Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council recently commissioned Place Services to undertake a heritage assessment of Hatfield, to include a characterisation of key areas within the town and headline character statements for each.
The document was intended to provide a baseline of the area for assessing development of the town and its key heritage and landscape characteristics. This will be a key baseline document to inform future development and design with regard to the sensitivities of the historic environment and its unique character. The document was designed to provide high level information in an intuitive and usable document, which included key information on the following:
• Historic Baseline;
• Character Assessment;
• Key Views Assessment;
• Setting; and
• Settlement Sensitivity and Susceptibility.
The project included conducting site walkovers, assessing historic maps and existing guidance for Hatfield and consulting members of the Hatfield Regeneration Group and Cecil and Gascoyne Estates, as well as Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. The town was divided into seven distinct character areas, which included the Old Hatfield Historic Core Conservation Area.
Each Character Area included a statement providing a baseline history, an assessment of development, and identified key heritage assets and landscape features as well as the contribution these make to the unique character areas. The historic and landscape characteristics of the town were used to identify key sensitivities and susceptibilities of the character areas, with a view to informing and developing policies for future development. The study provided an understanding of the significance of the historic development and characteristics of Hatfield in order to ensure that future decision making is sustainable, robust and sound.