Scenario 1 - No Greenfield Development

Development would take the form of an intensification of existing built areas around town railway stations.

Stevenage would see an expansion in population of between 20,000 and 26,000, with the land around Stevenage station comprehensively redeveloped. The single storey shops and surface car parks would be replaced by high density mixed-use development. Within 10 minutes travel of the hub, redevelopment would occurr on tentacles leading to district centres providing accommodation for a further 5,000 to 7,000. A new bus station would be required, adjacent to the station, and a pedestrian mall leading from it to the town square.

Hitchin would see high-density development with an increase of 9,000 to 13,000 across the town growth zone around the station, which would be linked by a mall and Private Rapid Transit (PRT) to the historic town centre.

In Letchworth a large part of the conservation area is inside the pedshed. This would not be developed, but elsewhere around the station low rise buildings and car parks would be redeveloped to accommodate 5,000 to 9,000.

Baldock, most of which is within the pedshed of the station, would increase by 2,000 to 4,000 in the town, but the large area of greenfield land also within the pedshed would be untouched.

From the figures in the table below it is clear that if green belt land is not built upon, it will not be possible to accommodate pro-rata growth. Even at medium densities by 2050 there will be a shortfall of housing for 22,000 persons.

Thus if the area is not to provide financial incentive for its portion of the growth to be accommodated in another part of the country, green belt land must be considered.

Potential for population growth in existing town pedsheds without developing green belt within them.

Capacity for growth showing predicted population of each town to 2080 if no green belt land is developed. Growth is highlighted yellow.