Local Plan Protest

Tonight’s important special meeting to vote on the Local Plan housing figures will be available to watch at 7:30PM on the Council website here:

https://democracy.welhat.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=186&MId=1431

Scroll down to “View the webcast”

Local Plan – Urgent Action Required

As reported in the last news bulletin Welwyn Hatfield’s Local Plan for housing is to be considered again by the Government Inspector (see below for a reminder). The council have made considerable changes to the Plan which should concern us all. Your Committee urges you to email all Councillors immediately (list of email addresses below) as they meet to finalise the Plan on Thursday (27th January). We suggest you use this form of words:

I am a member of the Welwyn Garden City Society. I understand from the Society that the Council will meet on Thursday 27th January to discuss the revised Local Plan.

I share the Society’s opinion that the revised Plan is against the interests of our town. I know we share a common interest in protecting the unique and special character of WGC. So I trust you will be using your position to encourage all those attending the meeting this week to reject the Plan as it stands.

I note that the number of dwellings proposed has been reduced, and that these reductions come from locations largely in the southern villages – particularly in Brookman’s Park, Little Heath and Northaw. Proposed developments in WGC are unaffected. This means no reduction in housing numbers along Broadwater Road or Bridge Road East. Once again we see our town under threat, disproportionately, from further high rise development. I am sure you would not wish your party to be responsible for supporting a Local Plan which will lead to this outcome.

Apparently the rationale for this is that the Green Belt must be protected. This is disingenuous coming from a Council which has allowed a huge warehouse to be built on Green Belt land beside Cole Green Lane. One wonders why parochial interests in the southern villages are supported, while protecting the internationally famous and admired Welwyn Garden City is not.

The new Plan reduces the number of dwellings planned and removes sites in the southern villages which the Inspector has previously identified as ripe for development. Going against the Inspector’s wishes in this way could result in the Inspector throwing out the Plan. If this were to happen, WGC would be left wide open to speculative and inappropriate development which no DMC meeting could prevent.

Please think carefully about the consequences of this Plan. I am looking to you and your colleagues to protect the environment of our very special town on this important issue.

Please send this today. We need as much support as we can get!

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Our Magazine

October 2021 saw the launch of our new magazine, pictured here.

Members of the Society receive a full colour glossy magazine twice a year.  This publication is packed with news and features relating to Welwyn Garden City, with a particular emphasis on topical planning issues. The current magazine carries the theme of public art, and contains lots of gorgeous photos sent in by our talented members.  The forthcoming issue, appearing in April 2022, takes trees as its theme.

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BioPark Planning Meeting This Thursday 9 September at Campus West

Operation Ben made the WHT front page!

https://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/campaigners-fight-broadwater-road-plans-8300216

Time to stand up and be counted! Saturday was just the start. Join the main event – the BioPark Planning Meeting on Thursday 9 September 2021 from 6.30pm at Campus West

Convene on Campus Roundabout (between Centenary Woodland Garden and road). We are still awaiting arrangements from the Council (!) but we do know that they are ONLY allowing two public speakers on a major project.  Let your Local Councillor know what you think of this interpretation of democracy.  The auditorium doors will allegedly only open at 7:15pm(!).  Those needing priority access are advised to email democracy@welhat.gov.uk

A comparison of the BioPark Developer ‘fluffy’ image with harsh reality is below – click to enlarge

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Broadwater BioPark Planning MEETING POSTPONED UNTIL 9 SEPTEMBER 2021 BY COUNCIL

Dear Concerned Resident of the Garden City

As a local Civic society, the Welwyn Garden City Society are very concerned about what is planned in the Broadwater Road area and, in particular, the THREE Planning applications that have been proposed 1. BioPark ironically called Broadwater ‘Gardens’  2. South Site  3. North Site (Wheat Quarter)

Many people share our concern please register your comments to the THREE applications. The Bio Park (replacing former Roche Building) will be the first of these to be heard at the planning meeting DMC (Development Management Committee) NOW POSTPONED UNTIL 9 SEPTEMBER 2021.

Bio-Park/ Broadwater ‘Gardens’ (Replacing Roche Building) – where around 900 people are proposed to be crammed in

South Site – Red Hatching Shows Proposed Changes which are higher and bulkier than previously Approved (click image for bigger view)

Comments are still being accepted (timeline ASAP) so please object to these applications – every objection counts!

1. Bio-Park: https://planning.welhat.gov.uk/Planning/Display/6/2020/3420/MAJ

2. Former Shredded Wheat Factory South:  https://planning.welhat.gov.uk/Planning/Display/6/2021/0671/MAJ

3. Former Shredded Wheat Factory North site (Wheat Quarter) if not done yet!  https://planning.welhat.gov.uk/Planning/Display/6/2021/0181/MAJ

Suggested text is at the end of this link: http://welwynhatfield.co.uk/wgc_society/?p=2648

It is important that the Council be made aware of the strong opposition that exists to all of the Broadwater Road proposals, as represented by the Planning applications.

You can also:
– Lobby your DMC Planning Councillors and all Local Councillors (email lists on recent post)
– Lobby your MP Grant Shapps via email on: grant@grantshapps.com
– Join our mailing list or even better, join the Society via our website or email: wgcsociety@live.com
– Speak to friends and neighbours
– Come along to the Planning Meeting scheduled for 12 August 2021 from 6:30pm to welcome the Councillors – email us on wgcsociety@live.com for details.
– Follow up on social media

Please Action Now! Don’t Complain After the Event!

