18 new homes planned for derelict Hitchin hospital site

Defunct hospital site

Defunct hospital site - Credit: Archant

Plans to bring the derelict Hitchin Hospital site back into use have been posted, with 18 homes included in the blueprint for the Talbot Street site.

An application submitted to North Herts District Council includes 14 four-bed homes, one with five bedrooms and a trio of three-bed units.

There will also be landscaping and alterations to nearby roads after demolition of existing buildings including the bulldozing of the empty hospital which closed in 2012, ending a century and a half of care at the site – original infirmary dated back to 1840.

The site once served as Hitchin’s main healthcare base but, after the opening of the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, it was mainly catered for elderly patients until it closed its doors.

Jo Wearne, 38, who lives in nearby Chalkdell Path, said: “I know a lot of people are concerned about the lack of parking around the area – that’s the main issue, although I think it’s sad they haven’t made more effort to try and conserve the hospital building itself.

“It’s such a lovely old building. It’s got a lot of history.

“It’s unique building and I just think they could have kept it, or even just kept the facade.

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“I completely agree with the fact that people need places to live, and it’s nice to see there will be homes built instead of the usual flats we seem to get in the town, but the uninspiring boxes they are building after razing such a lovely building is just very disappointing.

“It’s an important part of Hitchin’s architectural heritage – but I guess it was built in a time when interesting and original architecture meant more than mere profit.”

Ben Battell, land manager for the developers East Street Homes, said: “Our development offers a sensitively designed, high quality built environment, meeting local and national aspirations for sustainability and character – which we feel will provide significant improvement for the future and existing residents in the surrounding area.

“Following positive engagement with the district council and a considered appraisal of the identity of the area and the site’s setting, the development has been planned to embody high quality and inclusive design.”

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