Proposed redevelopment of Hitchin's Westmill boosted by £20 million investment

PUBLISHED: 15:04 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 17 April 2019

This is what the proposed redevelopment of Westmill's John Barker Place could look like. Picture: Settle

This is what the proposed redevelopment of Westmill's John Barker Place could look like. Picture: Settle

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A proposed redevelopment in Hitchin has been given a financial boost after housing association Settle pledged to put £20 million into the project.

John Barker Place, Hitchin. Picture: DANNY LOOJohn Barker Place, Hitchin. Picture: DANNY LOO

Plans for 83 new homes in John Barker Place have been unveiled, with a planning application expected to be submitted to North Hertfordshire District Council in May.

The new homes will provide units for rent, retirement living and shared ownership.

NHDC have also pledged to put a further £1 million into the project, which is expected to start in January next year, with homes available by 2022.

Executive director of customer service at Settle, Anita Khan was delight to be able to put plans forward, saying: “We have always been committed to finding viable options for investing in the Westmill estate for the benefit of existing residents.

John Barker Place, Hitchin. Picture: DANNY LOOJohn Barker Place, Hitchin. Picture: DANNY LOO

“I'm pleased that through working with our partners across North Hertfordshire, we're now able to put forward these plans which will see us investing £20 million in new homes on John Barker Place to match the current housing needs of local people.”

READ MORE: Hitchin's Westmill regeneration still on cards after £1 million question

Should the development go ahead, it will be built in two phases according to Settle.

The first will see homes built for residents of the nearby Westmill Lawns retirement living scheme and in Freemans Close, which backs onto John Barker Place

John Barker Place, Hitchin. Picture: DANNY LOOJohn Barker Place, Hitchin. Picture: DANNY LOO

The second phase will be built on the shops and children's play area currently on the site.

A new play area will then be provided on unused land in Westmill.

The development will also include new commercial units, and Settle as promised to work with local businesses to help them move into these new facilities.

Ian Fullstone, NHDC's service director, said: “The council has been fully supportive of Settle's intention to redevelop John Barker Place.

This is what the proposed redevelopment of Westmill's John Barker Place could look like. Picture: SettleThis is what the proposed redevelopment of Westmill's John Barker Place could look like. Picture: Settle

“We are delighted that the project is moving forward and have committed over a million pounds from our budget for affordable housing.

“The regeneration plan will improve the local area, providing a variety of affordable new housing options for residents.

“We look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have across the neighbourhood.”

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