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22 March 2015, 10:04
An event's taken place to mark work commencing on the first phase of the multi-million pound project to regenerate the John Barker Place area of the Westmill estate in Hitchin.
The £7m project is a joint enterprise between North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC), which is committing over £1m from its affordable housing budget to the scheme and North Hertfordshire Homes (NHH).
It's the first phase of the project to construct the new community centre and adjoining multi-use games area. The initial phase of the project is expected to take around 12 months to complete. During that time the existing Westmill community centre will remain open to community groups and new hirers while the work gets underway on the adjacent site.
The second and final phase of the redevelopment includes building 39 new homes (24 new flats and 15 new houses) a supermarket and takeaway and dedicated parking spaces and a new play area.
Cllr Bernard Lovewell, said:
"The new community centre will offer the community a hall and meeting rooms as well as an outdoor youth activity area. It is an exciting project for the area and we are delighted that the work has started moving forward."
Kevin Thompson, NHH Chief Executive said:
"The community centre and improved shopping facilities will be at the heart of the redevelopment. Local residents and shopkeepers have been very supportive during the planning process, so we are very pleased to mark the official 'start on site'."