reserved for a future application and decision.

The UK currently has a significant housing shortage, and the Stevenage Borough Local Plan for 2011-31 identified a need for 7,600 new homes in the area across that period.

According to a report from Heriot-Watt University, around 340,000 new homes need to be supplied in England per year to end the housing shortage. Around 233,000 new homes were supplied in 2021/22.