Royston Town Hall site set for revised scheme

PUBLISHED: 19:19 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 11 May 2010

A REVISED plan is expected to be drawn up for the future of the Royston Town Hall site. Although a scheme was earmarked in the Royston Town Centre Strategy the negative responses from a public consultation exercise means that any scheme will probably be

A REVISED plan is expected to be drawn up for the future of the Royston Town Hall site.

Although a scheme was earmarked in the Royston Town Centre Strategy the "negative responses" from a public consultation exercise means that any scheme will probably be returned to the drawing board.

The future of the site was being discussed last night (Wednesday) by members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee.

They were looking at the whole of the strategy and the results of the consulation.

The development of the town hall site had always been seen as a key element in any plans for the town centre rejuvenation.

Indeed, the future of the town hall site had been the subject of debate over the past 20 years.

In a report to committee members it was stressed that there had been "negative responses" to the scheme due to proposed residential development being part of the project.

It was said, too, that the original suggestion was "not meeting the requirements of the proposed land uses and not adequately addressing the perceived use of the site."

It has always been said that the site should revolve civic and community activites.

This, it has been suggested, includes the refurbishment of the more than 150-year-old Royston Town Hall and the development of a multi-purpose hall which could be used as a cinema and a theatre.

The report continued that a detailed development brief for the site should be drawn up due to the "complexities" of the land meeting all the requirements of the landowners.

Meanwhile, the consulatation exercise showed that the majority of comments on the town centre strategy were "generally positive".

Many of the comments concerned the idea of reversing the movement of traffic in Upper King Street and the High Street.

The intention was to restrict the number of vehicles circulating through the town centre.

But the idea was condemned and has been removed from the strategy.

One suggestion, too, would be to develop The Warren car park as a decked car park to meet the need for increased car parking for the town centre.

Some residential development, however, may be required on the site. This would part fund proposals for the land.

Other concerns raised included a proposal about cutting through the Corn Exchange to the old cattle market.

This idea, too, has been removed from the proposals and it has been stressed that any development of the cattle market site has to be of "high architectural quality".

Support was given to a proposal to develop Fish Hill square as "an active open public space".

The committee last night was also set to give support to an action plan which will see the proposals developed over short-term and long-term periods.

The strategy will need the approval of both the Cabinet and the district council.

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