Affordable homes on horizon as Solum sets timetable for Stortford's Goods Yard transformation
A timetable for transformation has been set by Solum as work begins to turn Bishop's Stortford's derelict Goods Yard site into a £200m complex of almost 600 homes plus car parks, shops, offices and a hotel.
On Monday (Oct 8), contractors will arrive on site next to the railway station and start clearing the former car park in preparation for the first construction work in the new year.
On Saturday (Oct 6), Solum – a joint venture between Network Rail and Kier Property – will be hosting a stall at the town’s farmers’ market so residents can find out more.
East Herts Council granted planning permission in March. A previous proposal by Solum was refused by the council in May 2017. That prompted the appointment of new architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards (PTE), who worked up a new scheme after discussions with EHC officers and councillors, local groups and the community.
The first phase will bring 149 mostly affordable homes – one- and two-bedroom apartments available under the Help to Buy scheme – as well as offices, retail space and an 85-bed Premier Inn hotel.
What will we get in phase 1?
New bus link through the site connecting Station Road / Dane Street with London Road
New transport interchange and square outside station
Multi-storey car park
New cycle parking
Improved ‘public realm’ around the station
149 new homes
85-bed Premier Inn
Shops and offices
Second multi-storey providing additional parking for commuters
Improved pedestrian and cycle links from the station to the town centre and the river
55-bed care home
New riverside walk and open space
A 401-space multi-storey car park will be delivered as part of the first phase and is expected to open next summer.
The scheme will also provide a new two-way road through the site providing better links to the town centre as well as additional station parking, cycle and pedestrian links, and a new bus route.
Solum will partner with Bellway Homes to deliver the first shops and homes, while the infrastructure is handled by civil engineering sub-contractor Joseph Gallagher.
Matthew Serginson, Solum’s development director, said: “Solum will oversee the Goods Yard regeneration and directly deliver the infrastructure, including the new road, transport interchange and car park.
Phase 1 timetable
Oct 2018 – site clearance to start
Early 2019 – construction on multi-storey car park starts
Early 2019 – construction on new road (bus link) starts
Summer 2019 – multi-storey opens
Autumn 2019 – construction of Premier Inn hotel starts
Autumn 2019 – Bellway starts construction of first shops/homes
Spring 2020 – bus link completed
Autumn 2020 – Premier Inn opens
Autumn 2020 – homes marketing suite opens
2021 – anticipated completion
“We are delighted to bring in both Bellway and Premier Inn as development partners on this major project. Their expertise will enable us to bring forward development faster than we could on our own.
“All efforts will be made to minimise any inconvenience on our neighbours and travellers using the railway station. We will be keeping people informed of the works as they progress and will set up a telephone hotline for people to raise any comments with us directly.”
David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, said: “The Goods Yard regeneration is a great example of Network Rail partnering with the private sector to unlock land to deliver much-needed housing, attract new businesses and support economic growth while improving station and transport links.
“Helping to create exciting new hubs in key locations, while increasing housing options, is a key component of our development programme and it’s clear this project will deliver significant benefits for Bishop’s Stortford, station users and the local community.
“In addition to the local benefits, the scheme will generate funds to be reinvested back into the railway, helping to further reduce our reliance on the public purse.”
Greg Allsop, sales director for Bellway, said: “Our role is to create a substantial collection of new homes that will offer stylish, contemporary, competitively priced accommodation.
“The bulk of the homes in the first phase will be one- and two-bedroom apartments, available under the Help to Buy scheme.”
The current level of station parking will be retained throughout the development and ultimately increased when the project is completed.
In June 2017, a temporary car park was opened to enable the first phase of construction to come forward on the former car park.
A second multi-storey station car park will be built in a later phase, increasing the number of spaces to almost 1,000.