Giant research hub and 80 new homes earmarked in Local Plan

PUBLISHED: 09:10 02 September 2016

Marshmoor in Welham Green

Marshmoor in Welham Green

Archant

Plans for a bioscience research facility the size of nearly four football pitches have been included in Welwyn Hatfield Council’s Local Plan.

A strip of land next to the railway line in Welham Green, off of Great North Road, has been earmarked as a potential site for a four-hectare life science park, along with roughly 80 homes.

Following an objective assessment, the Government has demanded Welwyn Hatfield build roughly 13,000 houses by 2032.

The site, also known as Marshmoor, would “support economic prosperity, inward investment and will help create a range of jobs”, according to the council.

It added the mixed-use development would be easily accessible from the London-Cambridge corridor, and if approved as part of the Local Plan by the Planning Inspectorate, would be built within 10 years.

However, in a planning document, the council said that inability to expand the existing local primary school, St Mary’s CoE, as well as minimal housing growth potential in Welham Green, are limiting factors.

It wrote: “The education authority [county council] advises that this school has no expansion potential to increase its capacity.

“This is a constraining factor, as no suitable opportunity has been identified to address the need for increased primary school capacity within Welham Green, alongside more significant levels of housing growth.”

Gascoyne Cecil Estates owns the land, and a spokesman told the WHT: “As science and tech-based companies find it ever more difficult to find affordable space within London or Cambridge, this development offers a chance for Hatfield to broaden its employment base, attract new businesses and retain young graduates.

“It could also enhance the borough’s prosperity whilst building upon Hatfield’s historic foundation as a town which for many years was at the forefront of engineering.”

What are your views? Email letters@whtimes.co.uk


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