We’re all too familiar with the beauty spots and stunning landscapes in Herts.
But sadly it’s not the case everywhere you look. There are some areas in desperate need of some love and attention, areas that either appear unpleasant on the eye or that have lost the appeal they once had.
Due to the age and nature of our new towns, some of our county’s town centres were built more than 50 years ago and have remained relatively untouched since, meaning they’re now in desperate need of modernisation.
We’ve grown to love our surroundings and we may not always look at our built-up areas in the way outsiders do, but there’s certainly room for improvement on our high streets and in our communities.
These are a few of the places that look like they could do with a new surge of life, but certainly don’t lack the potential.
Stevenage town centre
After the Second World War, Stevenage was the first of 29 ‘new towns’ to be built.
The town has a few stunning spots like Fairlands Valley Park, but when you step into the town centre, it’s not as easy on the eye.
In the centre of the shopping complex sits the Clock Tower which acts as a shining example of the significant history Stevenage, Hertfordshire, can boast, but residents and visiting shoppers could benefit from a more modern-looking scene.
Luckily, Stevenage town centre recently got the green light for a major regeneration project which will hopefully bring life back to the area.
The area will benefit from a programme worth nearly £1bn which promises to reinvigorate the town centre and surrounding areas.
By 2028, the Stevenage Better scheme aims to deliver more than 7,000 new homes, new shops, bars and restaurants, an expanded railway station as well as brand new sports and leisure facilities, among other things.
It could make Stevenage one of the most attractive and appealing town centres in the county.
Gascoyne Way Car Park, Hertford
Located in the centre of Hertford, it’s fair to say that the car park isn’t the county’s most attractive.
Take nothing away from the car park itself, as with 340 spaces it’s certainly a useful spot for shoppers, but it does look a little stuck in the past.
Maybe it just needs a touch of colour, a new lick of paint to bring it back to life.
Modular homes, Borehamwood
The lack of housing in the UK has been an issue for many years now, and councils have been trying to get plans accepted for more homes to be built.
But the construction of multiple modular homes off Crown Road in Borehamwood didn’t go down too well with the locals.
The container-style houses look more like something you’d find on an industrial site and many of the units towered above the residents’ garden fences, leaving them with a less than impressive view from their back gardens.
One resident slammed it as an “eyesore” and that it takes away any bit of privacy they once had.
When the construction was getting underway at the site, HertsLive spoke to residents living nearby and you read the full story here.
The construction is now complete and residents started moving into the properties in May 2020.
In 2013, Hemel Hempstead was voted the ‘ugliest town in Britain’ because of the unattractive architecture and unappealing town centre.
Despite having Boxmoor and Gadebridge Park, both of which are picturesque and ideal for walks and family days out, there’s something about the area which is crying out for a new lease of life.
Bircherley Green Shopping Centre, Hertford
This shopping centre has been abandoned for around two years and plans for a redevelopment have been rumoured ever since.
Sitting empty and dismal in Hertford town centre, the area was in need of a new project to bring it back to life, and luckily it was given fresh hope of a revival last year.
During a council meeting on June 25, 2020, East Herts District Council discussed plans for a brand new shopping complex to be built on the site before ultimately giving developers Chase New Homes the green light for the project.
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The new plans will see an 86-bed hotel – likely to be a Premier Inn – on the corner of Railway Street and Bircherley Street, 98 residential apartments, a new community square will be created to form a new heart of the development and there will be space for brand new permanent shops as well as spaces for pop-up shops.
Chase New Homes will also be developing the existing car park and bus station, while also creating an exciting and appealing riverside area where there will be restaurants.
There will also likely be a brand new health centre which will help serve the local community.