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Up to 160 extra new houses and a care home pencilled in for St Michael's Hurst in Stortford

St Michaels Hurst
St Michaels Hurst

An extra 160 properties are set to be built at St Michael's Hurst in Bishop's Stortford.

St Michaels Hurst
St Michaels Hurst

The estate’s developer, Countryside, has submitted a revised application to East Herts Council for phase C of the building project off Rye Street which could take the total number of homes on the site to 489.

It wants to increase the number of units for that part of the site from 110 to either 260 plus a 66-bedroom care home, or 270 new homes in total.

Countryside argues the proposed increase in the number of homes will facilitate better use of available land to provide much needed affordable homes for the local community.

Phase A – currently under construction – and Phase B of the development will provide 219 new homes - 27-42 dwellings per hectare (DPH), including 25% affordable housing.

St Michaels Hurst
St Michaels Hurst

Under the original outline application, 110 homes would have remained to be constructed on 9.5 hectares of land, resulting in a density of 11 DPH, which is now not considered the best use of available land. Commentators have suggested the developer is struggling to sell its larger new builds - five-bed properties are on sale for £780k.

The new application for the Phase C+ area provides for 30-35 DPH, commensurate with Phases A and B and will enable 40% affordable housing – the district council’s policy standard - to be secured.

Countryside has submitted a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in support of its application which considers the wider impacts of the increased number of dwellings on community and infrastructure matters such as transport, healthcare, education and air quality.

The St Michael’s Hurst site also includes space for a small primary, but Herts County Council wants to build a larger school on former Bishop’s Stortford Town Council allotments off Farnham Road to serve the new residents and families from Stortford Fields, which is also under construction. If the education authority is successful, further development land could be freed up within the estate.

St Michaels Hurst
St Michaels Hurst

Modifications to the draft district plan, currently being considered, change the maximum capacity of the Bishop’s Stortford North developments from 2,529 to making that total the minimum to be built.

David Everett, managing director at Countryside New Homes and Communities Central, said: “This new outline planning application for the remainder of St Michael’s Hurst provides a unique opportunity for Countryside to provide a wider range of new housing, including 40% affordable housing, in the Bishop’s Stortford area, while helping to achieve the five-year housing supply requirements in the local area”.

“We are committed to ensuring our developments have a positive impact on community life and are enthusiastic about the possibility of delivering a new care home for the area, in addition to high-quality new homes.

“We look forward to receiving feedback from the local community on our plans.”

St Michaels Hurst
St Michaels Hurst

Countryside hopes its latest application will come before East Herts development management committee later in the year.


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