Gascoyne Cecil Estates – Old Hatfield

A historic village located adjacent to Hatfield House, Old Hatfield is a site with great opportunity for residential, business and retail development on account of its charm and advantageous location adjacent to a rail station with direct services to central London. However, over the past 20 years, the village centre has fallen into disrepair, with poor quality public spaces, low-quality retail and few resources for the thousands of tourists visiting Hatfield House annually.

Turnberry worked with Gascoyne Cecil Estate (GCE), to identify potential sites and develop a brief for regeneration. Subsequently, Turnberry proposed that GCE commission a redevelopment masterplan, to be developed in a public workshop, or 'charrette', in order to involve local residents. Urban designers Duany-Plater & Zyberk & Company (DPZ) then led the design process, to create a masterplan which would make Old Hatfield a more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly destination.

The brief was to develop a phased plan that could be implemented regardless of the market conditions, The plan proposed twelve key interventions to be implemented individually or jointly, thus enabling the Estate to begin tangible improvements to the site in a short timeframe and maintain the momentum of the charrette. Proposals included both projects to be undertaken independently by the Estate and larger inventions to be carried out in partnership with groups such as the Council and Network Rail.

The key proposals were the redesign of the railway station, the introduction of a new public plaza and Church Hall, and the creation of a new car park for coaches, which would lead visitors to Hatfield House via the retail heart of Old Hatfield. Other proposals included road improvements designed to calm traffic and encourage pedestrian activity, as well as schemes for additional residential units to reinforce and regenerate Old Hatfield.

The project has received tremendous public support, attracting hundreds of residents to meetings before, during and after the charrette. Implementation is currently moving ahead, with major projects begun including the train station redesign, which is being co-sponsored by Network Rail.

Turnberry continues to advise GCE on its wider land interests and is promoting a new community within the Green Belt.