Town on the road to £2m new look
THE long-awaited Baldock bypass has opened the way for a £2 million facelift for the town. A strategy for improvements has been approved by North Herts District Council which could lead to further investment for redevelopment. Planned improvements aim to
THE long-awaited Baldock bypass has opened the way for a £2 million facelift for the town.
A strategy for improvements has been approved by North Herts District Council which could lead to further investment for redevelopment.
Planned improvements aim to enhance Baldock's urban environment, making it a safer and more desirable place to be, for people and for businesses.
The council also aims to "promote and conserve the historic character and layout of the town".
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Council officers are already looking at parking needs, traffic movements, improvements to the market and the long-term economic sustainability of the town, among other factors.
Cosmetic improvements are also planned which will deal with street furniture, signage and lighting in and around the town centre.
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Baldock town councillor and portfolio holder for leisure Ian Knighton said that the plan received a lot of support from other councillors.
He said: "Baldock has been waiting so long.
"North Herts District Council said that it wouldn't spend anything until the bypass opens.
"So now, it's great that the bypass will be opening and at the same time we've had the opportunity to plan the town centre of Baldock.
"We want to do it carefully and do it properly but this approval gives us a blueprint for a lot of years.
"The plan also gives us the opportunity to apply for external funding.
"While we have £2 million earmarked from NHDC, we're also expecting a sizeable sum from Herts County Council when the bypass is finished, for signage, pavement repairs, etc."
Cllr Knighton says that a lot of work has gone into Baldock's future, from both the council and the town's residents.
He said: "Myself, Michael Muir and Michael Weeks have pushed so much, alongside the residents of Baldock, and now it's coming together.
"It's definitely Baldock's turn, not just for redevelopment but for enhancement of the town.
"I'm very excited, but we need to maintain the interest of the local community and make sure we get some positive things out of it.
"The other thing we're very keen to support is the youth in the town and one great thing we've got planning permission for is an all-weather artificial pitch.
"The pitch will be at Knights Templar School for students and the whole community and we're in the throes of seeing it being built already.
"So yes, Baldock will definitely be a better place to live.