After a decade-long saga, Welwyn Hatfield finally has a Local Plan that lays out the borough's future, but what can we expect?

A major issue that delayed an official plan being agreed upon was housing targets, but "15,200 new homes will be built on a range of sites" as part of the plan which runs to 2036.

"Opportunities for development within settlement boundaries will be maximised, but a planned release of a limited amount of land from the Green Belt will take place to meet the need for 4,734 dwellings up to year 10 which cannot be provided for within the existing towns and villages," the plan continues. 

"Around 1,800 additional dwellings will be required to meet the remaining need for the full plan period to 2036, which may require further Green Belt release."

Maintaining the heritage of Welwyn Garden City has also caused planning issues, but the Local Plan highlights that efforts will be made to "build upon and respect the unique heritage and design of the town", while also "enhancing its role as the centre for shopping and employment".

To read the Local Plan in full, visit

"The town’s unique heritage as a garden city will have been reinforced through the conservation of its heritage assets and the careful integration and design of new development," the plan reads.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Birchall Gardens Suburb is a major development to expand Welwyn Garden City.Birchall Gardens Suburb is a major development to expand Welwyn Garden City. (Image: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council)

"New housing will have come forward on previously developed sites within the town in a form which respects the character of the town but with enhanced environmental performance.

"In addition new extensions to the town will have been planned with the necessary supporting infrastructure to meet its needs."

Among the major developments noted in the plan is the 860 homes set to be built on the former Panshanger Aerodrome, and the proposed 1,950-home Birchall Garden Suburb development which would expand Welwyn Garden City.

As for Hatfield, regeneration of the town has already started with the High View and One Town Centre developments, and the Local Plan states a clear intention to create a "more positive image" of the town.

Boosting Hatfield town centre's shops and "maximising the economic benefits" from the University of Hertfordshire are key targets, while land "north west of Hatfield is allocated for development to accommodate approximately 1,750 new homes".