A revised planning application for Hatfield Town Centre is being finalised by St. Modwen and is expected to be submitted to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council for consideration imminently. Following a detailed review of the original scheme, all three partners; the Council, St. Modwen and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), are proposing a revised scheme for the redevelopment of the town centre.
The revised scheme has been designed to be flexible, so that it could be delivered as a whole or implemented on a phased basis, as market conditions dictate. The proposals would see the creation of a central High Street for the town; offering modern shopping and living. The scheme also maintains an anchor store for the eastern end of the town centre, along with a new town square, new bus interchange, taxi rank, public toilets and residential units.
The Council has committed investment from the Growth Area Funding received from the government for the scheme. However, due to continued ecominic challenges viability remains a significant issue and the partnership is exploring all avenues to bridge the resulting funding gap, including an application for Kick Start funding which is being run by the HCA.
Councillor John Dean, Leader of the Council: “I am pleased with the outcome of the review. There has been continued commitment from us and the partners to redevelop the town centre since the start of the uncertain economic times which resulted in the original scheme becoming unviable. The planning application represents a significant step for the town centre. The public now have the chance to comment on a revised and very robust scheme.”
Rupert Wood, Regional Director at St. Modwen comments: “We have worked extremely hard to explore all possible options for getting redevelopment started, but we still face some real challenges. We are now at a crucial stage where, with the support of our partners and the local community, we have a scheme which we can realistically move forward when funding and economic constraints allow.”
Councillor Margaret Birleson, Leader of the Labour group echoed the Leader’s sentiments: “The revised scheme looks really good. I’m looking forward to seeing the project move forward and hearing the views of residents.”
Councillor Tony Skottowe, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “There are some interesting ideas proposed that will be wonderful to see in the town centre. In the current recession, the revised scheme gives us the best chance of delivering a successful redevelopment.”
Terry Fuller, Regional Director for the HCA in the East of England said: “We will continue to work together with all our partners to deliver a scheme that meets the aspirations of all stakeholders.”
The proposed plans will be available to view at an exhibition, at the old Pizza Hut unit in the town centre, on 11, 12 and 13 February, where the community will have the opportunity to find out more about the revised scheme. Once registered, the proposals will also be available to view online at www.welhat.gov.uk.