Update newsletter issued

We’ve just produced a newsletter which gives an update on progress following the approval of the plans for the Matalan site back in March this year.

We’ve dropped in printed copies to our nearest neighbours and you can download a copy by clicking the button below.


Key dates

The key dates with the proposals – some of these could be subject to change – are as follows:

  • June 6th 2021 (confirmed): Matalan store closes – the company is looking at a new location.
  • July 1st 2021 (confirmed): Guinness Partnership take formal ownership of the site following Matalan’s store decommissioning.
  • Early August 2021 (precise date to be confirmed): Demolition and associated works begin and will take an estimated 16 weeks to compete.
  • Early 2022 (precise date to be confirmed): Construction phase starts.

More information

For those interested in more detailed information about the demolition works and how these will be managed, there are a couple of documents below available for download.

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Plans submitted

The Guinness Partnership (‘Guinness’), one of England’s largest Housing Associations has announced that following local consultation it has submitted a planning application for the regeneration of the Matalan site, Danesgate, a key site within Stevenage Town Centre.

The site has long been identified by Stevenage Borough Council as suitable for redevelopment and currently includes a retail store and associated car parking as well as the adjacent car parking to the rear of the store and fronting Lytton Way. The overall site was granted outline planning permission a number of years ago for 526 new homes, 1,700 sq. metres of ground floor commercial space and 175 car parking spaces.

In line with the outline planning permission, the application seeks to provide 526 one and two-bedroomed apartments along with 779 sq. m of flexible commercial space, which will be located at ground floor level and activate street frontages.

The design by Stirling Prize winning architects Maccreanor Lavington has been independently reviewed by the Design Council. It includes a twenty-storey tower element on the north west corner of the site at Lytton Way and lower perimeter buildings between four to nine-storeys along the rest of the site’s boundaries. The tower will be a new distinctive landmark in Stevenage and the perimeter buildings frame two new landscaped courtyard gardens.

Jon Milburn, Group Development Director at Guinness said, “Since we acquired this site last year from its previous owners, we have been working hard to bring forward excellent design and new attractive green open space. The site presents a very important opportunity to transform an under-utilised brownfield site which benefits from excellent links to the town centre, leisure facilities and public transport.”

“We are grateful for the feedback we received from local people and organisations as we shaped these plans. One of the key things we heard consistently was the need to provide affordable homes for local people. We have inherited an existing planning permission which only allowed for around 5% affordable housing, but in line with our 130-year history of meeting local community needs, we plan to increase this and provide up to half the homes as affordable.”

Jon Milburn, Group Development Director at Guinness added, “In working up the plans, we have been careful to ensure that we are sensitive to our nearest neighbours. We will continue to talk to our neighbours on issues like fencing and landscaping as well as the provision of public realm around the site.”

Jon Milburn, concluded, “We also heard during consultation that providing an environmentally sustainable development was a priority for local people and we have addressed that through initiatives that promote ecology, biodiversity and energy efficiency. We have significantly reduced the car parking provision by 123 spaces in comparison with the outline permission. We also had a very positive dialogue with the Stevenage Cycle UK group to discuss improved cycle routes and on-site cycle storage. We very much share the Council’s ambition to tackle the climate emergency and promote healthy lifestyles.”

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Watch our webinar!

As planned, we held our online video presentation on Thursday 24th September 2020 via Zoom.

We would like to thank everybody that joined us for that and for the questions and comments that were made via the chat facility. It was a very helpful feedback session for The Guinness Partnership and the team working on the project.

if you missed the webinar, you can watch the video presentation of the draft proposals featuring key members of the team: Linda Robinson, Development Director – South, The Guinness Partnership; Dominic Miller, Associate Director, Maccreanor Lavington (Architects); and Hannah Shaw, Senior Landscape Architect, Churchman Thornhill Finch (Landscape Architects).

Prior to the webinar, we asked for questions about the proposals and we received a number as a result of the online presentation.

The questions raised covered a number of key areas which have come out of the local consultation to date and we have summarised answers to these in a short document which you can download below.

If you would like to view a copy of the presentation, you can also do that by clicking on the button below.

If there is anything that arises from your viewing of the video, or there is a question which is not covered in our Q&A’s, please do get in touch. Just use the contact form found on this website and we will respond to you.

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