Welwyn site sold for £15m

PUBLISHED: 14:07 03 December 2010 | UPDATED: 14:38 03 December 2010

The Frythe, Welwyn

The Frythe, Welwyn

Archant

A HISTORICAL site, which has been home to a pharmaceutical giant for more than 30 years, has been sold for £15m.

The Frythe in Welwyn has been purchased by land development and promotion group Lands Improvement.

As the Welwyn Hatfield Times reported in 2008, drug firm GSK were selling the site and moving its 250-strong workforce to the firm’s existing locations in Ware or Stevenage.

After being at The Frythe since 1977 GSK finally moved out in March.

The 47-acre site, which includes a stately home, has records dating back to 1260.

It is believed The Frythe was originally a name for an entire 13th century area rather than just one single site.

Many hundreds of years later it became a World War Two Office – Admiralty Station 9 – where it was used for invention.

Henry Richards, managing director of Lands Improvement Holdings, said the “excellent addition” comes following the sale of £20m worth of land during the year.

The plot is currently a brownfield site on Green Belt land – you can replace a building on Green Belt providing you don’t go beyond the existing footprint.

Mr Richards said the acquisition of the land – 29 acres of which has planning status as developed land – sits “perfectly” with the businesses plan to invest in new land opportunities.

“While there remains challenges with planning changes we believe with our ability to access capital and our expertise and experience we can create value in the long term,” he added.

A spokesman added the scheme was still in its early stages and it would be too early to say what the site, which also includes a 439,000 sq ft research and development facility, would be used for just yet.

However, the firm was “determined to bring it back into use”.

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