'Important milestone' reached in building of John Barker Place

Council leader Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg joined Cllr Gary Grindal, North Herts councillors and settle at John Barker Place

North Herts Council leader, Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, joined Cllr Gary Grindal, executive member for housing, councillors Clare Billing and Nigel Mason and representatives from settle to view the highest floor in the John Barker Place redevelopment - Credit: Kevin Lines Photography

Housing association settle has reached roof level on the first building in its £20m regeneration of John Barker Place on Hitchin's Westmill estate.

The leader of North Herts Council, Councillor Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, joined executive member for housing Councillor Gary Grindal, along with councillors Clare Billing and Nigel Mason and representatives from settle, to view the highest floor in the building and discuss future plans for the upcoming phases of the development.

The first building will provide 37 homes and two commercial units in summer 2022. Work on the second building is scheduled to begin in spring and will deliver 46 new homes in autumn 2023.

Gavin Cansfield, chief executive at settle, said: “I am really delighted to have reached this important milestone and have the opportunity to share how far this development has come.

"These are going to be fantastic affordable homes for local residents, and I can’t wait until they get to experience that for themselves.

“Our commitment at settle is to provide homes that are comfortable, safe and that residents are proud to live in, as well as bringing benefits to the wider community."

Cllr Gary Grindal added: “It was great to visit this development and see for ourselves the work going in to providing new homes for the local community.

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"The council is committed to meeting the housing needs of our residents by working with partners such as settle to provide affordable housing in the district.”

Staff at settle recently contacted residents at John Barker Place and Westmill Road about proposals to redevelop and invest in building more new homes on the site of existing properties.

In total this includes 80 homes – 68 on John Barker Place and 12 on the corner with Westmill Road, as well as plans to redevelop the site of the Westmill Lawns retirement living scheme.

The best option for residents, settle proposes, is to provide new homes through a phased building programme - similar to the new homes and shops on John Barker Place - rather than carrying out extensive works on existing properties to bring them up to standards the government requires landlords to meet.

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