It’s not the piazza Berkhamsted Living wanted. It’s not the Bridewell Gardens we mocked up in Photoshop in the autumn 2013 issue. But most of all, it’s very far from being the community space that almost 1,000 Berkhamsted residents wanted. When the former police station disappears from the corner of the High Street and Kings Road, it will probably be replaced at ground-floor level by a relocated library and elsewhere by 23 retirement ‘dwellings’.
It won’t look worse, of course, than the police station. In fact if the plans come to fruition it could look a great deal better than many of the buildings on Berkhamsted’s architecturally polyglot High Street. But the efforts of the B-Hive group (click here) in organising a campaign to make something of the site for the town, and the contribution of hundreds of Berkhamsted people, have been ignored.
A public exhibition of the plans occupied the Civic Centre on Thursday evening and will return on Saturday, 10am-2pm. About 60 people attended on Thursday and were offered a form on which to express their thoughts. The first question asked whether they thought the site suitable ‘for a retirement development and the creation of a new library’. This question has already been answered, surely.
It isn’t the developer’s fault. Developers do what they do. As for public servants who ought by definition to be serving the public, that’s a different matter. The police station was a public sector resource and the public went to a great deal of trouble to suggest what might be done with the site.