Marshgate Drive, Hertford, SG13

Marshgate Drive site is located to the north east of Hertford town centre + is roughly triangular in shape. It's currently occupied by a number of industrial buildings in poor condition, + with poor facilities.

The presence of the site within the flood plain has a major effect on the proposed layout of buildings, limits the developable footprint, + determines the finished site levels. All residential + parking areas have to be accessible from a level higher than the 1 in 200 year predicted flood event, + this determines the access positions available.

An 8M wide zone from the river’s edge is to be kept free of development with maintained + enhanced landscaping + further ecological improvements including the establishment of native plant + wildlife habitats.

The set out is around a central courtyard in the form of three main buildings: Block A which faces onto the courtyard + south towards Spencer Street; Block B which is set back in excess of 8m from the River Lea Navigation; + Block C which is cranked + curved on plan to run along Marshgate Drive up to the northern tip of the triangular site whilst also being set back 8m from the river + partly facing onto the courtyard.

This layout offers the opportunity to create a strong urban frontage to the site whilst at the same time providing a distinctive river frontage + defining the open space within the development separately from the public realm. At the same time it is “permeable”, visually + physically connecting with the river + allowing a new public access through the centre of the development direct to the towpath, + a new public route allowing wheelchair access to the towpath at the northern end of the site.

The breakdown of units is: 71 x 1 bed flats; 101 x 2 bed flats; + 10 x 3 bed flats with 95%in total having private amenity space.