Bring a halt to this madness!

A PETITION signed by 200 residents who oppose a controversial planning application will be handed to councillors next week. They are afraid that plans to pull down Rose Cottage, a Victorian building located at 89 Walsworth Road, Hitchin, and replace it wi

A PETITION signed by 200 residents who oppose a controversial planning application will be handed to councillors next week.

They are afraid that plans to pull down Rose Cottage, a Victorian building located at 89 Walsworth Road, Hitchin, and replace it with 11 houses could be given the green light when town councillors meet at their area committee next Tuesday.

The decision will be made just a month after the committee granted another contentious application to build 140 new residential units at the Brookers Yard and Suzuki and Peter Fish premises at Paynes Park in the town centre.

In the agenda for next week's meeting, North Hertfordshire District Council's planning officers have recommended that councillors grant permission.


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This is despite opposition from a variety of organisations in the town including Hitchin Forum, the Hitchin Society and the Trevor Road Residents' Association, located just off Walsworth Road.

The residents' association said that local people are upset about the demolition of Rose Cottage and a petition would be handed in during next week's meeting.

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The association also said it is calling for "councillors and planning officials to bring a halt to the madness that has seen numerous buildings rise throughout the heart of the historic town".

Association member Simon Harvey said: "We call on everyone involved to step back, take a breath and consider what is being done to the town. Cranes, new builds and private profit have gone too far."

Speaking on behalf of the Hitchin Forum, a spokesman said the councillors should "safeguard Hitchin's historical integrity".

The spokesman said: "Attractive, well-built and substantial Victorian buildings like Rose Cottage are not only a link with our past, but their sympathetic conversion to new uses must be seen as a sustainable way for the future. Demolition is not an option."

Next week's meeting will also see a decision being made on a planning application to build 92 dwellings on land off Walsworth Road and adjacent to the B&Q store.

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