Gallery: Tesco's plans for Welwyn Garden City go on show

PUBLISHED: 18:42 16 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:52 26 October 2009

Alex Trenchard, left, corporate affairs manager at Spenhill, discusses the plans

Alex Trenchard, left, corporate affairs manager at Spenhill, discusses the plans

ONE hundred years ago, Sir Ebenezer Howard - the inspiration behind the garden city concept - grappled with the question of how best to accommodate a growing urban population. Today, WGC faces a similar challenge to plan for new homes and employment areas

The plans include provision for up to 1,100 homes.

ONE hundred years ago, Sir Ebenezer Howard - the inspiration behind the garden city concept - grappled with the question of how best to accommodate a growing urban population.

Today, WGC faces a similar challenge to plan for new homes and employment areas...

Those words greeted visitors to Tesco's public exhibition on its regeneration plans for Broadwater Road West. The supermarket giant's vision for the site - the former home of Shredded Wheat - includes a large central "piazza" containing cafes and bars, a swimming pool, a supermarket, and about 1,100 homes.

Spenhill, the regeneration arm of Tesco, set up base at three venues across Times Territory to sell the plans to the public.

And hundreds passed through the doors at St Francis of Assisi Church, in Church Road, WGC, the Woodhall Community Centre, in Mill Green Road, WGC, and the Tesco store in Hatfield, to find out more.

Alex Trenchard, corporate affairs manager at Spenhill, spoke to the WHT on the opening day of the exhibition.

He said: "It's busy. We always knew a lot of people would come and see these plans.

"This is the first day, a Thursday afternoon, and it's like many other public exhibitions on a Saturday."

Mr Trenchard said the plans had been well received by the public.

"The feedback we've had is very positive. People seem to be impressed by the number of different aspects of the scheme."

He said of particular interest had been the planned new footbridge over the railway line, to the rest of the town centre.

"People are starting to see it not as one side of the tracks or the other, but a more holistic vision.

"The Broadwater Road West site has not been operational for a considerable amount of time.

"One side of the tracks is effectively a wasteland, with the Peartree ward virtually cut off.

"But the bridge will drag people across that entire area, rather than one side or the other.

"It's about linking the two together."

* The exhibition can still be seen at the Tesco store in Hatfield tomorrow (Tuesday), Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 4pm.

A Spenhill spokesman added it was hoped an additional date in the Peartree ward could be added soon.

An outline planning application is expected to be submitted by the summer.

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