Hemel Hempstead - Fixing signs, lights & CCTV to buildings

Region: East of England

Local Authority: Dacorum

Summary: Signing, lighting and CCTV play an integral role within our streets and are there to improve legibility and safety for all road users. When designing these elements into the street it is best to take a ‘Less Is More’ approach, even in streets that are not in any specially designated environment, though this is particularly important when locating these features in more sensitive areas. Over use of poles and columns can overwhelm and devalue a street scene which may be known for is architecture and character.

Description: Hemel Hempstead's Conservation Area offers an example of successful implementation of fixing lights and CCTV equipment to buildings.  Hemel Hempstead old Town is located adjacent to the new town area, comprising a significant church with associated car parks, small town public square and several listed buildings. 
Issue: Over a period of time the area had suffered from the closure of a number of shops and business premises as well as issues of crime within the church and public car park area.  Funded by the Dacorum Borough Council, the aim of the scheme was to develop a lighting and CCTV strategy as part of the enhancement and re-development of the old town area.  The narrow width of the highway (both road and footways) and the presence of some cellars meant it was felt necessary to instil new lighting on the buildings.

The main objectives included the following: aesthetically pleasing lighting colums and lanterns; lighting fixed to builings where reasonable possible; lightin levels that would ensure good coveage and picture quality for any new CCTV with lighting levels in accordance with Bristish Standards; and a reduction in the criome problems within St Mary's chich car park, which is linked to the church and aksio serves the shops and residents in the evening.

Discussions with Dacorum's conversation officer, its planners and English Heritage took place to establish consensus on design, size and cable rooting for the luminares.  Drawings were produced of each location to detail all the components and illustrate the final effect of lighting fixed on buildings.  careful attention was given to co-ordinating the fixed luminares with CCTV to ensure complemetary design and appropriate functioning of all equipment.  the car park lighting was provided by luminaires on columns, while CCTV was desigbned to complement the decorative lighting and listed builings in the area.


The overall impact of the implemented scheme has been positive including:
• Improved levels of lighting and clear CCTV coverage
• Improved street scene
• In general the resident’s comments have been favourable following completion; however there has been some mixed feedback.
• A reduction in property vacancies along the High Street with the opening of several new bars and cafes
• Ensured all existing businesses can be maintained
• A reduction in the crime rate in St Mary's church car park.




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