Construction work begins on £20m John Barker Place redevelopment

On January 18, our development partner, Jarvis Contracting Ltd began preparing the site of the old playground for building work to start on Phase 1 of the redevelopment. Phase 2 will begin in Spring 2022 – with both phases set to deliver 83 new homes and two shops on the old play area at the corner of John Barker Place and Mattocke Road.

chief executive, Gavin Cansfield said: “We’re delighted to have reached this exciting milestone on our biggest regeneration project to date. It’s a really important moment for residents and settle colleagues as we continue investing in the Westmill community.

“I would like to thank our partners including North Herts District Council, local councillors and residents for their ongoing support, and those affected by some of the changes that have been made in the local area in preparation for this development work. We will continue to use all opportunities to hear from Westmill residents as we move forwards with the project to make sure this brings as many benefits as possible to everyone living nearby.”

Planning approval was granted for the redevelopment of John Barker Place in January 2020. A new playground was provided by settle at Swinburne playing fields and opened for residents last summer, with Jarvis Contracting appointed as the Westmill estate project’s main contractor in July 2020. The first two phases of the project will include accommodation for residents of the nearby Westmill Lawns retirement living scheme and Freemans Close, to enable them to continue living safely and comfortably on the Westmill estate.

Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, commented: “I welcome the news that the regeneration project at John Barker Place in Hitchin has begun. This is a great investment into the Westmill community and another sign of the positive partnership locally that exists between North Hertfordshire District Council and settle.

“Whilst I appreciate there is some way to go until it is completed, I look forward to seeing this project finished in the years to come and the benefits it will bring to this area of Hitchin. Well done to everyone involved.”

Councillor Martin Stears-Handscomb, Oughton Labour Councillor and Leader of the Council, said: “We are excited to see this project going ahead which meets a key Council Plan objective to support the delivery of good quality social housing.  We look forward to continuing our partnership with settle as the development takes shape.”




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