More time for Hitchin redevelopment decision

RESIDENTS opposing the unpopular Churchgate redevelopment scheme will have to wait until after New Year to see what the future of the project will be.

At a North Herts District Council cabinet meeting last night (Thursday), councillors did not decide whether or not to recommend to full council that Simons – responsible for the Hitchin project – should be given an extended cut off date.

It had been recommended by officers that they should.

Instead, they agreed a set of new recommendations, decided on the night, which means that full council will not meet to discuss the scheme until January – at least six weeks later than the original agreed date at the end of this month.

Councillors will be briefed on the history, and officers will investigate and report back on alternative options.

Those options will include Simons’ request to extend a first-cut off date by six months – against residents wishes.

That date, currently March, is the latest a planning application can be submitted.

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• For a special report from the meeting, and reaction from residents, groups and councillors, see next week’s Comet.