A planning application has been submitted by developer Countryside for the development of a sustainable new community on the southern side of Bishop’s Stortford. The proposals for the land off St James’ Way have been drawn up following a series of successful public consultation events and will provide much needed housing in the area, including affordable and market housing. The vision for the development is to create a sustainable new community, currently known as Bishop’s Stortford South, comprising a series of distinct character areas linked by extensive areas of open green space.

The mixed-use development will ultimately include 750 new homes, along with employment, retail, community space and a care home. The plans include a network of pedestrian footpaths and cycleways together with an improved local bus service will also be introduced to provide the new and surrounding community with a sustainable mode of transport in and around the town.

The planning application includes detailed proposals for the first phase of 142 new homes, and will provide a wide range of housing from apartments to 5-bed houses. 40% of the homes will be affordable, with affordable rent and shared ownership offered.

New education, retail and community facilities will be at the heart of the new community. A village High Street is planned as a key artery through the site, creating a memorable sequence of intimate public spaces using tree-lined streets, small village greens, residential areas and play facilities. The existing Public Rights of Way will be enhanced and run through a multi-functional green corridor connecting to the town-wide walking route from the River Stort through to the Southern Country Park.

Maintaining open views from the high ground and the Hertfordshire Way has influenced the location of the school sites, with playing fields positioned on the higher ground, and the buildings at the lower levels, providing residents with unobstructed long-distance southerly views along the Stort Valley.

Andrew Carrington, Managing Director at Countryside said: “We were encouraged with the response and engagement of the local community and stakeholders during our consultation process, and we believe our plans and vision for Bishop’s Stortford South will provide much-needed quality new homes, and create a place where people will love to live, work and visit.

“The focus of the new scheme will be on creating a sustainable and thriving development that fully integrates with the existing community and encourages community living.”

In addition to homes and community facilities, a principal new roundabout access will be created on St James’ Way, and a secondary roundabout at Whittington Way / Bishop’s Avenue, providing access for a bus route through the development, which will limit car access onto Whittington Way.

Proposals also include a new primary and secondary school, both of which have been master-planned to allow for future expansion. Detailed proposals are currently being drawn up by Bishop’s Stortford High School and Hertfordshire County Council. Permission is also being sought for four hectares of employment land, together with a new local centre and care home.

The site is allocated for development in the examined Local Plan and Countryside are working closely with East Herts District Council and Hertfordshire County Council to enable commencement of development as early as possible following adoption of the Local Plan.