High View

Hatfield

Town Planning
Large Scale Mixed Use

Client
Lovell Partnerships & Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Services
Planning application

Status
Planning permission achieved, currently on-site

The site comprised a 1950s neighbourhood shopping precinct, including retail units, a pub, a Grade II listed church, car parking, public realm, a community centre, and six residential units.

Detailed planning permission was secured for the redevelopment of the existing centre to provide replacement retail units, a new doctor’s surgery, and circa 150 new homes (a mix of flats and houses). A key objective of the scheme was to deliver accessibility for all, and the proposals were centred around a newly created public open space with children’s play area. The scheme also proposed a new public square in front of the listed church, bringing it back into the heart of the centre.

The planning and design challenges include identifying the appropriate location for the new retail centre; respecting the setting of the listed church; providing much needed market and affordable housing; re-providing appropriately located and useable public open space; adopting good urban design principles and respecting the amenity of existing neighbouring development. As part of the placemaking, the design team engaged with the Design Review Panel on two occasions during the design development, which had a positive influence on the public space ultimately proposed.

As part of the scheme development, a comprehensive community engagement strategy was undertaken, including a number of public exhibitions and meetings with different stakeholders and occupiers within the centre to ensure the design team understood the requirements of existing occupiers and the concerns and aspirations of local people.

Planning permission was secured in 2020, and the scheme is currently on site, with a phased delivery programme to ensure the continued operation of the retail uses and unimpeded access to the range of facilities within the local centre.