An 860-home development in de Havilland Park, Welwyn Garden City, has "moved a step closer" according to real estate advisor Savills.

Planning permission has already been granted for the former Panshanger Aerodrome site, with the UK Government's Homes England now searching for a development partner.

The land is being marketed by Savills, with the hope that a buyer will be in place by early next year.


In accordance with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's Local Plan, 30 per cent of the homes will be "affordable".

Welwyn Hatfield Times: How the north-eastern edge of the proposed DeHavilland Park, Welwyn Garden City could look

The 135-acre area is of "high importance" to Homes England.

Retirement accommodation, a primary school, traveller pitches, a new community centre, leisure facilities, open space, allotments and associated access/landscaping works have all been planned for the site.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: 650 homes had originally been planned, prior to an expansion.650 homes had originally been planned, prior to an expansion. (Image: Savills)

Abigail Jones, a director in the development team at Savills Cambridge, said: "Hertfordshire has a thriving economy driven by the life sciences and film and television industries, and is at the centre of one of the fastest growing regions in the UK – but a lack of new housing is threatening continued growth.

"A historic delivery shortfall has resulted in one of the greatest housing affordability pressures in the country. 

"Some 40,000 homes need to be built in Hertfordshire over the next five years according to the government’s standard method for calculating housing need, yet the county’s new homes market is typically smaller than the national average, so there is considerable scope for it to increase – especially given the weight of demand for housing.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The site is of high importance to Homes England.The site is of high importance to Homes England. (Image: Fabrik / Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council)

“With permission for redevelopment into a sustainable new community, de Havilland Park represents a unique opportunity to tackle some of that need – delivering a high quality, low density urban extension with an emphasis on design and placemaking.”

Welwyn Hatfield Times: How the proposed new deHavilland Park in Welwyn Garden City could look.How the proposed new deHavilland Park in Welwyn Garden City could look. (Image: Homes England/Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council)

Panshanger Aerodrome was once used as a decoy for the de Havilland aviation factory in Hatfield, during World War II.


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It was later used as a civic airfield for light aircraft.

Some residents are unhappy with the plans, and objected to the original planning application.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: How the northern edge of DeHavilland Park, Welwyn Garden City could look

One wrote: "I feel very let down by the developers, who have not taken into account the existing residents, and the fact that we did not choose to live in properties adjacent to large, over-bearing buildings."

The original planning application for the site can be viewed via the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council planning portal, using reference 6/2021/0516/VAR.