Plans for two new Baldock neighbourhoods to go on show next week

Baldock town centre.

Baldock town centre. - Credit: Archant

Plans for two new Baldock neighbourhoods containing more than 3,000 homes will be exhibited to the public next week, with locals invited to have their say as part of a consultation.

Two swathes of land owned by Herts County Council to the north and south-east of Baldock have been earmarked in North Herts District Council’s draft Local Plan as a potential site for more then 3,000 homes.

The public can view and comment on the county council’s vision for its land by attending a public exhibition at the Baldock Community Centre in Simpson Drive on either Tuesday or Saturday next week.

David Williams, the county council’s cabinet member for resources, property and the economy, said: “Over the coming months we will be consulting with the local community on our vision for our land starting with two public exhibitions next week.

“I hope lots of local people can come along and help shape our plans.”

Derrick Ashley, the county council cabinet member for environment, planning and transport, added: “In Baldock we have a unique opportunity to make a major contribution to the housing needs of the county with an exemplar development that will raise the standard both in terms of quality and design.

“The county council will work over the next few years to ensure that Baldock will be the gold standard to which other developers should aspire.”

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The draft Local Plan for North Hertfordshire, which sets out how the district will be developed up to 2031, was approved by the district council in April. It is set to be considered by a planning inspector in the autumn, with final approval required from the Secretary of State next year.

Baldock is to receive an estimated 3,436 new homes on eight Green Belt sites under the plan, with 2,800 of these going north of the town – the biggest development in the blueprint.

This means Baldock will increase in size by 80 per cent, while Hitchin, Letchworth and Royston will grow by 11, 15 and 25 per cent respectively.

The county council has described the Baldock North and Baldock South East plots as sustainable locations for new development, including new-to-market and affordable homes.

The plans could involve two new link roads that would take traffic away from Baldock town centre, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

A spokeswoman said: “Hertfordshire County Council recognises that the long term success of the development is dependent on the quality of design of both the buildings and the open spaces. Therefore capturing the thoughts of the local community to help steer the project forward is essential.

“Feedback from the consultation event will be used from the start to ensure the project moves in the right direction.”

During a six-week consultation in October and November last year, the district council’s Local Plan attracted responses from 2,549 unique individuals, of whom 2,505 – 98 per cent – objected.

In all there were 5,675 representations, of which 5,296 – 94 per cent – were objections.

Herts County Council’s Baldock exhibition runs from 3pm to 8pm on Tuesday and 10am to 1pm on Saturday.

The proposals will also be available online from Monday, July 17, at