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Regeneration of John Barker Place

Our exciting regeneration plans will see us investing £20million in the redevelopment of John Barker Place on the Westmill estate in Hitchin.

Through the first two phases we will provide 83 new homes and two shops, along with the new play area at Swinburne playing fields, which we opened in summer 2020.

We’re pleased to confirm that develop work will begin on the development of the new homes and shops on the existing play area at the corner of John Barker Place and Mattocke Road during the week beginning 18 January 2021.

In this section you can find more details about the redevelopment plans, including ways to stay in touch.

The first two phases will include new homes for residents in Freemans Close and the nearby Westmill Lawns retirement complex, enabling them to continue living safely and comfortably in the area they’re familiar with.

Take a look at an artist’s impression of the new homes and shops:

Timeline for planned works

During the week starting 18 January, our development partner Jarvis Contracting Ltd will put up hoarding around the site of the current play area so that they can start preparations for the building work. They will also form a contractor’s area at the rear of the site as shown in the preparation phase plan below. 

This means that the old play area will be closed to the public and the existing footpath from Freemans Close will be redirected to maintain access to John Barker Place. 

Satellite view of John Barker Place before development  

Here’s a summary of the work that will be carried out during the first few weeks:

Week starting January 18, 2021

  • Secure phase 1 site including old play area and establish pedestrian and traffic management controls

  • Temporary site accommodation will be set up in the contractor area

  • Hoarding will go up around the phase 1 area (old play area)

  • Closure of pedestrian route from the Crescent to existing garages

  • A new pedestrian route will be put in place around the site area from Freemans Close so residents can still access John Barker Place

Week starting January 25, 2021

  • Closure of road highlighted in the image and start of drainage works
  • The access road between Michael Muir House and 25 John Barker Place will be closed from the week of January 25, 2021 through to March 2021. The pedestrian and vehicular access to the rear of your block will be maintained and is highlighted on the preparation phase plan image in green.

February and March 2021

  • Hoarding to go up around contractor area
  • Complete bulk dig and foundation piling to phase 1 area.

Overall development phasing

Phase 1 will see us provide new homes and shops on the site of the old play area at John Barker Place and we expect this to be completed by Summer 2020. The second phase (Phase 2A) will see new homes provided in the current block of flats and shops beside the play area and we expect these to be available by Autumn 2023.

We have also received outline planning permission for additional new homes in a third phase of the development and we will be able to share more information around proposals for these hmoes later in 2021. Here’s a summary of the phasing:

Satellite view of John Barker Place showing phased development

Previous updates

See previous updates.

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