Updated Tuesday 22nd July 2008
All Clear For New Library
After seven years of wrangling, the way ahead for Hertford's new library is now clear.
Derelict land in the town centre
Disputes over a bridge and landscaping have dogged the planned development by McMullens since it was approved in 2001. However, at a metting of the District Council's Development Control Committee, it was agreed to drop the landscaping condition. McMullens have also agreed to contribute £66,000 towards the cost of a footbridge over the river.
Plans to redevelop the town's derelict riverside yards were given the go ahead by East Herts District Council in 2001.
Detailed proposals submitted to the local authority included a new library, 16 flats and a lifting bridge linking Old Cross to Bull Plain.
The new 440m2 library will be nearly a third bigger than the existing library in Old Cross.
The 16 flats will be two floors above the library and have allocated parking. The public will also have access to an open area fronting the river.
Previous Plan Rejected
In 1999, Hertford brewers McMullens revealed plans for the redevelopment of the town's riverside yards, including Barber's Yard to the north of the river, and Adam's Yard and Dolphin Yard to the south. The scheme included new homes in the Grade II listed maltings and a footbridge across the river near to Mill Bridge.
The plans for the bridge however, were rejected by the Inland Waterways Association because it is too low for barges to pass underneath. The association wanted to see a Port of Hertford, with crafts moored up as far as The Castle Hall.
Hertford's riverside yards are probably one of it's best kept secrets. Lying in the heart of the town centre behind Maidenhead Street and Old Cross, the yards and their maltings are virtually unused and present a prime opportunity for redevelopment. This was recognised in a Planning Brief published by East Herts District Council in 1997. Covering Nicholas Lane, Maidenhead Yard, Adam's Yard and Dolphin Yard, the document states "This brief offers the opportunity to reappraise the planning of the area and consider how it can be redeveloped in a sympathetic and appropriate way".