Hitchin town centre manager Tom Hardy has admitted he's "pleased" with the plans to redevelop a major building in town's High Street.

A consultation is open for plans to develop 9-10 High Street into 46 apartments, which stretch back to Paynes Park, while also retaining retail units.

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.

Speaking to The Comet, Hitchin town centre manager Tom Hardy admitted that although retailers have viewed both units as "uneconomical", he is pleased to see them retained as part of the High Street plans.

The Comet: Consultation for the plans is open until April 24.Consultation for the plans is open until April 24. (Image: PowerHaus Consultancy)

READ MORE: Consultation opens for redevelopment of Hitchin High Street

"Although there has been some interest from national chains, the size and business rates costs of these units has made it uneconomical for retails to make it work," he said. 

"It is inevitable that a development of this type was going to be proposed and I am pleased to see that they are keeping some smaller ground floor commercial space on the High Street."

With the units set to remain empty for some time, Tom is keen to get pop-business in, adding: "Visit Hitchin has been working closely with the landlords to improve the frontage by installing banners of places of interest in the town.

"We are also actively looking for pop-up businesses to take part of this space while plans are progressed. If anyone is interested in this space for a minimum of three months, please get in touch with tom.hardy@hitchinherts.com."

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