Decision time looms for Welwyn Garden City’s Shredded Wheat factory

PUBLISHED: 08:02 28 January 2017

The former Shredded Wheat factory.

The former Shredded Wheat factory.

Archant

Nearly two years after it applied to build 850 homes at Welwyn Garden City’s former Shredded Wheat factory, store group Tesco has revealed it hopes to sell the site as an approved commercial development project.

The company, which applied for planning permission for a mixed development including 850 homes in February 2015, hopes this will be granted in March this year, but told the Welwyn Hatfield Times it would not build the homes itself.

A spokesman said: “We are currently seeking planning permission that would allow complete redevelopment of the site to take place including 850 new homes. It is not our intention to build the homes and we will be seeking a buyer for the site.

“We are hoping for the application to be determined in March.”

Long-standing residents recall with mixed emotions the smell that periodically wafted from the factory until 2008, when UK production moved to Wiltshire.

The application has attracted more than 20 comments from people living nearby, many in favour.

However, Rose Vance of The Vineyard commented: “Although happy to see the site developed, I am concerned about some of the buildings’ height.”

Other concerns expressed to council planners include the density of the homes, the view from trains approaching the station, and proposed changes to the Broadwater Road/Bridge Road junction.

Tony Skottowe of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust said: “We are perfectly happy with the plans for the old buildings. The only concern is they(Tesco) were pushing for a (new) six-storey (residential) block.

The planning application includes a hotel, a gym, a pub, office buildings, and an outside leisure area.

Cabinet planning chief Mandy Perkins said: ““Development on this scale needs a significant amount of work at the application stage and progress has been made on a number of aspects, including design, infrastructure and education provision, but there remains some ongoing discussions to resolve final matters.

“We are working to get the application to the Development Management Committee as early as possible, although no date has yet been confirmed.”


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