Tower block will help Hemel shake off ‘ugliest town’ image

The proposed Beacon development in Whiteleaf Road, Hemel Hempstead.
The proposed Beacon development in Whiteleaf Road, Hemel Hempstead.

A new tower block development could help Hemel Hempstead shed its image as the UK’s ugliest town, claim developers.

Corona Properties has now lodged a full major planning application for a 16 storey residential and office development in Whiteleaf Road.

A supporting document submitted to Dacorum Borough Council by the house builder said: “The Beacon will augment and enhance Hemel Hempstead and put to rest its unwanted image as the ‘ugliest town in the UK’.

“Landmark iconic developments enhance the character of a town and act to lure inward investment into an area thereby promoting economic growth. It is no coincidence that cities throughout the world such as Dubai, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur all seek to have iconic buildings which attract investment into the city and country.”

The futuristic development, where cars will be parked automatically and people will gain access to their homes using fingerprint technology, includes 272 apartments - an increase on the 208 flats first proposed in the approved outline planning application.

The properties will be made up of studio, one, two and three bedroom flats and there would be 313 underground car parking spaces.

Cars would be parked automatically.

Cars would be parked automatically.

The proposal also incudes an on-site gym, coffee shop and rooftop garden.

Solar panels and a roof wind turbine would provide electricity and rainwater would be recycled.

Corona Properties said: “The Beacon represents the most sustainable development of its type anywhere in the world. Carbon neutral, emission free offices and dwellings encased in a modern integrated community. An exemplar not only for the UK but for the rest of the world.”

Developers also have their sights on building a second tower block in nearby London Road.

Developers say The Beacon would create an iconic landmark.

Developers say The Beacon would create an iconic landmark.

A public consultation on The Beacon is running until November 18. To have your say click here

The interior of the tower development.

The interior of the tower development.

A rooftop garden would harvet rainwater and a wind turbine would create electricity along with solar panels.

A rooftop garden would harvet rainwater and a wind turbine would create electricity along with solar panels.