Plans for Town Lodge move forward
North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) and Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation (LGCHF) are pleased to announce the plans to redevelop Town Lodge and adjacent properties located on Gernon Road, Letchworth Garden City.
After some years of lying empty, the site is to be redeveloped by Croudace Homes Limited, who have been granted planning permission to build two detached buildings comprising of 9 flats and one office building, following demolition of the existing buildings. The office element is expected to accommodate Croudace’s regional headquarters.
The scheme, which is sympathetic to the surrounding buildings, will help deliver regenerative benefits for the town by retaining jobs in Letchworth and adding to the vibrancy of the town centre. The proposed residential block will provide additional housing, and the residential block and office block will inject a new source of potential custom for town centre shops and businesses.
A joint approach has been taken by NHDC and the Heritage Foundation by bringing together their respective land interests so that the site could come forward for regeneration. This approach was taken due to the site’s complicated ownership arrangements and to help ensure optimum redevelopment of the overall site. Breaking up the site would have resulted in a fragmented scheme. Given the site is being developed by a single organisation, a more comprehensive approach can be taken.
As part of the sale, NHDC has secured a pre-emption option allowing it first refusal to purchase those 9 flats and add them to its property portfolio. Brotherhood Hall is not included.
Cllr Ian Albert, NHDC’s Executive Member for Finance & IT, said: “This redevelopment heralds an exciting prospect for Letchworth Garden City through the provision of much needed quality new homes on this disused town centre site, together with yielding economic benefits associated with locating 60 or more Croudace staff to the office building.”
Chair of the Heritage Foundation’s Board, Pam Burn said: “As with many towns and cities around the country, Letchworth is facing an uncertain economic future as our town centre changes and the impact of global crises are felt in the wider business community.
“While we take very seriously the need to protect our built environment, we also have a responsibility to work with partners to support the creation of jobs, ensure local people have access to housing, and maintain the vibrancy of our town centre at a time when more and more buildings are becoming vacant. Retaining such a significant employer in our town centre at such a challenging time is good news for Letchworth.”
Image: Artistic impressions of the development, supplied by Croudace’s architect.