Council leader unveils her vision for Stortford's Goods Yard development
A masterplan for the Goods Yard development in Bishop's Stortford has been formulated by the leader of East Herts Council.
Last night (Tuesday) as the Independent went to press, Cllr Linda Haysey took her detailed report to the authority’s executive for their approval.
The member for Hertford Rural South has been working on a blueprint aimed at resolving the serious shortcomings in Solum Regeneration’s original planning application for the site next to the town’s station, which was rejected by the development management committee in May.
Its members defied their officers’ recommendation to approve the scheme for up to 680 residential units, retail floorspace, a hotel and two multi storey car parks and since then Solum has been working with the council to come up with a more acceptable outcome for the town’s transport gateway.
East Herts wants the interchange to work with the Planning Framework for Bishop’s Stortford Town Centre it commissioned from consultants in 2016 to support economic health and vitality.
Cllr Haysey has been leading a steering committee, bringing together local members, Solum and the consultants to come up with her masterplan.
In her report, Cllr Haysey sets out her main priorities as a result of the collaboration:
• The status, configuration and operation of the highway and other links to and within the site;
• The provision, amount and future management of non-residential and residential car parking provided on the site;
• The scale and height of the buildings proposed, their design, appearance and use;
• The layout and treatment of the non-built/ green spaces/ riverside;
• The relationship between the site and the development proposed and other strategic and policy objectives for the town.
Two of the hottest potatoes are parking provision and the height of the new blocks of flats proposed.
Cllr Hayey’s report says: “Two multi-storey car parks are proposed for non-residential commuter parking. The finalised number of spaces will be defined in planning application submissions. The council has requested that the spaces be managed in a way that enables an element of the provision to be available for short stay usage during the week – and not solely provided for commuter use.”
She continues: “Buildings which are up to six storeys in height are proposed. The design approach is such that where there is a sixth storey, this will appear, from the public domain, as contained within a pitched roof space. A number of the blocks will contain podium levels at ground floor, hidden behind frontage buildings, where parking will be provided.
“The design approach draws on the industrial heritage of the area, utilising maltings buildings as a starting point. Generally, the architecture is to be simple in style, without undue decoration. Two more individualistic buildings are proposed to ‘bookend’ the current railway station building – to the north and south. These will be non-residential.”
She adds: The master plan includes proposals to enhance the riverside environment, providing enhanced foot and cycle way links.
Solum Regeneration has been consulting with the public on its new proposals for the Goods Yard site with a view to presenting a revised application, shaped by the responses, early next year. Development of the site is a critical part of the draft local plan, currently under scrutiny by an independent inspector, to deliver 4,412 new homes in Stortford by 2033.