Planning application for Hitchin town hall moves along

PACE is gathering for plans to refurbish and create a museum facility at Hitchin Town Hall, after it was announced that the aim is to get planning permission and listed building consent by the end of March.

An �850,000 part-grant part-loan has been applied for by Hitchin Initiative and the outcome of this should be decided around January 18.

It is hoped that planning permission will be put in by next week, with listed building consent applied for by the end of the month.

The application will then be heard by North Herts District Council’s planning committee in March.

“This is a complex project with a series of steps to be negotiated to a tight timetable,” said John Robinson, NHDC’s strategic director of Customer Services and Project Executive.

“We have come a long way but there are still issues to sort out, including securing listed building consent and completing detailed designs and management plans.”

The �850,000 Community Builder’s Fund will make up the �4.23 million needed for the project, the remainder of which will be funded by NHDC.

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“On January 18 we will make an appearance in London for the Community Builders Fund,” said town centre manager Keith Hoskins.

“We should know what they decide within 24 hours.

“We are working extremely hard to meet the time scale.”

The community based scheme won the full backing of the council in November, with councillors unanimously choosing the design over an earlier scheme which would have seen the main hall split into two levels for the museum.

The scheme is also due to be discussed at an NHDC cabinet sub-committee on Monday, although no final decision will be made. A conclusion is expected to be reached by the committee at a future meeting.

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