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Posted on 5th July, 2020

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I am still convinced a Hertford bypass is something the town desperately needs. I read that the proposals were rejected in April 2019 but I have seen no reworked plans or discussion.
The through-traffic is choking the town centre and makes visiting the town centre unappealing to locals. Build the bypass, get a large proportion of traffic away from Gasgoygne Way and free up Hertford town centre. I appreciate there have been many attempts before, but it is high time we get this done (and properly) as increased residential accommodation is adding to the congestion and the need for a bypass has never been greater. Growth is inevitable but doing nothing is slowly suffocating the town. We need to be looking beyond Covid. If this is the wrong forum, please advise.
My 2 choices are the restoration to the beautiful Mill house and the flats created in the Hertford Brewery. It’s always great to see the reuse of old buildings especially when they have been restored sensitively.
My preferences are for, firstly, the Ware Park Mill Scheme and secondly the
Hertingfordbury Pub restoration and housing on the site.

My preferences are always going to be for restoration of old properties and a
scheme to utilise the property to provide Housing" hits the spot" absolutely.

I have chosen the Mill scheme as my number one because I have been looking at the derelict site for over fifty years now and had given up all hope of seeing
anything done. A joy to behold in a lovely spot on the rivers.

The Hertingfordbury scheme whilst not the same is similar, preservation, new housing and all apparently tastefully done.
Number 7 and number 14
My two choices would be The Mill House which is a delightful and well implemented development, not before time, and secondly The Ridgeway housing redevelopment.
It is rather impossible to make an informed decision by means of a selection of single exterior photographs. Judging a book by its cover comes to mind... Especially for existing buildings this does not showcase half the skill that is required to successfully convert or refurbish an existing building.
Also the voting system is rather cumbersome which might explain the low turnout? Harlow Civic Society have managed to set up voting by selection the project. I would expect they’d be willing to share their knowledge of how to do this.
My preferences based on the information available are Mill House opposite the tow path and Media House because some of the interior interventions are legible whereas this isn’t the case for the Brewery building.
The new housing at the Ridgeway looks very attractive externally but what is the 'lived' experience of residents? To find out it is necessary to ask the Housing Associations responsible for this development for the results of any surveys they have conducted and make this information a prerequisite of any Award.

The Ridgeway Play area - surveys of young people and parents using the site need to be considered in the Award process.

Do any new buildings considered for an Award meet the environmental need to to reduce energy and water consumption?
My 2 top choices fir the building shortlist are number 7 and number 14.
My preferences would be 5 and 7. 5 because it contributes much to the area in which it is and is a calm, peaceful, and inspiring build and 7 because of the sympathy to the original build and location.
I hope that it will be possible for the Panel to see more of the candidates than is possible for the ordinary member of the Society or the general public. It is difficult to pass judgement, for instance, on the conversion to apartments of the Tower building at the Brewery without seeing the inside of the dwellings. The appearance of the Tower building has been hardly changed by the conversion. This problem does not arise to the same extent in the case of the Media House conversion because it is possible to examine the rear the redevelopment. However, assessment of the dwellings behind the White Horse at Hertingfordbury can only be limited if one is able to do no more than view these through the security gates.

Whatever the merits of the Edward and Isabella Houses, the location of these specialist dwellings in a designated air pollution area must disqualify the candidate from selection for an award. If the panel rejected Carriage Court from the long list (possibly because of location adjacent to the A414) the McCarthy and Stone complex must be similarly rejected.

The programme of improvements to Ridgeway Park (as described on the information board) are an imaginative initiative but the implementation is let down by very poor upkeep (overflowing litter bins and poor grounds maintenance).

From a disappointing final short list, I would choose, overwhelmingly, the houses and flats at the Ridgeway. Some Society members were shown more than the exterior of the buildings when the development was nearing completion. Perhaps a similar experience should be arranged for the Panel. My second choice would be the conversion of Media House into apartments.
My first choice would be The White Horse development in Hertingfordbury. The redevelopment of the White Horse provides good outdoor seating and an adequate carpark. A well designed group of houses making good use of the space available set behind the pub and totally in keeping with the environment.

Media House would be my second choice. An imaginative and sensitive conversion of a listed building. The front elevation has not changed very much but the back has individual small outdoor spaces and adequate parking.