Plans approved for more than 50 new homes at former Foundation House site

An artist's impression of how the scheme may look on its completion. Picture: Heritage Foundation

An artist's impression of how the scheme may look on its completion. Picture: Heritage Foundation - Credit: Archant

A planning application for 57 new homes on a Letchworth brownfield site has been approved by North Herts District Council's planning committee.

The joint venture by First Garden Cities Homes and The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation will bring 18 one-bedroom, and 39 two-bedroom apartments to the former office block, Foundation House. 

An artist's impression of how the scheme may look on its completion. Picture: Heritage Foundation

An artist's impression of how the scheme may look on its completion. Picture: Heritage Foundation - Credit: Archant

The Icknield Way site was formerly home to The Heritage Foundation, up until 2019, when its offices moved Broadway. 

John Welch, chief executive of First Garden Cities Homes, spoke in support of the application at last night's meeting.

He said: "We are extremely pleased to be joint applicants with the Heritage Foundation for the proposed development.

Foundation House Icknield Way

The existing building, Foundation House, will be demolished to make way for new flats - Credit: Google


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"The proposal will bring forward 57 well designed apartments as part of a scheme that will bring a fantastic amenity to the town and to Icknield Way. 

"Sixteen of the apartments will be for outright sale. The remaining 41 will be for shared ownership and affordable rent. This exceeds the number of affordable homes of 23 outlined in the council's planning policy, and does reflect First Garden Cities Homes and the Heritage Foundation's approach to helping local people to find a home. 

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"All of these 41 units will go to local people who qualify via a local connection to North Herts. In the case of rented units, that will be by direct nomination from the council's own waiting list. 

"First Garden Cities has the finances in place and a plan to start with the project in the early summer. This will mean that the first homes can be available to those that need them most in early 2023."

During the consultation, the council received 12 responses - 11 of which were objections - out of 224 consultees. 

However, no objectors spoke at the planning committee meeting last night.

The apartments will be arranged in distinct three-storey blocks, each with its own entrance. The design is in keeping with the principles on which Letchworth was founded.

Features include an open frontage onto Icknield Way, buildings arranged around a series of formal landscaped areas, and a communal area for residents at the back of the development.

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