Government ’red tape’ delays renovation work at Hitchin’s Walsworth Common

Work at Walsworth Common has been delayed.

Work at Walsworth Common has been delayed. - Credit: Archant

Renovation work at the Walsworth Common play area in Hitchin has been halted due to government ‘red tape’.

Improvement work began in September and was expected to be finished in eight weeks but has had to be stopped because parts of the domain are registered as common land – resulting in consent being required to carry out work because of special statutory protection surrounding it.

This follows a discovery by North Hertfordshire District Council that a special application to the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs may be needed for the refurbishment to continue. The application may take several months to complete and be approved.

District council leader Lynda Needham said: “We would like to sincerely apologise for the delay to the renovation of the play area. In the meantime we hope people will still continue to enjoy everything else Walsworth Common has to offer.”

Plans to enhance the area in 2015, by replacing the bridge, creating new signage and making improvements to the river and habitat for wildlife will be unaffected by the delay,

Meanwhile, renovation of the play area at Ransoms Recreation Ground in Hitchin, which include the addition of a mega tyre swing and climbing wall, is already underway and is due to be completed towards the end of November.