What next for Tesco-owned Welwyn Garden City site?

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 January 2012

An artist's impression of Tesco's plans for the Broadwater Road site in WGC, showing the new supermarket in the former Shredded Wheat factory

An artist's impression of Tesco's plans for the Broadwater Road site in WGC, showing the new supermarket in the former Shredded Wheat factory

Archant

TESCO bosses will NOT appeal after Welwyn Hatfield councillors threw out their plans for redeveloping the Broadwater Road site, in WGC.

And as the supermarket giant decides what to do with the land, the council has unveiled its latest plans to transform WGC town centre.

The council is pushing ahead with development plans for WGC Town Centre North (TCN) – which covers the land between the Howard Centre and John Lewis and includes John Lewis’ car park, the anniversary gardens, the roundabout/subway between John Lewis, Welwyn Carpet Mills and the council offices, and four units in Stonehills.

Council planning director Chris Conway said: “We’re currently preparing supplementary planning guidance which will be consulted on in the summer and will form the base upon which the redevelopment can be brought forward.”

Councillor Mandy Perkins said the plans were set to enhance WGC as a unique shopping destination and help it evolve to reflect changes in shopping practices.

She said: “The planning committee made a very clear decision in refusing the Tesco application, that took into account the financial stability and traffic capacity of WGC town centre and which reflected what many people were telling us.

“It’s therefore important we show residents and businesses, as well as visitors to WGC, we take the economic viability of the town seriously, and this is a step in revitalising the town centre.

“We’ve already seen the difference in appearance the development of the south side has made, but this is only the beginning and we want to make sure the rest of the town catches up.”

23 comments

  • Jonmorris, what planet do you live on? Tesco did not have a that major dip when you compare that sales over Christmas were up. Why wouldn't they sit on the land for the next 10 to 20 years? land prices will go up and who do you think would buy the land and develop in to a residential property. no one? Who would buy a property in an industrial area next to a train line? not really housing central. Plus if you took the time to even read tesco's report they were even considering if it was economically viable with that store they were proposing. To add it was going to be half the size of the hatfield size tesco. Don't worry though john lewis will get a face lift from the council!

    Report this comment

    992smithy

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • Following their dip in sales, there's word that Tesco might actually decide to scale back their roll out of new stores for a while. If true, are they just going to sit on the land for the next 10-20 years out of spite? Or, will they consider selling the land to someone else that will do something (the land must have appreciated in value - and they could impose their own restrictions to stop the sale to another supermarket)? Failing that, and what a shock idea, could Spenhill just put in new plans for a new residentialleisure site that better serves WGC and perhaps opt for a much smaller Tesco Express style store? I am interested to see the plans from WHBC for the town itself - which would possibly increase numbers in the town, as against take them away had Tesco got its way.

    Report this comment

    jonmorris

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • There are now six vacant or un-occupied sites on Broad water road, one wasn’t redeveloped because of traffic yet the traffic on the North site which is being proposed for re-development is an awful idea – in their own words it is down to ‘traffic capacity’

    Report this comment

    Rhys White

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • Make it in to a scateboard park so the posh kids can hang around here instead of outside Sainsbury's. Tarqins mother will be horrifed when she gets a bill for the repairs on that wall!

    Report this comment

    tommo

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • Clarkson for PM... You say "The council ought to slap a compulsory purchase order on it & buy the land. They've got £25million cash in the bank, so can afford it!"... No they can't do this... They are planning a REDEVELOPMENT of WGC North to balance out the southern end... I bet WGCSoc are really happy about that... Posh side = 2; Rough side = 0.

    Report this comment

    commonsense

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

  • Perhaps Tesco should now decide its future in Welwyn Garden City - no support from its MP or Council and leave Shire Park, this once proud town will have virtually no important industrycommercial companies left. Fine fare head office - gone, Polycell - gone, Smithkline and french - gone, Avdels - gone, Smith and nephew - gone, Roche manufacturing - gone, Argos distribution - gone, Thresher head office - gone, Nabisco - gone, Nortons - gone, Loctite - gone, our beloved John Lewis warehouse - gone, Tesco head office - going ?????

    Report this comment

    mb

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • WGC is a dying town for the aged middle England nimby. It will continue to decay wallowing in a nebulous narrow ethos of a bygone past. Alas it will never be a place for new ideas, industry or vibrancy as it was at its inception.

    Report this comment

    James

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • @992smithy - I said dip in sales, you say it's not a major dip. Let's not argue about exact figures - the fact is Tesco has taken a hit after some 20 years of growth. It's enough that they're already talking about some big changes - from scaling back new stores and the interesting idea of charging different prices in different areas. Thus, Hatfield and Stevenage may get cheaper prices to compete with the cheaper stores, given there are probably more low-income customers. Wouldn't it have been funny if the WGC store had gone ahead, as they'd up their prices to capture the custom from Waitrose! Oh, how I would have laughed to see that happen - so maybe everyone in WGC got off lightly! Anyway, other plans for the site are pointless as if Spenhill won't sell, nobody can buy - so forget any grand plans to do anything nice. Tesco can, and most likely will, just sit tight and come back again when they think they'll have the locals (and council) begging for them to do something, anything, to get rid of the mess we have to endure today.

