Old River Lane: Key milestones as Causeway transformation in Stortford town centre gathers pace
The leader of East Herts Council, Cllr Linda Haysey, has written a regular column for Indie readers about the authority's plans for Old River Lane. This week, she brings them up to speed on the scheme to transform the Causeway...
We're looking forward to a busy spring/summer for Old River Lane (ORL) as the project reaches several key milestones.
The first is the opening of the new Northgate End multi-storey car park planned for Monday June 13. Delivering 546 spaces and 54 electric vehicle chargers, it will provide much-needed new parking to serve our growing town and vibrant business community.
It is the first step in our ambitious plans, freeing up pivotal surface-level car parking for regeneration into new arts, retail, office, leisure and residential space.
As Northgate End opens, the Causeway car park will close. This means there will be a period of time that it will be out of use before its redevelopment.
Given its prominent town centre location, we're discussing ideas with the Bishop's Stortford BID (Business Improvement District) to see how the space can be used to encourage people to visit and shop local up until Christmas.
Come the new year, it will be handed over to developer Cityheart to progress the development of the arts centre and wider ORL project, which we expect to start in mid-2023.
We are approaching another major milestone on the main site at ORL as the draft supplementary planning document (SPD) is finalised ahead of a public consultation in late June.
The SPD is designed to guide the development of the site. A steering group has been meeting since November. This includes partners ranging from the BID, Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation, the town council, Bishop's Stortford Climate Group, local residents and representatives of the arts.
After consultation and adoption of the SPD, Cityheart will be working through its planning process, during which there will be ample opportunity for local people to share views on what the development will look like. This will lead to a planning application which we hope to be submitted towards the end of the year.
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone for their co-operation during construction of the multi-storey. I appreciate the temporary traffic signals, whilst necessary, have been disruptive to daily life at peak times, and your patience is greatly appreciated.