Speak your mind on town centre

PUBLISHED: 16:51 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

LGC town centre

LGC town centre

THE idea of redeveloping Arena Parade and The Wynd in Letchworth GC town centre – which sparked controversy when proposed by the Heritage Foundation – is included in a public consultation being launched by the district council next week. Residents will be

THE idea of redeveloping Arena Parade and The Wynd in Letchworth GC town centre - which sparked controversy when proposed by the Heritage Foundation - is included in a public consultation being launched by the district council next week.

Residents will be asked how they would like to see Letchworth town centre change over the next 15 years.

The consultation begins next Thursday and runs until December 8.

Council officers have already talked to local organisations and groups including the town council, young people and the business community when preparing a draft strategy.

Now they have come up with a series of proposals and they want the views of as many residents and local businesses as possible before finalising details. A public meeting will be held at the Plinston Hall on November 22 and there will be a display at Letchworth Library.

Among the suggestions are:

# Redeveloping Arena Parade and finding new uses for the town hall

# Providing a new transport interchange at Letchworth Rail Station and better pedestrian links to the shopping streets to the south

# Developing The Wynd into a new courtyard shopping area, possibly with a small food supermarket, and improving the pedestrian link to Leys Avenue

# Giving greater priority to pedestrians in Leys Avenue and Eastcheap

# Redeveloping or refurbishing Garden Square Shopping Centre as a longer-term option and possibly including the multi-storey car park and the North Herts District Council offices in Gernon Road and providing for a moderate increase in shoppers' parking

# Refurbishing the former grammar school for a new use

The draft strategy will be amended following consultation and the final version will be presented for councillors to consider in the new year and, when adopted, will provide guidance on relevant policies and development proposals in Letchworth town centre.

Among the issues the strategy addresses are protecting and enhancing the historic town centre as the world's first garden city; improving shopping with a mix of retail units to cater for larger stores and specialists shops; encouraging a modest increase in evening and night-time uses while discouraging anti-social behaviour and promoting tourism, business and investment.

The aim is to provide a town centre that is a pleasant place to walk and linger in, as well as a focus for community and family life.

To achieve this the council is looking at improving pedestrian and transport links and the management of parking, as well as providing more facilities for the arts, children and young people.

The draft strategy will be available to view from next Thursday at the exhibition point in Letchworth Library, the council customer service centre and on-line by visiting www.north-herts.gov.uk

People can make comments on-line or by e-mail to planning.policy@north-herts.gov.uk


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