Bircherley Green Redevelopment

News and views on shopping in the county town.
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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby Golden » Mon 01 Sep, 2014 6:54 pm

This has always puzzled me - even in its present state you'd have thought it could have been better planned? My only consideration is that the Folly Island dwellers who live on the river (understandably) don't want dozens of people peering in their windows every day and this is part of the initial planning permission.

My thoughts on the plans when I saw them were quite neutral to be honest; there were many people having a dig at the exhibition but looking around and especially up the existing is not that attractive. It is only about 5% of the town centre after all.

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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby wardclan » Mon 01 Sep, 2014 8:16 pm

As a resident of riverside we already have dozens of people peering in our windows daily but you accept this when you move into a cottage on the river so for me that's not a major issue what is however is the developers claim they want to regenerate the area and bring the river to the town [sounds good] but in reality all they want is to give waitrose a superstore and stick a car park right in front of our noses. Do we need an anchor foodstore?? don't think so but presuming the development does not go ahead without one the plans only take into consideration waitroses needs and not those of folly islands residents nor the architecture in hertford which will not lend or blend itself to the artists impressions, we are not a modern town and trying to build a modern development into what could be a really special site will look horrendous. I am all for change but please let it be done sympathetically to the town and residents........

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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby thefair1973 » Mon 08 Sep, 2014 4:45 pm

tehre is seating along the riverfront - each tree appears to have a bench between it. Also, the curved glass building is undoubtedly destined to be a bar/restaurant/Starbucks. I don't think Hertford could sustain the amount of bars/restaurants that space would take to fill without change of use for some existing units in town so the chains could move to the Riverfront properties.

Louis M
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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby Louis M » Thu 11 Sep, 2014 10:57 am

Yes, there is a bar/café at one end, but why not utilise the whole stretch of arguable one of the most beautiful areas within the town? Benches or no benches, a car park is a car pack.
I wrote them a letter detailing my objection to tarmacking in front of the river, I hope they listen to the residents.
I know a few people feel that we are bending over backwards to appease Waitrose, however I am of the school of thought whereby if Waitrose leaves, the town dies.

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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby highwood38 » Mon 20 Oct, 2014 5:33 pm

Sorry to reopen this somewhat belatedly, but are the pictures and plans of the carpark/walkway not a bit misleading? It talks about a 10m wide riverside walkway, and on the pictures the walkway is coloured light brown (as opposed to the carpark in grey). Actually most of the brown bit would presumably be for cars to drive in to get to the parking spaces nearest the river, which somewhat reduces its utility as a walkway. I appreciate they're just plans but it makes the carpark look smaller and the walkway a lot bigger than they would be in reality if that's how it will actually work.

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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby Marilyn » Tue 21 Oct, 2014 8:45 am

I have to admit I can't make the plan fit the drawing. It probably me but there seems to be an open space with trees on the drawing that is part of the food store on the plan.

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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby Golden » Tue 21 Oct, 2014 10:35 am

It may all be irrelevant - Van Hages planning application is on the EHDC site ... 4/1708/FP&

If this goes through then I really dread to think what would happen to Bircherly Green - but maybe its just part of the longer game??
Last edited by Golden on Fri 24 Oct, 2014 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby codek2 » Tue 21 Oct, 2014 12:58 pm

that description implies the waitrose has a cafe? As well as VH cafe? WHAT madness is that?

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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby newcomer » Tue 21 Oct, 2014 3:56 pm

...and the miniture railway would be cut off from the garden centre?

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Re: Bircherley Green Redevelopment

Postby highwood38 » Fri 24 Oct, 2014 4:29 pm

The Retail Assessment in the planning application has the following (about the Bircherley Green Redevelopment):

"Waitrose have considered this scheme and considers the scheme neither viable nor deliverable for them"

There is also a letter from Waitrose in Appendix F setting out in detail many reasons why the Hertford scheme isn't viable. From that it looks fairly conclusive.

This is the full extract from the report (not the letter) as it contains other interesting bits:

1.22 Waitrose have an existing store within Bircherley Green Shopping Centre in Hertford town
centre. The store consists of approximately 1,143sqm sales floorspace and 1,300sqm back
of house floorspace which is split over two levels. This equates to about half the size of the
proposed development at Van Hage.
1.23 The site is particularly constrained and is not suited to Waitrose’s further requirements. The
store is bordered on the north by River Lea, the east by Hertford bus station and the south
and west by existing shopping centre external pedestrian precinct. Waitrose has therefore
been actively looking for alternative sites to provide a better offer for residents of
surrounding communities for it is understood over 10 years. The lease on its Hertford store
expires in 2016.
1.24 We are aware of the plans which have been produced by Wrenbridge (Appendix E), the
centres development partner, which shows an option plan for the site. This plan
encompasses the existing shopping centre including the bus station and to redevelop it for a
foodstore and three smaller retail units. Waitrose have considered this scheme and
considers the scheme neither viable nor deliverable for them. This is discussed in greater
detail in the sequential assessment section of this report. A letter has been provided by
Waitrose which outlines their views on the proposed development. A copy of this letter can
be found at Appendix F.
1.25 Waitrose are however exploring the viability to retain a presence in Hertford. Given
Wrenbridge’s scheme that has been drawn up and the work carried out on the viability we
understand that there is confidence in the market, and even though Waitrose may not
locate there another operator will. Therefore as part of the assessment we have assumed
that the store will remain trading, whether this will be Waitrose or another retailer.


As outlined within the introduction, we are aware of plans for the redevelopment of the
existing Waitrose store in Hertford town centre, including adjoining retail units and the
adjacent bus station. This scheme has been considered by Waitrose and a critique of this
scheme can be found below:
 Substantial site assembly would be required to bring forward the site for development.
This would include the removal of the existing retailers at ground floor of the shopping
 The plan would result in the existing Waitrose store being closed for a significant period
of time whilst the redevelopment is undertaken. Waitrose consider the loss of facility
may result in a substantial loss of income during the construction phase.
 The bus station would need to be relocated. As well as the challenges of finding an
alternative site, the loss of the facility would have a negative impact on a major footfall
driver in this part of the town.
 The store would be split over multiple levels which would result in space being lost to
stairs and lifts. Waitrose’s preference is to have operations on one level.
 For the size of store being proposed, Waitrose would require around 250 spaces so
there would be approximately 100 spaces left over for the other retail elements of the
 The service yard is too small to meet Waitrose’s requirements for a store of this size.
 There may be a risk of flooding in the undercroft car park next to the river.
3.13 Furthermore, the realistic timeframe for this development would be 5 – 10 years given that
a new location for the bus station would have to be found and relocated prior to the
development on site commencing. The site would not be brought forward in the short to
medium term.
3.14 Further detail on the limitations of further expansion of the existing store in Hertford can be
found within the Design and Access Statement.
3.15 As demonstrated above the proposes scheme is not suitable or a viable option for Waitrose.
However given the proposals being promoted by the owner it is considered that the existing
store will be re-occupied in part or in full.
Last edited by Steve on Fri 24 Oct, 2014 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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