Our redevelopment plans for John Barker Place, Hitchin

We heard from local residents at our public exhibition on 10 April at the Westmill Community Centre in Hitchin. Thank you to everyone for the interest, comments and useful feedback.

We’re continuing to prepare our planning application for submission in May. We’re pleased to provide more details on the proposed development below and copies of some of the designs shown at the public exhibition.

The £20 million redevelopment, supported by £1m from North Hertfordshire District Council will create 83 homes across two phases.

Phase 1 will provide 37 retirement living flats, a convenience store and takeaway. If planning permission is granted, work will start in January 2020 with residents expected to move in from early 2022.

Phase 2 will start in 2022 and provide 46 flats for general social rent, retirement living and shared ownership in two buildings. Phase 2 is expected to complete by early 2025.

These first phases of development will include homes for residents at the nearby Westmill Lawns retirement living scheme and in Freemans Close, which backs on to John Barker Place. These moves are to enable these residents to continue living safely and comfortably in the surroundings they’re familiar with on the Westmill estate as their current homes all require significant maintenance work over the coming years.

The planning application will include an outline of a third phase of development, potentially consisting of over 45 new homes which we would expect to be available from around 2025. We will submit a more detailed planning application for this phase closer to 2025 following a more detailed assessment of the local housing requirements at that time.

Artist's view of John Barker Place phase 1 in red brick and phase 2 in creamArtist's view of John Barker Place looking from Westmill Road

Artist's view of John Barker Place and corner of Mattocke Road














Play area

In order for phase 1 to start, the children’s play area on the corner of Mattocke Road and John Barker Place will be removed. In a 2017 consultation, local residents suggested re-providing a play area on Swinburne playing fields.

We’ll be submitting a planning application to provide an exciting new play area on Swinburne at the same time as the application for new homes.