Fish Hill Feedback Positive

PUBLISHED: 17:39 06 September 2010

Visitors to the Fish Hill proposal exhibition last week

Visitors to the Fish Hill proposal exhibition last week

Archant

HUNDREDS of Royston residents attended Fish Hill Square last week to see the opening of an exhibition showing proposed developments of the town centre site.

So far, the majority of feedback collected from the exhibition has been positive, with approximately three quarters of those filling in forms giving their approval to ideas on display.

Representatives of North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) and appointed landscape architects were on hand to discuss the proposals, while visitors to the exhibition were encouraged to submit their thoughts in writing.

Of the 54 people that have done this so far, over 75% are in favour of the changes.

There were numerous suggestions as to what people would like to see in the area including trees, public art, seating, better lighting, pavement cafes and specialist markets. One of the concerns expressed was that any scheme should not be overly modern in design, so the character of the square is preserved.

One of the possibilities for the square is for a sculpture to be built, with just over half of those that expressed an opinion on this being keen on it. Some of the suggestions for the sculpture included using images from the Royston Cave or making reference to the town as King James’ hunting home.

A new name for the square was also considered, given that the area is not officially known as Fish Hill Square and many refer to it simply as John St Car Park. Of those that commented on this, the majority were in favour of officially naming it Fish Hill Square, while other popular choices were Court House Square and King James Square.

Cllr Tom Brindley, NHDC portfolio holder for planning, transport and economic development who was at the exhibition launch, said: “It was good to see so many people come along and get involved with the future of the square.

“We have got to where we are today after ongoing consultation with local people and businesses, beginning in February, and it is encouraging that over three quarters of the people who have submitted comments so far are in favour of the proposals we are putting forward.

”There’s still time for people to have their say. This is about creating a space that becomes a real focal point for Royston, brings more people to the town centre and encourages further activity and trade in the area and town centre more generally. We want to hear as many views as possible to help us achieve these aims.”

The exhibition continues online at the NHDC website and at Royston library until September 23 and feedback can still be submitted in writing to BDP, the Council’s consultants, through BDP’s Facebook page (search for ‘Fish Hill’) and on Twitter (twitter.com/fishhillsquare).

All feedback from the public consultation will be considered before the plans are finalised. It is hoped that work will commence on site in late spring 2011.

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