    Report this comment

    jonmorris

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • The council ought to slap a compulsory purchase order on it & buy the land. They've got £25million cash in the bank, so can afford it!

    Report this comment

    Clarkson for PM

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

  • "The council is pushing ahead with development plans for WGC Town Centre North" What happened to the work in hatfield town centre? has the council forgotten us?

    Report this comment

    Nigel Bates

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • So Tesco didn't get planning permission it's not like the worlds coming to an end for goodness sake- get a life !

    Report this comment

    Mighty red

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • Perhaps Tesco should now decide its future in Welwyn Garden City - no support from its MP or Council and leave Shire Park, this once proud town will have virtually no important industrycommercial companies left. Fine fare head office - gone, Polycell - gone, Smithkline and french - gone, Avdels - gone, Smith and nephew - gone, Roche manufacturing - gone, Argos distribution - gone, Thresher head office - gone, Nabisco - gone, Nortons - gone, Loctite - gone, our beloved John Lewis warehouse - gone, Tesco head office - going ?????

    Report this comment

    mb

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • i agree with james watt about hatfield after all it is welwyn & hatfield council so they should do both towns

    Report this comment

    newman

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • Perhaps Tesco should now decide its future in Welwyn Garden City - no support from its MP or Council and leave Shire Park, this once proud town will have virtually no important industrycommercial companies left. Fine fare head office - gone, Polycell - gone, Smithkline and french - gone, Avdels - gone, Smith and nephew - gone, Roche manufacturing - gone, Argos distribution - gone, Thresher head office - gone, Nabisco - gone, Nortons - gone, Loctite - gone, our beloved John Lewis warehouse - gone, Tesco head office - going ?????

    Report this comment

    mb

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • Big paintball site!!

    Report this comment

    tommo

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • we will get yet another carpark and offices which will stand empty for year......jus wish the WGC society and council would realise that we need to progress with modern time

    Report this comment

    donna

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • I'll tell you what next years of deraliction and vandalism. who in this day and age has the money to regenerate an area that size apart from Tesco or another supermarket...enjoy people of welwyn !!!

    Report this comment

    jackhaigh99

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • @ James "WGC is a dying town for the aged middle England nimby" And Hatfield is, like, SO vibrant and thronged with high-end retailers absolutely flocking to open stores there. Whaddya mean, it isn't ?? Nothing to do with having a Tesco on the edge of town that leaves people no good reason to venture into Hatfield Town Centre. Exactly the fate you wish to bestow on WGC !!!

    Report this comment

    Supermeerkat

    Friday, January 27, 2012

  • So after endlessly and hysterically campaigning against Tesco's plans (which included many things that would have SIGNIFICANTLY improved our town centre) now it's fallen through the WHT has the cheek to turn around and ask 'What now?'!!!! I think the saying 'You reap what you sow' is appropriate - congratulations you (and other tunnel-visioned pessimists) have consigned that whole area to years of continued decay and neglect! Congratulations on drumming up enough hysteria and negativity to prevent something positive happening whilst having NO alternative vision of your own!

    Report this comment

    Epsylon

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

  • Supermarkets operate different price files. Prices are generally lower according to the number of supermarkets in direct competition. The cheapest prices are found where there are 3+ competitors.

    Report this comment

    James

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • I'M DISTRAUGHT... I want a Tesco, I want a swimming pool, BUT I NEED a bridge that I can actually use to get to the supermarket...

    Report this comment

    commonsense

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • Town centre north - brilliant. But erm, what about the east? What are the councils plan for the falling apart bridge and the waste ground. If the council and WGCSoc are so passonate about the Garden City ethos they should purchase the land and turn it into a park. What about a swimming pool that the town is crying out for. What about some new (bistro style) pubs and restaurants (that are not italian) and somewhere to go for a drink after 11 that isn't a night club? WGC could become a really nice healthy living sophisticated town with character. Instead at the moment, it looks like it's heading down hill. Very sad.

    Report this comment

    dunnerz

    Monday, January 23, 2012

  • we will get yet another carpark and offices which will stand empty for year......jus wish the WGC society and council would realise that we need to progress with modern time

    Report this comment

    donna

    Monday, January 23, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More news stories

15:11

Cast members of EastEnders were filming for the long-running BBC soap opera at Hatfield’s Galleria shopping centre yesterday.

Front line staff working to tackle domestic abuse in Welwyn Hatfield will be given a £2,000 funding boost thanks to a High Sheriff award.

13:11

The people of Welwyn Garden City have a chance to learn about Croatia while helping fund a charitable trip to eastern Europe for some of their young neighbours this weekend.

Hertfordshire County Council will review how money is given to local authorities in response to Welwyn Hatfield Council’s imminent brown bins collection service.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Welwyn Hatfield Times e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read stories

Most commented stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards