It is a little over 10 years since the Old Hatfield charrette.
Several of the projects discussed at that event have been successfully completed.
- Our work at Hatfield station has delivered a much improved experience for travellers who now enjoy new services in a more attractive building. Additionally, traffic calming measures and a designated drop off point have resulted in a safer and more convenient station complex.
- Arm and Sword Lane and Dunham Mews have seen significant development, rejuvenating the area and transforming previously derelict land into exemplary housing.
- The building at Church Lane has resulted in an increased number of dwellings and an aesthetic more fitting to Old Hatfield’s character.
- We have completed the renovation of York House, providing new retail and office space for local businesses, hopefully sewing the seeds for a community hub in the future.
- Improving the visitor access to Hatfield Park at George’s Gate has resulted in a reduction in queuing on the Great North Road, and cessation of using Church Street as an exit route.
In total, this represents an investment of around £20 million. However, there is work still to be done.
It is a source of disappointment for Gascoyne and the community of Old Hatfield that the plans for rejuvenating Salisbury Square are yet to see significant progress.
Due to the amicable dissolution of the original joint venture with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Gascoyne is now the sole developer. We are in negotiations with the the owners of Blackhorse House (currently occupied by the JobCentre) to secure a land swap necessary for a new pedestrian access to the square, though this is proving challenging. This is a complex endeavour involving multiple parties, and no single individual stakeholder is preventing the delivery of the scheme.
Recent months have been spent working with consultants and a professional team to reassess the project in terms of its costs, challenges and technical delivery, which includes discussion with neighbouring owners. It is now clear that the plan as submitted for planning consent is no longer viable as construction costs have spiked dramatically in recent years. The other challenges we face in negotiating the current plan are not insurmountable. It is for this reason that we propose returning the issue to the community of Old Hatfield and seek fresh consensus on the route forward. Gascoyne remains wholly committed to the regeneration of Salisbury Square.
It is our intention to:
- Consider a simplified scheme which is free from the major barriers to delivery.
- Hold a workshop with the community in order to build fresh support and consensus for the plan.
- To stay true to the principles, aims and objectives of the 2008 charrette: to create an attractive environment which completes the vision of Old Hatfield and which unifies the elements which have been achieved to date.
With these objectives in mind, we further believe that it is vital for the plan to:
- Enhance the historic environment and promote long-term sustainability and accessibility.
- Pioneer new approaches which encourage a change in attitudes towards car ownership.
- Review local frustrations surrounding car parking and and car park management.
- Strengthen Old Hatfield’s identity in a way which builds upon existing attributes.
- Revitalise Old Hatfield and retain viable commercial and retail activity.
Our next steps are to hold a workshop in early July to establish fresh consensus and momentum. Subject to the formation of a clear way forward, we will rapidly pursue fresh planning permission and implementation.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org