Help shape the future of Harpenden Public Halls site

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News release: 25 October 2018

Local residents, businesses and community groups are being given the chance to help shape the redevelopment of a major Harpenden Town Centre site.

Sign saying 'vision'
Harpenden Public Halls, an entertainment venue on Southdown Road, is due to be replaced by a larger and more modern theatre and cultural centre in Rothamsted Park.

A planning application for the new centre and a sports centre is currently under consideration by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

Now St Albans City and District Council is considering how best to redevelop the Halls’ 0.7-acre site on the edge of the Town centre. 

It wants the public to help draw up the plans and has arranged a design charrettes – an intensive engagement event - so ideas and proposals can be openly discussed.

The charrette will be hosted by an independent facilitator, Kevin Murray Associates, an award-winning consultancy that specialises in urban design.

Feedback will then be used by the Council, which owns the site, and its architects to work up the plans.

The charrette will be held over two days; Friday 16 November, 6.45pm to 8.30pm, and Saturday 17 November, 9.30am to 5.30pm, at St Dominic’s Primary School, Southdown Road.

Anyone interested in attending should register at the Eventbrite website: http://bit.ly/2yyuFfZ.

The Public Halls’ current activities will be relocated to the redeveloped Harpenden sports centre as part of an £18.8 million regeneration project. A design charrette was used to help draw up the plans for that facility and the neighbouring swimming pool.

Councillor Julian Daly, Portfolio Holder for Commercial and Development, said: “I want local people to be involved and come along to the design charrette.

“We are keen that the redevelopment of the public halls to be a community-led and collaborative undertaking. It is a very important site at the gateway to the Town centre.

“Our aim is to involve people and organisations who care about Harpenden and want to see this site redeveloped in a suitable, imaginative and sustainable way.

“We want to deliver a high-quality redevelopment that has active public support and will make Harpenden even more attractive and appealing.”

Councillor Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sport and Culture, said: “The new leisure and cultural centres will be transformational for Harpenden and its surrounding villages and are now well advanced.

“The public halls have very much reached their end of life. Modern audiences are seeking greater comfort and more flexible cultural spaces. This redevelopment is an extremely important project for the town and we are very keen for residents to help draw up the masterplan.”

Money raised from the redevelopment will contribute a significant portion of the funding for the new leisure and cultural centres.

For more information about that project, please see:  www.stalbans.gov.uk/harpendenleisure.

For more information about the independent facilitator, see: kevinmurrayassociates.com/.

Councillor contact:
Cllr Julian Daly, Portfolio Holder for Commercial and Development at St Albans City and District Council 
Tel: 07775 657200 Email: Cllr.J.Daly@stalbans.gov.uk.

Media contact:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council. Tel: 01727-296130; E-mail: john.mcjannet@stalbans.gov.uk.