Bircherley Green rejuvenation will ‘breathe new life’ into Hertford town centre
The rejuvenation of the Bircherley Green shopping centre will “breathe new life” into Hertford town centre, according to the developers behind the project.
The “run down 1970s scheme” will be demolished and replaced with an 86 bed Premier Inn hotel, as well as new retail units and 70 flats.
Hertford bus station will undergo a refurbishment as will the car park, which could have up to 143 spaces.
East Herts District Council’s (EHDC) development management committee voted unanimously to grant developers Wrenbridge planning permission at a meeting last Wednesday (October 11).
John McHale, director at Wrenbridge, said: “We are immensely proud to have won unanimous support for this very special scheme.
“Bringing a contemporary shopping centre into a historic market town raises many challenges and we are grateful to all those who have helped us reach this point.
“There’s still a way to go before we can start work on delivering our promises to the local community and we look forward to getting all documentation finalised with the council swiftly.
“We will now work with the council to agree planning conditions that strike the right balance between protecting our neighbours and ensuring new retailers, cafés and restaurants can operate successfully.
“Only once the council has agreed this can we get to work on marketing this scheme to new occupiers and preparing for a safe and well-managed construction programme.”
The Lloyds Bank branch on Bircherley Street will be demolished to make way for the Premier Inn, but the bank is looking at “alternative premises” in Hertford with a view to remaining in the town.
Mr McHale added: “We believe passionately that this scheme will be an asset to Hertford and can help kick start improvements across the town.
“We look forward to working with the local community to make this happen.”
A date has not yet been set for when work will begin on the redevelopment of Bircherley Green.
Lucy Winterburn, director of investment at Savills Investment Management, which manages the shopping centre, said: “We are delighted with the unanimous support that the scheme received at committee.
“Change is never easy, particularly when the thing you want to replace has existed for over 30 years.
“The success of the planning application is testament to the considerable time and effort that the team have invested in working with the local authority and listening to the hopes and concerns of local stakeholders.
“The result is a mixed-use scheme that is fit for purpose, meets occupational demand and will breathe new life into Hertford’s town centre. We are certain that this will be change for the good.”