BioPark site adjacent to former Shredded Wheat Factory for sale, flagged for residental redevelopment
PUBLISHED: 12:07 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:14 13 March 2019
A prominent office building in Welwyn Garden City is on the market amid a bid to earmark the site for residential redevelopment.
University of Hertfordshire is closing and selling the BioPark site on Broadwater Road, which is comprised of specialist office and labratory space and conference facilities for bioscience and health technology businesses.
The 1.22-hectare site is being marketed by estate agent Savills as a “redevelopment opportunity”.
The site is just south of the former Shredded Wheat Factory, which is being developed into a mixed-used site with 1,340 homes as well as office, retail and community spaces known as the Wheat Quarter.
The parcel of land includes a five-storey and two-storey building, car parking above ground and on two basement levels, and the Biopark Drive access from Broadwater Road.
A spokesperson said the BioPark was “operating at a loss” and while the university had “tried to secure its future state, the building itself requires significant investment.”
The BioPark closure will be effective from January next year, which will enable vacant possession.
It currently has 15 tenants, who have all been notified, according to the university.
A University of Hertfordshire spokesperson said: “After a lengthy consultation period and financial review, the University of Hertfordshire has confirmed that it is closing its BioPark property in Welwyn Garden City.
“This decision has not been taken lightly and we are committed to assisting businesses to help minimise disturbance to their operations over the next 12 months.”
The Savills brochure for the property states that Welwyn Hatfield Council is being lobbied, on behalf of the university, to identify the site in its emerging Local Plan, which has been submitted for examination.
The BioPark is considered no longer be viable in its existing use.
The council completed a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment Call for Sites consultation last month, as it looks to identify additional sites to help meet the established housing need.
The university submitted the BioPark in the call for sites, “highlighting its availability and deliverability for redevelopment as a residential-led scheme.”