That’s an ‘L’ of a way to design a town centre

THE future of Hemel Hempstead town centre has become clearer with the release of an artist’s impression showing a new ‘public service quarter’.

The £12.5 million building – expected to house council offices, a library and police station – will sit on the corner of Combe Street and Marlowes, shown here in a red L shape with a piazza and trees.

Councillors at a full meeting of Dacorum Borough Council rubber-stamped the plans, which also include a new Morrisons supermarket next door on the current site of the civic centre and a rebuilt college campus.

Leader of the council Andrew Williams said afterwards: “Through working together I hope that this development project will provide a real boost for the town, and will encourage further investment and regeneration in Hemel Hempstead. In particular it will enable the council and our partners to bring forward a new, energy efficient building in the town centre, where our communities can access many public services from one single point.”

The foodstore – with an expected completion date in 2015 or early 2016 – will have parking for 536 cars, a petrol station and access off Leighton Buzzard Road.

Andrew Birtwistle, development executive at Morrisons, said: “This is another significant step towards delivering this important project.”

Gill Worgan, principal of West Herts College, said: “I am extremely excited about the benefits the new college campus could bring. It will be home to state-of-the-art facilities for every course we offer – something very special for the communities we serve.

“Courses will focus on the need for people of all ages to develop modern skills.”