Multi-storey car park proposal for Hatfield
PUBLISHED: 10:25 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:53 31 March 2017
Plans for the long term transformation and regeneration of Hatfield could be made possible by a new town centre multi-storey car park.
Surface level parking currently accounts for over a third of town centre space and Welwyn Hatfield Council Cabinet members will consider a recommendation on Tuesday (4 April) to prepare plans for a multi-storey on The Common car park.
Pivotal space, central to the Hatfield 2030+ vision and next stage of regeneration, could then be released for residential and mixed use development, with the aim of increasing footfall and attracting further retail and leisure to the area.
The council has already invested £4.65m in town centre improvements since 2015.
This is on top of about £11.6m invested to acquire sites – including the recent acquisition of Culpitt House – and to develop larger plans, with proposals to transform Numbers 1 and 3-9 Town Centre now submitted.
Town centre transformation is at the heart of the Hatfield 2030+ vision for future regeneration and renewal.
Preliminary survey work will take place over the coming months at other sites to begin assessing their viability for inclusion in longer term regeneration plans.
A detailed proposal will also be submitted to Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) outlining how the £6m in funding, secured from the Government’s Growth Deal, should be used to support the development of town centre projects in Hatfield.
Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business and partnerships, and Hatfield 2030+ board member, said: “Our investment programme has already achieved a great deal, revitalising the town centre and improving the environment for residents, shoppers and businesses.
“The recent acquisition of some key sites will also give us much greater control over future development plans and this proposal opens up new possibilities to drive our shared vision for the town centre forwards.”
Quintin McKellar, chairman of the Hatfield 2030+ Board, vice chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire and LEP board member, said: “Local people shaped our vision from the start, and the number one priority for the community is the transformation of the town centre.
“At the heart of the next stage of regeneration is reducing the amount of surface level parking and a multi-storey would free up space while ensuring sufficient parking remains in the town.
“At this early stage, more must be done to identify which sites are viable for inclusion in longer term plans and we’ll keep everyone updated as work progresses and more details become available.”
•It is anticipated that a five-storey steel structure with around 500 spaces will be sufficient to re-provide spaces likely to be lost in other surface car parks.
•A £6m funding boost from the LEP was announced in January 2015 to regenerate Hatfield town centre.
•Hatfield 2030+ is a project led by the Hatfield Renewal Partnership which brings together Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield Town Council, Goodman Business Parks, Oaklands College, Finesse Leisure, Gascoyne Cecil Estates and the Galleria.
•The Hatfield 2030+ Vision is “a well-connected, distinctive and multi centred town with a renewed ‘New Town’ pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit. A town that re-balances economic growth and world class education assets with new and rejuvenated housing, excellent community, culture, retail and leisure facilities and a series of connected urban centres.”
If proposals are approved by Cabinet on Tuesday, a planning application is expected to be submitted in summer 2017. Construction on site is anticipated to start in spring/summer 2018.
The full Cabinet report can be viewed on the council’s website.
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