Hitchin residents to be consulted on John Barker redevelopment at public forum

A computer graphic of the proposed redevelopment of Westmill's John Barker Place. Picture: Settle

A computer graphic of the proposed redevelopment of Westmill's John Barker Place. Picture: Settle - Credit: Settle

Westmill residents will be consulted on the redevelopment of John Barker Place at a public forum on Monday.

The consultation, hosted by housing association Settle, will be held at the Priory School from 7pm to 9pm.

Residents will be able to ask questions and share grievances about the £20 million redevelopment programme, which includes plans for a new children's play area at Swinburne playing fields.

The application to relocate the current play area to Swinburne Avenue was criticised by a number of residents over fears that the new premises are too far away from the estate and will be the target of anti-social behaviour.

Westmill resident Jackie McDonald said: "Having spoken to many local people at length, it is apparent that there has been very little consultation with residents, who live close by to the John Barker Place Shops and also right across the Oughton ward.

"I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the public meeting on the night and make your views known."

Speaking in early October, North Herts District Cllr Clare Billing - who represents the Hitchin Oughton ward - said the additional meeting had been arranged "after a number of concerns raised on Facebook."

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Plans for the £20 million redevelopment of the John Barker Estate were submitted by North Herts District Council in June this year - after securing the funding of Settle - and will see 83 new homes and two commercial units built,

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