Plans for 25 flats at Hatfield Job Centre site sparks parking fears

Unemployment is up across the Fenlands and is bucking the national trend

Unemployment is up across the Fenlands and is bucking the national trend - Credit: Archant

The final part of plans to turn Hatfield’s Job Centre into 25 homes is set to be recommended for approval by borough council officers.

The Salisbury Square site’s owners already have permission to turn office space on the first, second and third floors into 16 one-bedroom flats.

But the latest applications – set to be decided on by the Development Management Committee on Thursday, March 1 – relate to the ground floor and roof space, where they hope to build four one-bed flats and five two-beds.

The plans were previously called in after Hatfield Town Council voiced fears about parking, loss of commercial space and where the Job Centre would be relocated to.

A Job Centre spokeswoman said it is waiting to see the outcome of the application and will then consider its options.

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Dr Jonathan Fisher, chairman Old Hatfield Residents Association (OHRA), said he would accept the proposal as long as parking provision was restricted to the 25 spaces currently provided for the Job Centre.

He also said it was vital that the new residents were not allowed to park in spaces allocated for current residents in Old Hatfield.

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“The site has good access to Hatfield station,” Mr Fisher added. “There is a severe shortage of parking in Old Hatfield. Any development which could reduce space available for parking should not be allowed.”

Kerstin Holman, Conservative borough councillor for Hatfield East, said: “It’s good to have the job centre removed, the bad news is that there will be more apartments and more parking problems.

“I can’t see how this can happen unless we have underground parking.”

According to a council document, there would be 25 parking spaces, along with secure storage for 28 cycles.

Explaining their recommendation, officers wrote: The impacts of the proposal have been considered in terms of the visual amenity of the site, its surrounding area, together with the living conditions of future occupiers and neighbouring residents.

“It has been concluded in these respects that the proposal would maintain and enhance the subject building, a good standard of living conditions would be created and there would not be any adverse impacts on the living conditions of neighbouring residents.”

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