Detailed plans for the second phase of housebuilding on Forster Country in Stevenage have been approved.

With outline permission already granted, councillors on Stevenage Borough Council's planning committee voted unanimously in favour of the scheme at a meeting on Tuesday, March 5.

The second phase will include 224 homes, built by Bellway North London, as part of the broader 800-home development.

This phase will include 161 two, three and four-bedroom homes for sale, with 63 properties available for rent or shared ownership at 'affordable' rates, according to the government definition of the term.

Additionally, four custom-build homes have been allocated as part of this scheme.

The overall development - known as Forster Park - also includes a new primary school, a country park, shops, commercial space and public plaza. 

Forster Country lies within the St Nicholas Conservation Area and includes author EM Forster's childhood home Rooks Nest House, Grade I-listed St Nicholas Church and Grade II-listed The Bury.

The housing development has proved controversial, and the Friends of Forster Country group sought to stop development on the land. The group's campaign received the support of actress Emma Thompson and hundreds of residents.

Building is well under way on the first phase of the development, with some properties already up for sale at prices between £375,000 and £585,000. 176 of the properties in the first phase are being built by Bellway.

After permission for the second phase was granted, Ali Maruf, managing director of Bellway North London, said: “We have worked closely with the local authority on these plans and it was good to hear that local councillors voted unanimously in favour of our designs.


"Forster Park will provide a range of housing types and tenures that meet local housing needs and support the growth of a new diverse, inclusive and sustainable community.

“This is a landscape-led design where existing trees and hedgerows will be retained wherever possible, complemented by an extensive new planting programme, with a network of footpaths and cycleways to enable residents to use more sustainable modes of transport.

“This development will employ a palette of materials and architectural detailing which are reflective of the surrounding area and will complement the buildings in phase one. Exteriors include a mixture of red and buff facing brickwork, render, tile hanging and weather boarding to create variation within the street scene and to help emphasise different areas throughout the site.

“We are playing a major role in creating a brand-new neighbourhood in the northern part of Stevenage. We expect this second phase of new homes to build on the success of the first phase which has been proving very popular with buyers looking for an energy-efficient new home set in this beautiful part of Hertfordshire.”