2,500 home plans for Welwyn Garden City emerge

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 March 2013 | UPDATED: 19:46 24 March 2013

The Birchall Garden Suburb design

The Birchall Garden Suburb design

Archant

THOUSANDS of homes designed to keep alive the “principles of the Garden City movement” could be built on a former quarry.

Industrial giant Lafarge Tarmac is in talks with Welwyn Hatfield Council to develop the 2,500 home Birchall Garden Suburb to the south east of WGC – although it is still early days.

The borough has not put the site forward in its housing plan for the next 16 years – dubbed the Emerging Core Strategy – but the firm is lobbying for it to be included. The first round of consultation on the borough’s housing plan has finished and if the suburb is to be included, the public will again have to make their voices heard.

Several sites identified in the strategy have proved contentious – with thousands of signatures collected against the development of WGC’s Panshanger Aerodrome and Hatfield Garden Village.

Will Davis, chairman of protest group Panshanger People, said the plans could move homes away from the proposed 700 dwelling Panshanger proposal. He told the WHT the group were concerned alternative sites had not been explored and the suburb scheme could affect the current proposal.

Mr Davis said: “Certainly putting this forward is a very interesting move. We would have to see it and see what it means for Panshanger.

“It could mean they build less or more on Panshanger we don’t know.”

Planning and business chief councillor Mandy Perkins has welcomed the designs, but told the WHT a lot of work was needed.

She said: “The designs look brilliant but there are questions, obviously there is along way to go before anything can come to fruition.

“There is still work to be done between the council and Lafarge, if it would be suitable and sensible then obviously we would have to re-consult.”

New schools, playing fields and a new industrial area have all been included in the plan as well as other vital infrastructure.

The designs for the plot, which is partially situated in East Herts, also feature large open landscaped areas.

A masterplan for Birchall Garden Suburb spells out the vision for the site.

It states: “This would be an especially appropriate way of extending the Garden City in keeping with the design principles of the Garden City movement, respecting in a modern context the ideas not only of Howard and his investors, but of the approach taken by their chosen Canadian master planner and architect Louis de Soissons.”

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