Local News

Housebuilding in Hertford

Friday 24 September 2021

Over 1200 new homes will be built in Hertford over the next decade, with hundreds of homes currently under construction on both brownfield and greenfield sites around the town.

The East Herts District Plan was adopted in 2018 following a public enquiry conducted by a government inspector. The plan sets out the council's planning policies and allocates land for various uses including employment and housing.

Here we look at the five big developments taking place in Hertford at the moment.

Blakemore Manor

Croudace Homes are currently building 254 properties on land to the west of Thieves Lane. The homes are mostly houses, with 73 flats ((24x 1bed + 49x 2bed) and 181 houses – a mix of 2 to 4 bedroomed. 40% of the properties will be affordable. The development will be accessed by two new road junctions in Thieves Lane and Welwyn Road. The 395/6 bus route will be extended to serve the development.

The field was removed from the Green Belt in the District Plan.

Planning permission was granted with a recommendation that Croudace contribute £3.4m to education services.

Meridian Place

The site of the former F.C.Green’s garage in Ware Road is being redeveloped by Persimmon Homes to provide 51 new homes, made up of 49 flats and two houses.

Planning permission for five commercial units was refused in 2010. Permission for 14 new homes and a veterinary surgery were granted in 2014. However, the permission expired before it could be implemented. A further application was submitted in 2016 for 67 new homes but was withdrawn before a decision was made. The current plans were submitted in 2019 and approved in 2020.

There are 19 affordable homes in the development.

Planning conditions associated with the development include a contribution of £35,250 towards improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes along Ware Road and Hertford East station. Other contributions include £60,000 for education, £12,000 for parks and public gardens; and £32,000 for outdoor sports facilities.

Lea Wharf

Bircherley Green shopping centre was partially demolished in 2018 following four years of planning by owner Diageo Pension Trust. Shortly after, the site was sold to Chase New Homes, who are currently redeveloping the site to provide 3479 sqm of commercial floorspace and 98 residential apartments.

Plans for an 86-bed hotel on the south of the site fell through after Premier Inn withdrew from the project. The future of this part of the site remains uncertain.

The commercial space is roughly equivalent to that provided by the former shopping centre, although no tenants have yet been announced.

Following demolition of the remaining buildings in 2021, construction work started in the summer. 

The first homes are expected to go on sale in September 2022.

The Stiles

The Stiles is a development of 52 homes on the site of the former Bengeo Nursery in Sacombe Road. The site is allocated for housing in the council’s District Plan. The development provides 8 flats and 44 houses, 40% of which are affordable homes.

Recommended planning conditions include contributions of £730,000 for education, £55,000 for sustainable transport projects, and £26,000 for village and community projects. There are also contributions for sports halls, swimming pools and children’s play.

Gas Works

A development of 375 homes - mostly flats - is currently underway on the former gas works site in Marshgate Drive.

The brownfield site lies to the east of the town centre and was allocated in the District Plan for around 200 homes.

Developer St.William submitted a planning application for almost twice the allocated number in 2018. The district council’s Development Control Committee voted unanimously to refuse the application.

However, the developer lodged an appeal and a government inspector overturned the council’s decision in 2020. Work began on site in the summer of 2021.

Together these five developments will deliver 830 new homes. Other sites earmarked for housing include Archers Spring to the west of Sele Farm (300 properties) and in Mangrove Road (50 properties). 

A development of 49 homes on a former industrial site in Tamworth Road has also received planning permission.

Smaller so-called “windfall sites” will also add to the number of new homes. In Bengeo Street, six new properties are nearing completion, whilst in North Road the former Sele Arms public house has been demolished to make way for nine houses. Scott House in Hagsdell Road has recently received planning permission to be converted to 15 flats.

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