The first building of settle's Hitchin redevelopment scheme has been completed, providing retirement living flats for up to 37 residents.

Work began on the housing association's Kingfisher House scheme, in partnership with Jarvis Construction, in January 2021.

The five-storey housing block will become home to 37 residents from the retirement living flats at Westmill Lawns.

Some of the residents have started to move across into their new homes, with all moves expected to be completed by the end of July. The building also includes a convenience shop and a takeaway unit on the ground floor.

Representatives from settle were recently joined by North Herts councillors, including leader Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Cllr Ian Albert and Cllr Nigel Mason.

The Comet: North Herts Council and settle representatives open the new Kingfisher House in John Barker PlaceNorth Herts Council and settle representatives open the new Kingfisher House in John Barker Place (Image: ©2022 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved+44 7880551692)

Work has also started on phase two of the development, where the shops and flats were previously located. This will deliver 46 new homes - 12 for social rent, 12 for retirement living, and 22 for shared ownership - due to be completed by autumn 2023.

Gavin Cansfield, chief executive at settle, said: “I am delighted we have got Kingfisher House to this stage. It really is a building to be celebrated.

“I am really excited for the residents who are moving into their new homes over the coming weeks and thank them for their continued resilience throughout and for working closely with us by sharing their feedback so that we could develop homes and an area that they feel proud to live in.

“I am also really pleased to see that the next phase of the development has started with plans for further investment in John Barker Place, as well as the wider Westmill neighbourhood."

Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg added: “We need more projects that are driven for the community and by the community like what has been delivered here I think that is the legacy that John Barker Place gives us."

settle has outline planning permission for a third phase of development on Freemans Close, providing over 45 new homes, and is consulting with residents on two further phases at John Barker Place and Westmill Lawns.

Detailed plans and images are available to view at until July 31, when the consultation will close.

Residents are invited to leave their comments and feedback.