Campaigners close in on fundraising target ahead BioPark appeal

BioPark, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

The appeal to develop the BioPark site begins on July 12. - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Campaigners who have appointed a planning consultant in their battle against an appeal to develop the former BioPark site in Welwyn Garden City are close to their fundraising target.

Keep the G in WGC were hoping to raise £12,000 to fund the consultant, and the group have already raised nearly £11,000, with a week left until the eight-day appeal begins on July 12.

“We are overwhelmed with the support from the Welwyn Garden community for this cause, particularly generous at this point in time,” said Keep the G chair Kate Cowan.

“People have bought the limited-edition pin badges, played games at our stand at the vintage fair, donated to the Crowdfunder and to the Heritage Trust directly.

“There is no doubt that the community believes the BioPark application is not appropriate for Welwyn Garden City and that the planning inspector should not overturn the council’s decision to refuse permission.”

The appeal comes after Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council refused a planning application from the HG Group for 289 homes in six blocks of up to nine stories in Broadwater Road last September.

It was refused at a tense and heated Development Planning Committee meeting following a 10 to 3 vote against, with the decision was greeted by loud cheers from those who attended the meeting.

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Campaigners protested for a week against the plans in efforts dubbed 'Operation Ben', which saw people don masks of Sir Ebenezer Howard, the visionary founder of the Garden City movement.

And there will be protests again on the first day of the appeal, with a Keep the G in WGC statement continuing: “Protesters are asked to meet, with their banners, on Tuesday, July 12 at 9am, outside the council office on the Campus.

“It will be clear to the planning inspector, the developer and their team from the outset of the inquiry that the community does not support this proposed development at BioPark.

“Protesters are asked to bring their banners and their voices for a friendly protest.”

To donate to Keep the G in WGC’s efforts against the BioPark application, visit