Hertfordshire county councillors have agreed that a piece of land on the edge of Watford town centre can be sold – paving the way for an eight storey residential development.
The county council bought the land, on Lower Derby Road, more than 30 years ago for the A4008 M1 Link Road. But ultimately the land – which includes two industrial units – was not required for the road development.
And on Monday (December 4) a meeting of the council’s cabinet agreed that the site was no longer needed by the county council and could be sold to Watford Borough Council.
Presenting the proposal as a ‘pretty routine decision’, executive member for resources and performance Cllr Bob Deering told the cabinet: “This is a site that the council has had for some time.
“It was originally acquired for possible use in terms of a roadway development.
“But at some point that roadway development fell away – and so therefore is another site we need to deal with.
“And the proposal is that we will sell the site to Watford Borough Council.”
According to the report presented to the cabinet, Watford Borough Council already owns adjoining land, formerly used as a skate park, and it says proposals have already been drawn-up for a residential development spanning both sites.
The preferred option is reported to be an eight-storey development ‘fronting the one-way system’ – tapering down to four storeys overlooking the railway line. And it is estimated, says the report, that the proposals will provide 107 ‘units’.
At the meeting cabinet members agreed that the land should be declared ‘surplus’ by the county council. They agreed that the land could be sold to Watford Borough Council at an agreed price – that was not reported publicly – and with the transfer complete by the end of March 2024.
Commenting on the move leader of the county council Cllr Richard Roberts said: “Hertfordshire County Council working hand in glove with Watford Borough Council to make sure they get the appropriate development in Watford.”
The recommendation backed by the meeting also makes provision for the site to be disposed of on the ‘open market’ should terms not be agreed with Watford Borough Council.