Hertford Basin – Dicker Mill Industrial Estate – future planning
Background - some businesses located on the industrial estate have applied for change of use to Residential use - see planning application > https://publicaccess.eastherts.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QL62VXGL04O00
Cllr. Goodeves has raised concern relating to the inappropriateness of the loss of employment, which could set the scene for another unwanted major residential development, on Dicker Mill with the loss of employment to somewhere else.
Additionally, the District Councill will be calling for sites later this year for the next District Planning period ie.2033 onward, and it is suspected that the site would be proposed for redevelopment if not before.
Proposal - So, with that in mind and further to a suggestion made in the recent KNP survey returns, I believe we should “sow the seeds” of developing an innovative scheme to improve the image of Hertford that visitors and residents will want to be part of – I believe the proposal to redevelop Dicker Mill into a Village Marina with a diverse range of activities would be a major asset for Hertford’s version of “Little Venice” which would –
· Be a destination of choice for visitors and residents
· Provide a mixed economy of business and leisure services
· Improve the local economy
· Provide local employment both short and long term
· Provide links to Hartham Common and nearby local business
· Include a visitor’s marina for Canal and small pleasure boats, with small chandlers and even a small boatyard!
· Include wharfside leisure and business facilities themed to Hertford’s heritage as a confluence of four rivers and links with canal side trading of the past but with an eye on the future.
Fig 1 is a rough plan of the site approx. 470 m long and 90 m. it’s widest.
Fig 2 is a current image
Challenges – Does the forum think this has mileage?
· Is it viable financially?
· Could it attract adequate investment?
· Will we get Council’s support?
· Is there appetite for such a scheme in a small-town like Hertford?
· Technical, Environmental and Biodiversity challenges?
Next Steps – suggest a review by the Building Environment & Planning group.
Welcome the group's views which is a follow up from a comment made during the resident's recent KNP survey
Mike your ideas are so refreshing, and genuinely exciting - this sounds exactly like the kinds of change that would really benefit the town. So how might the development be steered in the direction you suggest, and not go do the usual stack em high route?
Maybe there would be an opportunity to make use of the wild area to north in some way - focused on a small nature centre? A bird watching hide? A small rewilding project even? Could a water activities centre work there - something for teenagers who get such a raw deal locally? Bring the local anglers/canoe clubs/sea scouts on board?
Do we know who owns the site?
It will certainly be a very challenging place to redevelop - probably lots of contamination and maybe height restrictions given its position by Hartham, plus it's on a flood plain. But all those things could just mean that a developer can use viability calculations to show that nothing except housing will work there...
On the other hand, people are passionate about making the town a better place. Perhaps getting lots of local groups on board now to think about how it might look in 5 years, along with a town-wide campaign, could pressurise EHC to take ideas like yours seriously. Without that, I struggle to see it getting anything other than houses... but it could be done, and heck, it would be worth trying!
So, when I was reading the survey returns and saw the suggestion of the inclusion of a 'Kingsmead Marina' I thought what a great idea but where? Having read your post about Dicker Mill I think it is a perfect location.
I know that Dicker Mill has a number of businesses from a Krav Maga site to a hireable venue to cycle purchase and repair so provides varied employment opportunities and businesses with good public transport links from Hertford East (trains) and on bus routes. The proposals to change use and build more housing, when Hertford already has a lot of housing but relatively low local employment opportunities would be extremely disappointing and would also adversely affect traffic.
Increasing the amount of, relatively affordable, dwellings by creating permanent moorings at Dicker Mill coupled with moorings for short term stays would provide a vibrant addition to the area in addition to providing increased security due to on site presence overnight in my opinion. Also, creating local facilities for boat maintenance would provide additional employment along with income for the area. It's also a pretty spot, with lots of wildlife and interest although we would need to check that there is no impact on the environment.
I agree that it could provide another attraction in the Hertford 'arsenal' as brightly painted boats would provide visual interest for walkers and cyclists along the tow path.
So, this proposal may take quite a bit of discussion to see whether it is viable but it is one that should be discussed further and put through into our draft policies