Hitchin Town Hall given planning green light

HITCHIN Town Hall overcame another hurdle last week, after planning permission and listed building consent was granted by a council.

Councillors approved the �4.23m scheme at a planning meeting last Thursday, moving the project a step closer to the community based facility with an integrated museum.

Permission was granted for a multitude of works, including the demolition of the building adjacent to the property to allow an extension of the hall, so it can still be used for weddings, parties and other events.

“I am delighted at the decision to grant planning permission,” said Cllr Tricia Cowley, NHDC portfolio holder for community engagement and rural affairs.

“Hitchin Town Hall is an important listed building that has a valuable role within the community. It is a complex project that still has a long way to go but last week’s decision was an important step in the right direction.

“By restoring this historic building we hope to be able to keep our main focus clearly on the community, increase its usage and attract a wider sector of the community to use and enjoy the facilities for many years to come.”

Staff at both Hitchin and Letchworth Museums will soon begin sorting, cleaning, photographing and packing many thousands of items in readiness for the move.

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Work on the building is provisionally scheduled to start in January, with an estimated completion date of mid 2013.

“We are overjoyed that planning permission has been granted for Hitchin Town Hall,” said Morag Norgan, project board member for Hitchin Initiative.

“We can now look at more detailed plans that will help to make this become a reality.

“We will continue to work together in partnership with community groups and experts to address any issues that may arise to ensure that we deliver the best results for everyone.

“This is excellent news for the Hitchin community and the town economy.”