The Baldock Town Centre Strategy together with an Action Plan was adopted by Full Council on 19 January 2006 as the Council’s Statement of Policy. The Town Centre Strategy for Baldock envisaged a number of improvements to the town centre following the opening of the Baldock Bypass. The Strategy attempts to recognise the varying interests of the town together with the issues and needs of the local community and young people.
The purpose of the Strategy is to provide a framework to promote integrated development and enhancement of the Baldock Town Centre that will seek to:
- Benefit the future economic viability and vitality of the town centre, with special; emphasis on its future following the completion of the Baldock Bypass and the decrease in traffic passing through the town centre
- Emphasise its historic character as a market town, and
- Meet the needs of its business and local community.
The Strategy comprises an overall vision with aims and policy guidance, and looks forward to 2016. The Strategy is divided into a number of themes, which provide a series of policies to help deliver the aims of the Strategy and contribute to the Council’s strategic objectives as set out in the Corporate Plan.
The Strategy is supported by an Action Plan, which sets short to medium term targets that will seek to deliver the policy and aims of the Strategy.
Baldock Town Centre Enhancement
The Town Centre Enhancement Scheme looked to transform the historic market town of Baldock and was one of the key actions to be taken forward following the adoption of the Baldock Town Centre Strategy. The Baldock bypass was opened in 2006 prior to which Baldock was a busy, congested thoroughfare. This resulted in an imbalance between vehicle and pedestrian space and needed to be addressed.
The Council working in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) commissioned Building Design Partnership (BDP) in February 2007 to prepare a design scheme in consultation with councillors, local businesses, residents and local organizations, and to oversee the implementation of the scheme. Skanska Utilities Limited were appointed as the contractors for the scheme and undertook the physical works between June 2008 and April 2009.
The project sought to create:
- A high quality, attractive and robust scheme in terms of design and materials
- A scheme that improves safety within the town
- A scheme that benefits all users in terms of function and accessibility
- A scheme that creates a lively setting for the town centre
The project was substantially completed in April 2009. This was then followed by a 12 months defects period to April 2010. The scheme is now subject to ongoing review and maintenance by NHDC and HCC. See end of Scheme report.
The Scheme was successful in winning a National Award, the Horticultural Landscape and Amenity Award in 2009 under the Category Best Commercial Project. The Scheme was also awarded a certificate of Special Recognition at the 2010 National Civic Trust awards.