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Hertfordshire County Council ready to sell land next to County Hall for new homes





Hertfordshire County Council is ready to sell land next to its County Hall HQ in Hertford to a developer for housing.

Officers at the authority revealed last year they had earmarked the 312-hectare (771-acre) site – including the derelict Leahoe House and gardens – for redevelopment.

On Tuesday (April 16), at a meeting of the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel, councillors will be asked to support proposals to declare the Leahoe site – which also includes houses and flats, a car park, allotments and tennis courts – as surplus and to identify Cala Homes as the preferred bidder to acquire the site.

Leahoe House
Leahoe House

However, the final decision will be taken by a future meeting of the council’s cabinet, with exact terms being agreed later.

Cllr Bob Deering (Con, Hertford St Andrew’s), HCC’s executive member for resources and performance, said he believed it would be “an absolutely beneficial development” that would “revive” Leahoe House and the entire site.

According to a report to Tuesday’s meeting, the council received 10 bids for the site from potential development partners. Although it says the site “has the potential to deliver a residential-based redevelopment scheme”, details are not included.

County Hall, Hertford
County Hall, Hertford

The report stipulates any sale would be subject to the developer obtaining planning consent from East Herts Council – on which Cllr Deering is leader of the opposition Conservative group.

The Leahoe site is not used by the council for offices or service delivery functions, and all but one of the flats and houses are reported to be vacant. The report says the majority of the properties are of “poor construction” and there have been issues in maintaining them.

When the council revealed plans last year to market the site, it was stressed that any development would need to include the sympathetic restoration of Leahoe House. As well as enhancing the wider site, proposals would need to demonstrate a highly sustainable approach.



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