Bircherley Green - Don't waste this opportunity

August 15, 2019 12:37 PM
Originally published by Hertford and Stortford Liberal Democrats

This is a golden opportunity to put the public good ahead of private profit

"Bircherley Green update: We have had an initial introductory meeting with Chase New Homes, who are in the process of purchasing the site from Diageo Pension Fund. We look forward to having further discussions with them over the coming months about their plans and how we can work together to address the concerns of our residents."

- East Herts Distirct Council 12/09/2019

Put the needs of Hertford first

Whilst it's good that the district council are looking to 'address the concerns of our residents', this is a golden opportunity to put not just the concerns but also the interests of Hertford residents first and foremost.

We should use this new chapter as an opportunity to look at the infrastructure and central amenities that Hertford needs now and in the future. This includes keeping the bus station as this is vital for the town's sustainable future (along with more cycle parking and improved bus services) but also retaining an improved car park (with charging points and zip car spaces) until that sustainable future arrives. The town will also need a new central doctor's surgery. If we fail to open up the river front for the public, this will be a huge missed opportunity to spearhead town centre regeneration and we risk repeating the mistakes of 30 years ago.

Whilst the council should try to reach a solution for Hertford by working constructively with developers, if push comes to shove and in order to deliver what our town needs, the council should be prepared to buy the site themselves and manage the redevelopment for the benefit of our town.

There shoud be greater community involvement in the process so the council takes our interests into account the ongoing discussions about the plans.

Keep the bus station and car park

Open up the river front for the public

A new doctors' surgery

Be prepared to buy the site and manage it

Greater community engagement