As we develop our proposals we are engaging with a wide group of stakeholders including sports users, students, local councillors and those who live near our Hitchin campus.
NHC has held a number of meetings with regular sports users and groups including Hitchin Town Youth Football Club to brief them on the proposals, get their input into the design, and discuss arrangements for accessing alternative facilities during the construction period, should planning permission be granted.
We held a workshop for those who live on roads next to the campus on Thursday 15 August 2019 and held public consultation events on Monday 9 September 2019 and Monday 21 October.
How we are responding to your feedback
Concerns have been raised with us about an increase in traffic during construction and once the development is completed, particularly on the Cambridge Road / St Michael’s Road junction. People’s concerns and suggestions are being fed into our conversations with our highway consultants and the Highway Authority as we draw up a traffic management plan.
Traffic data and traffic counts will inform our approach to the site. This is likely to include strategies for promoting green forms of transport, and might also include junction improvements to local roads.
A number of people have raised concerns about noise levels on the new 3G pitch and we have shared this feedback with our noise consultant. The planning application will be accompanied by a noise report including noise mitigation measures if required. This will be in collaboration with the Council’s Environmental Health Officers.
Concerns have been raised about the impact of the development on local infrastructure. This is for the Council to consider once we have submitted the planning application and we have shared your feedback with councillors. As part of the planning application, we will be including a commitment to contribute funding to local facilities such as schools, libraries and childcare facilities to help mitigate any impacts from an increase in the number of residents.
Design of the site
We have received a number of suggestions on changes to the design of the site. We have limited scope to change the location of the sports facilities and the residential homes due to the topography of the site although we are continuing to work on the detail of site layout.
These limitations also restrict our options regarding vehicular access to the site. We have discussed a number of alternative access points with the Council and our discussions and evidence gathering are ongoing. Our current analysis points to this as the most favourable access route.
We have received a number of suggestions about footpath access and are considering a couple of options through the residential development at the request of North Hertfordshire District Council.
A number of suggestions have focused on housing density. There will be a mix of homes including apartments, terraced, semi-detached and detached houses and the majority will be two storey, in keeping with those of the local area. In our emerging design, some three storey buildings will be located within the centre of the site to identify focal points and key character areas.
You can see feedback from the August workshop here:
You can see feedback from our public consultations here: