Plans to build 1,000 homes defended as Letchworth Heritage Foundation hosts annual meeting

The proposed site for the housing development is placed in the narrow boundary between the north of

The proposed site for the housing development is placed in the narrow boundary between the north of Letchworth GC and Stotfold - Credit: Archant

A decision to back plans to build 1,000 homes on Green Belt land as well as future town projects were discussed at a charitable organisation’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation held its annual general meeting at the Broadway Cinema, where residents were given the opportunity to ask questions about the organisation’s activities over the past financial year to board members.

First on the agenda was a review of the process which in December 2013 saw Heritage Foundation trustees decided that a proposal for 1,000 homes proposal on land north of the Grange estate in Letchworth GC should be considered for inclusion in North Hertfordshire District Council’s (NHDC) Local Plan.

If the proposal is included in NHDC’s adopted Local Plan, further consultation will take place later in the year.

Defending the decision, Heritage Foundation chairman Colin Chatfield said: “The development would be of high quality, offering homes to local people, there will be gardens and green space, the Greenway will be enhanced and extended, the buildings will be sustainable. We will also work closely with authorities and partners to bring forward appropriate new facilities and transport links.”

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Chief executive John Lewis then presented slides on the Heritage Foundation’s financial results, revealing that in the last financial year £4.1 million was invested back into Letchworth GC along with a 16% increase in money for charitable commitments.

Future projects – including having a Loungers Ltd coffee shop in the old Argos building in Leys Avenue, North Hertfordshire College’s plans to knock down the Da Vinci Hall and replace it with a creative campus, and bringing a Premier Inn to Letchworth GC – were also discussed.

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Mr Lewis also revealed that as well as transforming Screen One at the Broadway Cinema into a theatre space, Letchworth GC will host its first outdoor cinema event in the Broadway Gardens on August 16, with the film choice going to a public vote.

He added that representatives from the Heritage Foundation, which is creating three new gardens in The Wynd in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, would be attending Letchworth Food and Garden Festival on May 17-18 so residents can discuss the project further.

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