 

 

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Welwyn Hatfield Councillors E-Mail List: Let Them Know What You Think

Below is a list of all Welwyn Hatfield Councillors e-mails.  Cut and paste into your address box when letting your Councillors what you think.

Note:

  • Planning DMC (Development Management Committee) Councillors are at the top of the list
  • When writing on strongly felt planning issues it is better to issue your mail to all Councillors as there may be substitutions made at the actual meeting

Planning DMC (Development Management Committee) Councillors + Leader:

jonathan.boulton@welhat.gov.uk; siobhan.elam@welhat.gov.uk ; barbara.fitzsimon@welhat.gov.uk ; caron.juggins@welhat.gov.uknick.pace@welhat.gov.uk ; jayne.ranshaw@welhat.gov.uk ; drew.richardson@welhat.gov.uk ; pankit.shah@welhat.gov.uk ; jean-paul.skoczylas@welhat.gov.uk ; teresa.travell@welhat.gov.uk; ; roger.trigg@welhat.gov.uk; stan.tunstall@welhat.gov.uk ; jill.weston@welhat.gov.uk; tony.kingsbury@welhat.gov.uk ;

Welwyn Garden City Councillors (not on DMC Planning):

margaret.birleson@welhat.gov.uk ;lynn.chesterman@welhat.gov.uk ;anthony.dennis@welhat.gov.uk ;alastair.hellyer@welhat.gov.uk ;max.holloway@welhat.gov.uk ;tamsin.jackson-mynott@welhat.gov.uksamuel.kasumu@welhat.gov.uk ;steve.mcnamara@welhat.gov.uk ;frank.marsh@welhat.gov.uk ;lucy.musk@welhat.gov.uk ;russ.platt@welhat.gov.uk ;jane.quinton@welhat.gov.uk ;ayesha.rohale@welhat.gov.uk ;fiona.thomson@welhat.gov.uk ;flavia.wachuku@welhat.gov.uk

Other Councillors:

duncan.bell@welhat.gov.ukjames.bond@welhat.gov.uk; stephen.boulton@welhat.gov.uk ; lenny.brandon@welhat.gov.ukjulie.cragg@welhat.gov.uk;  gail.ganney@welhat.gov.uk; glyn.hayes@welhat.gov.uk ; peter.hebden@welhat.gov.uk ;   james.lake@welhat.gov.uk; rebecca.lass@welhat.gov.uk ; steven.markiewicz@welhat.gov.uk;  george.michaelides@welhat.gov.uk ; helen.quenet@welhat.gov.uk ; bernard.sarson@welhat.gov.uk ; paul.smith@welhat.gov.uk ; craig.stanbury@welhat.gov.ukkieran.thorpe@welhat.gov.uk; sunny.thusu@welhat.gov.ukpaul.zukowskyj@welhat.gov.uk

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73 Bridge Road East (Ex-Land Rover Site)

One-Page Summary Issued to DMC Councillors
It was disturbing to read the Council Planning recommendation report for this proposed over-redevelopment of a prominent site. It dismissively notes that ‘much of the surrounding commercial development is of a lower height’. This is the most important factor see street scene below:

Bridge Road East: low-rise street scene

The report then clutches for unrepresentative high building comparisons:
• Norton Building – a predominantly 4-storey industrial heritage building that set back from the road.
• Shredded Wheat site: some considerable distance away and a different setting.

The proposed building is huge and unsympathetic to the site:
Existing

Proposed

If it is approved it will have a domino-effect of encouraging a high building ghetto being spread across the Garden City.
Please reject this gross over-development of a prominent site.

END

The DMC meeting for this application is scheduled for Thursday 17 June 2021 https://democracy.welhat.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=156&MId=1274

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Economist article: ‘The fight to preserve a pioneering planned town- the NIMBYs are right this time’.

Link to Economist article: ‘The fight to preserve a pioneering planned town- the NIMBYs are right this time’.  [You have to sign up but it is then free to read a number of articles]

https://www.economist.com/britain/2021/04/17/the-fight-to-preserve-a-pioneering-planned-town

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BBC News: Elections 2021: Can Welwyn Garden City balance original vision with new housing?

Recent BBC News Piece  on Elections 2021: Can Welwyn Garden City balance original vision with new housing? with a quote from the Society:

http://Elections 2021: Can Welwyn Garden City balance original vision with new housing?

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Broadwater: South Site – New Annotations of Images That Show Changes

The implications of the proposed changes on the Broadwater sites are (deliberately?) very hard to identify.  Annotated key images of the South Site showing the lost green spaces and new building block infills are below.

Comments on the North site have been good, but alone they are not enough. Please register your comments on the South site together with the Bio Park and the North Site on the Council planning portal: https://www.welhat.gov.uk/eia.

Suggested text for objections is on an earlier post:  http://welwynhatfield.co.uk/wgc_society/?p=2648

Every comment counts on all three sites. Mailing Councillors will also help. You can also ask them why the impact of the changes is so hard to identify. ?

 

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Warehouse development in the Green Belt

Residents may have noticed the large new warehouses being constructed along Cole Green Lane, next to the new Welcome to Welwyn Garden City sign. This development is on land within the green belt, it appears it was granted planning permission by WHBC.  A short video has appeared on YouTube talking about this controversial development, you can watch it below or via this link: https://tinyurl.com/greenbeltwgc The entry and egress points in the Garden City have always been carefully managed, to protect them from inappropriate development. This appears to be changing.

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