Watford Borough Council is looking for a development partner for a 50/50 joint venture for the phased regeneration of the 3.5-hectare Town Hall Quarter site.

The site, currently owned by the council, is located at the north end of Watford High Street and is currently home to Watford Central Library and two NHS clinics.

The town hall itself is grade two listed, though in total the site has the potential to be developed to have 50,000 square metres of space, with the allowance to go up to 9 storeys high with an estimated value of £200m.

The development would be primarily residential, and would also use space currently used for cars, reducing the number of parking spaces to encourage greener transport.

Group head of place-shaping at Watford Borough Council Tom Dobrashian said “The Town Hall Quarter is an opportunity to revitalise this part of Watford town centre, significantly improving the public realm and delivering new complementary uses, including new housing, active ground floors, more intensive use of heritage buildings and improved health, civic and cultural facilities for Watford residents.

“We are already committed to progressing £20 million of investment in the Watford Colosseum entertainment venue and the Town Hall building, with works anticipated to commence in 2022, and this wider improvement will complement the council’s existing capital investment.”

Simon Hope, partner at Montagu Evans who is advising the council said: “Alongside current plans to improve its civic and cultural offer, there is further scope to revitalise the site and bring forward complementary residential and mixed-use development that will contribute to the council’s ambitions for its town and create an attractive new neighbourhood that addresses housing need and enhances existing heritage assets.”

Partner selection will be done using a two-stage public procurement process under Public Contracts Regulations 2015, and it is hoped the development partner will be announced in February 2022.

Image source: Montagu Evans

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