Churchgate Area Project: Hitchin

Background

Full Council at its meeting on 31 January 2013 agreed to terminate its Development Agreement with Simons for the redevelopment of Churchgate and its surrounding area, as it did not consider that a viable scheme could be delivered at that point in time.

Since that time the Council has been investigating various options, including discussions with Hammersmatch on a non-exclusive basis and high–level discussions with other interested third parties who expressed a tentative interest in the site.

In February 2015 Full Council considered a report on the Churchgate area including the next steps in the project and resolved that officers continue to investigate the Council’s preferred approach for a smaller scheme in the short term and report back to Full Council setting out options and points for consideration to progress the project.

On 16 July 2015 Full Council considered a report in respect of an interim option proposal for the Churchgate Area. This proposal included granting Hammersmatch exclusivity for a limited period, until 31 December 2015, as a means of seeking to move the project forward and to find a viable option that met the Council’s resolution of 12 February 2015 ‘to investigate the Council’s preferred approach for a smaller scheme in the short term.’ This offer is subject to a number of requirements and conditions as set out in the agreed resolution outlined in the report.

A number of reports outlining various options have been presented and discussed by Full Council over the past two years.

Reports to Full Council

Full details of the Reports, associated attachments and minutes from the Meetings can be viewed on the following links:

Churchgate Project Board

The Churchgate Project Board, set up to represent the Council’s Landowner interests, has continued to meet to consider and discuss all options and have provided updates to Hitchin Committee. Copies of the various information notes reported to Hitchin committee are listed below.