A decision is set to be made later today (Thursday, March 21) on whether a Hitchin pub should be able to include a supermarket as part of its redevelopment plans.

Since The Anchor Inn submitted their plans to add a Sainsbury's Local in September, a number of residents have objected to the proposals.

Now, North Herts Council's planning committee will have the final say after Cllr James Denselow, who represents Hitchin Walsworth, called it in.

He cited concerns about increasing traffic, harm to the adjacent Purwell Meadows nature reserve, a loss of business for nearby convenience stores, and the possibility that surface water flooding in the area "could be further exacerbated".

Thirty-eight members of the public have written to the council to object to the plans, with none writing in support of the plans.

The Anchor Inn's planning application, launched by Greene King, would see work done both inside and outside the Cambridge Road pub.

Land at the rear of the building currently occupied by hedges, grass and a play area, would be turned into a shop and warehouse, "occupied by Sainsburys and functioning as a Sainsbury’s Local", according to a planning statement submitted by Walsingham Planning.


The application describes the pub as "tired and dated and in need of investment", with big changes planned, including the reconfiguration of the garden and the demolition of a number of outbuildings, to make way for a garden pergola providing covered outdoor seating, and four timber huts for private and family outdoor dining.

North Herts Council's planning officer has recommended that permission for the plans be granted, subject to conditions.

Decisions are also set to be made this evening on several potential housing developments in North Hertfordshire, including 43 homes to the south of Oughtonhead Lane in Hitchin, 48 homes on Freemans Close in Hitchin, and 42 homes near Rhee Spring and Orwell View in Baldock.

An application for a retention of change of use from an equestrian stables to car sales and servicing at Friends Green Farm in Weston is the final item on the agenda.

This evening's meeting begins at 7.30pm.

It is being held in the council chamber at North Herts Council's offices in Letchworth, and can also be watched online via the council's YouTube channel.