Plans submitted to turn former hotel near Hitchin into homes

The Node

The Node - Credit: Archant

A former hotel and conference centre is set to be converted into apartments and houses if councillors support a recommendation to approve the scheme.

Members of North Herts District Council (NHDC) will meet next week to discuss plans to convert The Node Conference and Training Centre on Hitchin Road in Codicote into residential homes.

The wedding venue closed in 2011 after its owners, Chartridge, which also runs Hitchin Priory, said the facility was no longer financially viable.

The building was subsequently bought in 2012 with various unsuccessful planning applications submitted to NHDC since.

If the latest plans, which have been submitted by Court Homes Ltd and Hertfordshire Homes, are approved, the main house will be converted into 10 apartments including extensions and alterations.

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The proposals also include converting a former stable block into three mews houses, and building three four-bedroom detached houses and garages with access driveways. There would also be a block of 13 separate garages built.

The modern extensions to the main house, bedroom accommodation block, training centre and other outbuildings would be demolished, and existing roads and parking areas removed.

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In a report published by NHDC’s planning officers, who recommend for the application to be granted, Codicote Parish Council has raised objections to the plans citing that the three new houses are out of keeping with the parkland setting and that the size of the garages are too large.

Hertfordshire Garden Trust has also raised objections and considers the grounds of The Node to be an important local heritage asset.

The Trust believes the hierarchy of buildings on the site would be compromised by the scale of the three new houses and the garage block would adversely affect the significance of the house and the grounds.

It also raised concerns about the amount of parking outside the front of the main house.

Members of NHDC’s planning committee will consider the application at a meeting next Thursday, February 20.

Chairman of Codicote Parish Council’s planning committee, Jacque Grant, said that she has no additional comment to add.

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