1,400 home village proposed close to Hatfield

The proposed 1,400 home Simonshyde Farm development

The proposed 1,400 home Simonshyde Farm development - Credit: Archant

A new village with more than 1,400 homes has been proposed close to Hatfield.

Land off Symondshyde Lane

Land off Symondshyde Lane - Credit: Archant

In a process branded “chaos” by critics, the development was included in a list of new sites that could be used to meet the borough’s housing needs.

Gascoyne Cecil Estates, which owns Simonshyde Farm on Green Belt land to the north west of Hatfield Garden Village, says the site would be ideal for a new village.

Other sites proposed for development include up to 340 homes at the Gosling Sports Park – which could see the landmark ski slope demolished – and fire stations in WGC and Hatfield, which could be turned into flats.

The sites were put forward for consideration by landowners as Welwyn Hatfield Council weighs up where 12,000 new homes should go in the borough by 2031.

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They are among 34 new sites put forward in a consultation.

But the council has been slammed by opposition members over its handling of the masterplan.

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Councillor Malcolm Cowan, Lib Dem, said: “This appears to be a set of random and unrelated sites – it looks like an attack of chickenpox upon a map of the district.

“Very many people will be alarmed as they come within range of being blighted.”

He said he was alarmed by the Simonshyde proposals, the loss of employment land in WGC, removal of a lorry park in Welham Green and the loss of the fire stations.

Councillor Kieran Thorpe, who leads the Labour group, said: “It seems fitting, given the chaotic stop-start, chop and change manner in which this process has gone, that at this late stage so many new sites have come forward.

“Clearly, with so many new areas added, there will be much to discuss.

“It does make you consider the validity of the consultations already carried out.”

For more on the new sites that have been put forward, see this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times, on sale now.

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