Residents voice their wish list
The designers of a town centre regeneration have got their work cut out. At the first major public consultation on Saturday, Building Design Partnership met with Baldock residents to discuss the town centre strategy. Possibilities discussed included a on
The designers of a town centre regeneration have got their work cut out.
At the first major public consultation on Saturday, Building Design Partnership met with Baldock residents to discuss the town centre strategy.
Possibilities discussed included a one-way street system, enhancing the market, cycle routes, improved CCTV surveillance, lorry restrictions and narrowing the High Street into two lanes so there is room for parking and a pedestrian area with café tables and chairs.
But concerned residents were focused on the issues of parking, vandalism and the effect on trade.
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Noreen Marshall, 63, of Hitchin Street, said: "For 35 years I've had no parking outside my home. They put tickets on my car regularly.
And ever since the bypass they fly down the street at 60 miles per hour."
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Peter Clarke, 68, of Pryor Road, said: "It's always been a wide high street.
"I don't think you should try and narrow it and do all these table and chair things.
"Repaving may make it look regimental but the money could be best spent elsewhere.
"And there's nothing for the kids to do. The worry is we'll get these nice things and they'll be damaged."
Anne Cross, of Ivel Way, said: "I like the wide expanse, I like the trees. If you have too many seats you'll only get them vandalised anyway.
"I always support the town. If I need something I will go to all the shops first and then if I don't find it I will go to Tesco's.
"You won't find a town that's friendlier, this community centre is a godsend."
Elizabeth Airs, of Maltings Close, said: "How they're going to rejuvenate the town I just don't know.
"Why don't they get shot of Baldock and make it parking for Tesco's? They've annihilated all the other shops!"
Mehron Kirk, landscape architect and design team leader, said: "We were encouraged by the turnout. It was well over 100 in total, there's a lot of passion and interest in the town."
He added: "I think we knew parking was going to be one of the big issues.
"It's a case of looking at what's there and organising it in a way to accommodate everybody.
"We're considering everything. We're not throwing anything out. In a matter of weeks we can see what's possible."
Helen Leitch, urban designer for North Herts District Council, said: "We were delighted both with the number of people who came along and with the variety of the comments they offered, which shows how interested Baldock's citizens are in the future of their town.
"There was also a good mix of people from different age groups, both residents and businesses.
"Over 50 comment forms were handed in and this will give BDP a good basis to work on the next stage, which is the production of outline designs."
The next public consultation period, with events and exhibitions, will take place in June, but designs will be emerging in the next few weeks.