Growing a community

We know that creating great places is about so much more than building houses. It’s achieved through providing the schools, green spaces and other community facilities that are important for both existing and new residents.

We want to make sure the growth of Baldock complements and enhances its existing qualities, heritage and character, and meets the needs of the town. Your reflections on how you use local services, and how new services should come forward, will help shape the plans as they develop

The plan below shows how the land sits alongside the existing residential area and gives an indication of the walking times from schools, public buildings, green spaces and the centre of Baldock.


What we know

  • Baldock has a thriving community, with community buildings and halls in the town centre: these should be future-proofed and any new community spaces coming forward complement not compete with them.
  • Knights Templar school serves the whole of the town and is keen to continue as it grows. The closest primary school to where new homes will be built is Hartsfield School to the west of Clothall Common. New schools must come forward in a way which works with existing schools and supports educational excellence.
  • Baldock is served by one principal healthcare centre: Baldock Surgery. We know health care is changing and want to work with the surgery and local health partners to ensure capacity in the system at the right time and in the right place. 
  • Baldock town centre provides many much-needed facilities, with a range of shops and a good food and drink offer. New homes need to increase footfall to support the town centre and provide additional opportunities for shops, eateries and facilities and public spaces to meet up with people.  
  • Baldock has a compact, walkable centre, but is a bit car-dominated, which impacts on the way people use public spaces.  
  • A range of green spaces exist in and around the town, including play areas, allotments, amenity areas and nature reserves. We know that these are well used and important to residents.
People riding bikes on a leafy lane
People walking through a park
People eating in a restaurant
Nature-themed painting on an outdoor easel
Community building by a lake
Images demonstrating approach at similar Urban&Civic developments

Opportunities and ideas

We are already thinking about how these new homes and facilities can best support the Town Centre and existing communities of Baldock.

High Street and local businesses

  • Support Baldock High Street by ensuring quick links by bike and bus to get to shops and amenities.
  • Deliver additional space for businesses, which enhances the opportunity for jobs for the area, with close links to the town centre.
  • Drawing on the heritage and character of Baldock as a historic market town to inform the design and layout of the new homes and streets coming forward.
  • Providing some smaller local centres for new residents in the development, but ensuring the town centre remains the focus and heart of the town.
  • Exploring different types of business space which draw on proximity to the rail station, but also to the town centre and green spaces: providing a better quality of life for the modern workforce.


  • The new homes will need two primary schools, which with early years provision could become a hub for children and family support.
  • Schools to have a bike, scoot and walking focus, to encourage less cars for drop-off and pick-up, and encourage good habits and culture for sustainable and active travel.
  • Secondary school will come forward in discussion with the education authorities and Knights Templar to plan timing and numbers.
  • Any new school should aspire to be a near carbon-zero building, to put sustainability at the heart of learning.
  • Additional Special Educational Needs (SEND) school to support local needs and ensure families and vulnerable children do not have to travel too far for specialist education provision.

Green spaces

  • Strengthening and linking existing green spaces, by creating a ‘Green Loop’ to link local nature reserves: providing green corridors for nature to forage and use, as well as additional and connected open spaces for people.
  • Integrating water and sustainable drainage into the green space network in a positive and sustainable way, to bring people closer to water, and ensure a climate resilient place: able to manage periods of drought and heavy rainfall.
  • Provision of new play areas, sports pitches, wildlife areas and parks – not as distinct things, but connected: wilder play spaces, close to nature and parks with wildflower areas to deliver a net gain for nature, as well as engaging people in the environment.

Links and integration

  • Improving access to Baldock station including for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Potential for improvements to existing highways and footways / cycleways across the town.
  • New areas to be designed with on-site priority to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions, and off-road bike connections and walking routes.
  • Improved access to and provision of public transport, exploring on-demand shuttle buses and responsive transport options.
  • Strong physical connections between the site and Baldock town centre and employment areas.

Health and wellbeing

  • Designing new ways of supporting health care services, working with health partners: to support more preventative health support, management of conditions. Pulling together social prescribing and information prescribing to help people manage health conditions effectively.
  • Looking at care for older people, and ways to support ageing better within new homes and supported living. Community spaces designed inclusively for use by all – including young people, smaller and larger meeting rooms and space to support home workers and small businesses.
  • Network of walking/cycling routes to encourage active travel, with information boards to engage people in the nature around them... and how active they’ve been, or calculations of carbon saved!