North Hertfordshire College plans for £5m revamp by selling off land for housing

PUBLISHED: 14:26 05 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:26 05 August 2019

North Hertfordshire College has announced plans to invest £5 million into sports facilities. Picture: DANNY LOO

North Hertfordshire College has announced plans to invest £5 million into sports facilities. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

North Hertfordshire College has announced plans to invest more than £5 million in developing new sports and teaching facilities, with funds raised by selling off campus land for housing.

The college has partnered with CALA Homes, North Home Counties region, to fund the development through the sale of a portion of land at the Hitchin campus. If the plans go through, CALA will create new homes on the Cambridge Road site - including areas of public open space.

NHC's proposals include a new multi-purpose sports hall and changing areas, a new 3G football pitch and sports science teaching facilities.

North Hertfordshire College principal Kit Davies said: "Our ageing sports facilities at the Hitchin campus are nearly 50 years old and in urgent need of replacement.

"Our proposals will provide much-needed industry-standard facilities for our students and for the local community, as well as meeting the local demand for new homes.

"We believe this investment is necessary if the college is to remain successful and continue to provide a high quality educational experience for our students.

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"We are proud that the college has been at the centre of Hitchin life for many years and is one of the town's biggest employers.

"It is therefore critical for us that we proceed with sensitivity and listen carefully to all viewpoints as we move forward. We will work closely with our neighbours as we develop our proposals further, so we have a plan that works for our students and for the community."

Jim Brunt - land director at CALA Homes, North Home Counties - said: "We are delighted to have been selected to play an integral part in facilitating the creation of this brand new multi-purpose sports facility at North Hertfordshire College, which will have long-lasting benefits for the local community.

"We are currently working on our development proposal which will include a range of new homes and public open space, and plan to present this to local residents for feedback in due course."

One of the beneficiaries of the investment will be Hitchin Town Youth Football Club. A partnership with NHC will give the club a home from which it can build and develop the work it does in the community.

Club chairman Paul Males said: "Hitchin Town Youth is a community club. We support young people from seven through to 17 years of age. A multi-million pound investment in new sports facilities is great news for the club and for young people in the town. It will give the club its first home and will ensure our players and their families benefit from everything the college can bring to the community.

"There is a long way to go but it is exciting news for everyone involved in and associated with Hitchin Town Youth."

The first public consultation into the plans will take place on Monday, September 9, between 3pm and 8pm at the NHC Sports Hall at the Hitchin Campus, and the college aims to submit a planning application by the end of the year.

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