Controversial flats plan set to be approved despite lack of parking
PUBLISHED: 09:54 22 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:54 22 May 2013
PLANS to allow offices in the heart of WGC to be turned into 24 flats look set to be approved – in spite of concerns that householders will have no parking.
Tomorrow, Thursday, councillors will weigh up the bid to convert the Howardsgate space into homes.
A report prepared ahead of the meeting has recommended it is given a thumbs up, saying there is enough public transport to compensate for lack of parking spaces.
Developers say the offices, formerly used by the Danish Bacon Company and Sainsbury’s, are not in demand by businesses, and can be turned into housing.
The offices are in Demark House and Windsor House.
It is being weighed up by politicians after ward councillor Helen Bromley, Conservative, called for the bid by Ramheath Properties Ltd to be scrutinised before a decision is reached.
And fellow ward councillor Fiona Thomson, Conservative, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I think parking is a consideration because it’s considered to be a car free development, because if potential residents do have cars there could be a parking issue that would need to be resolved.
“That’s something for the committee.
“I’ve got a feeling that proximity to schools and the availability of school places needs to be considered.
“I think residential developments in the town centre need to be considered as part of an overall strategy, and not on an ad hoc basis.”
It has been recommended that developers cough up more than £8,800 for transport measures in the area around the site.
A report by council planner Sarah Smith states: “The provision of no parking spaces on site is considered acceptable in this instance due to the proximity of good passenger transport links and local services together with the provision of the sustainable transport contribution.”
If given the go-ahead, the buildings would contain four studio flats, nine one-bedroom flats and 11 two-bedroom flats.
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