This ‘Composite Framework Plan’ collates our thoughts on all elements of the development and how it will complement the existing town. This will form the basis of the Strategic Masterplan document, that will help shape the future planning applications for the site.
It sets the overall framework for development, fixing the broad locations for green spaces, built areas, connections across the railway and the centre of the new community.
Baldock Net Zero
The development will be as sustainable as possible, aiming to be net zero in operational carbon and minimise construction carbon emissions. This is important to how Baldock grows and is the priority of the County Council as landowner, and your elected representatives at North Herts Council. New technologies are being developed and we want to be able to incorporate these.
This part of Baldock has a very rich archaeological heritage dating back to Prehistoric and Roman times. We would like to bring this to life by creating a ‘Heritage Trail’, a footpath around the site that connects and shares information about the features of archaeological interest, so that people can learn more about the history of human settlement at Baldock.
Redistributing through traffic
We know that about half of the traffic going through Baldock is through traffic that does not stop in the town. Our plans aim to change this and to make it easier to walk and cycle through the heart of the town – this does mean that it will be harder to drive through the town on some roads. Some junctions and roads within the town centre will need to change, in particular at the North Road railway bridge, where we want to restrict the width of the road for vehicles and introduce a ‘shuttle’ system controlled by traffic lights.
We’re also suggesting preventing cars being able to move from Station Road to Icknield Way/ Football Close – this would stop rat-running, but would inconvenience some residents.
We want to introduce a ‘modal filter’ onto Norton Road where it joins with Icknield Way – this would prevent people avoiding the road under the railway bridge, but would mean you couldn’t drive along Norton Road.
We are looking at restricting some of the turns that can be made at the Whitehorse crossroads – including having a left-turn ban from Whitehorse Street into Station Road. This would stop people using Baldock to get to the A1(M) from Letchworth, but it would inconvenience some residents who would need to approach Station Road from Clothall Road instead.
Land owned by Hertfordshire County Council
Local Planning Policy
The Baldock and Bygrave Neighbourhood Plan was adopted in 2021 following extensive consultation with local partners and communities and sets a vision for growth which builds connections between all parts of the town and which caters for new and existing residents.
The North Hertfordshire Local Plan was adopted in 2022, having been through a process to identify the right locations and ways to meet North Hertfordshire’s housing and growth requirements. It allocates the land to the north and east of Baldock for development for up to 3,300 homes, employment space, schools, transport connections, community and retail uses and green spaces. Local Plan policy requires that a Strategic Masterplan be prepared for the site.
Baseline & Options
Review of background information about the site, Baldock and its surroundings. This helps us to understand the local area better and covers:
• Heritage and archaeology
• Green infrastructure
Preparation of draft Strategic Masterplan starts to map out where things would go within the new development, and sets out frameworks for how things will happen, which are then consulted on, including:
• Land use
• Green infrastructure
• Landscape and biodiversity
• Urban design
• Sustainability and energy
Outline Planning Application
As the land is in different locations, and has different uses currently, the development will come forward in specific phases, and with some areas being bought forward before others.
The Strategic Masterplan and Outline Application enable this by setting an overall vision and structure for how everything fits together, the subsequent applications and phasing reflect how each more detailed area of the development will be delivered in line with this. This will include a detailed Design Code which sets out clear expectations for design quality and sustainability.