A consultation is taking place for new homes and the major redevelopment of retail units in Hitchin High Street.

An extensive document from PowerHaus Consultancy has revealed that a major development of 9-10 High Street is being proposed, with 46 one and two-bedroom apartments built in gabled houses.

Retail units at High Street level would be retained, with the site stretching from High Street back to Paynes Park.

"The project aims to provide high quality designed apartments in the town centre, combining the advantages of modern living with the traditional character of the town," the document states.

The Comet: The full plans for the High Street.The full plans for the High Street. (Image: PowerHaus Consultancy)

"Breaking the large site down into a series of courtyards and gabled house forms allows the site to achieve an efficient scheme of 46 apartments while maintaining the small residential scale of the local area.

"Due to the change in level across the site, the high street retail unit can be maintained."

Focus has also been put on providing green space for residents, with three courtyard gardens included in the plans.

"The proposal focuses on courtyard gardens strategically placed to offer light and space to nearby listed buildings," the document continues.

The Comet: The proposed view of the development from Paynes Park.The proposed view of the development from Paynes Park. (Image: PowerHaus Consultancy)

"Balconies and main windows of apartments face inward towards these green spaces to ensure privacy.

"The design prioritises these green spaces. Giving residents external space to enjoy, look out onto and provide habitat for local biodiversity.

"Each courtyard has been designed differently to give a variety of spaces and potential activities for residents us use. The proposal provides space for micro-allotments and planters, paved spaces for communal activity, and softer green space for play."

Efforts will also be made to keep the development in fitting with historic buildings in High Street, and will match the height of the current street scene.

The Comet: Open spaces for resident is a key focus of the development.Open spaces for resident is a key focus of the development. (Image: PowerHaus Consultancy)

"The proposal takes reference of the local vernacular of pitched roof, gabled façades, dormer windows and carriage undercrofts," the document adds.

"These are brought together in a contemporary scheme that allows spacious, modern, and light-filled homes which maintain the scale and residential character of the town.

"The pitched roofs allow the height of the scheme to be brought down where it meets the neighbouring buildings, while the undercrofts allow clearly defined and secure entrances that continue the strong character of hidden arcades and gardens off the high-street."

The consultation will be open until April 24, and you can view the proposals by visiting powerhausconsultancy.co.uk/consultation.

Originally home to Woolworths, the units at 9-10 High Street were split into two after the retailer went bust in 2009.

Poundland and M&Co would move in, but both spaces have stood empty since April last year when the fashion retailer went in administration.