Hitchin Liberal Democrats welcome community Churchgate concept

November 17, 2018 11:22 AM
By George Osborn

The Hitchin Liberal Democrats have welcomed plans to finally move ahead with the Churchgate regeneration project, decades after it was first proposed.

The Hitchin Liberal Democrats believe that NHDC's plan, known as Shearer's plan, which proposes a revised retail provision and a cinema, is a positive step towards regenerating the area.

However, Hitchin Liberal Democrats believe that this plan could go much further to benefit residents by taking on board an excellent community concept created by a group called Churchgate Resurgence PB - which has been backed by representatives of Hitchin Initiative, Hitchin Forum, Hitchin Historical Society and The Hitchin Society.

Cllr Sam Collins, Liberal Democrat councillor Hitchin Highbury Ward and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hitchin and Harpenden said:

"I think there are a few good elements of the NHDC/Shearer's plan, but overall it lacks the ambition and vision of its community counterpart.

The concept we have been shown offers more retail flexibility and I think it is simply more commercially viable. Retail and business in general is changing fast in Britain and in Hitchin, so I think we need the development to be as versatile as possible to allow it to thrive in the future.

I therefore urge the council to work together with the Hitchin community groups to deliver an ambitious, versatile and modern redevelopment of Churchgate for the benefit of businesses and the wider community - rather than simply sprucing up what already exists."

If you'd like to find out more about the Churchgate community concept, you can read more here.