New homes debate sees people turn out in force in Hitchin
- Credit: Archant
More than 100 people turned up to two meetings held on the draft Local Plan in Hitchin town centre on Saturday.
Among the items for the discussion at the Sun Hotel which was organised by the Hitchin Town Action Group were housing and greenbelt, town centres and economy, design, healthy communities, and transport.
A spokesman for HTAG said: “We were very pleased with the way it went. We had nearly 60 people attend in the morning and almost 50 in the afternoon. We were also very pleased there were a lot of young people in attendance.
“Housing and Green Belt along with transport arguably provided the most debate.
“It is clear in terms of transport if the Local Plan is carried out existing transport problems in the town will be exacerbated. There are already congestion issues regarding car parking and access at the station which are only going to get worse.
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“The congestion on Cambridge Road and Walsworth Road is already a real problem – and the Highover, and development sites west of Hitchin are going to make it worse.
“Big lorries are also a nightmare at the moment. The embargo on development in the industrial estate area has seen it languishing for two decades.
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“Hitchin has become a ‘destination centre’ – but it has to be reflected and supported in the local plan. The council says it wants to protect the ‘vitality’ of the area – but what does it actually mean?
“What was instructive was our meetings proved there are a large number of people – including young people – who care about Hitchin. It was exciting and really rewarding to see.”
Councillor David Levett, who oversees North Herts District Council’s planning portfolio, said: “The turnout at these meetings has been absolutely fantastic. We’ve had so many responses which is great to see.”
The Draft Local Plan can be found online at www.north-herts.gov.uk, and formal responses have to be in by Friday, February 6.