Campaigners call on BioPark developers to collaborate

Campaigners in Ebenezer Howard masks protesting the BioPark development.

Campaigners in Ebenezer Howard masks protesting the BioPark development. - Credit: John J Fogarty

Campaign groups fighting the BioPark proposal have reacted to the news that developers are pushing ahead with the scheme and urged them to collaborate to find an aesthetic solution.

Applicants HG Group will be appealing the decision by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's Development Management Committee to reject the plans for Broadwater Road, which included 289 homes in blocks of up to nine storeys high.

Martin Norma, founder of Keep the G in WGC, said: "I would like to echo disappointment at the news of the developers appealing against a decision that was overwhelmingly in favour of rejection. We have offered to form a working party with the council, we would welcome the developers to this.

"It's a golden opportunity for everyone concerned to sit down and collaborate, finding an aesthetic solution with long term sound infrastructure built in, that would work for all parties concerned. This offer has been there from the start and still stands.

"Based on attendance at the September 9 Development Management Committee meeting, it is also evident there is robust public support for all to work together creatively."

Welwyn Garden City Society member John Fogarty said: "As a lifelong resident of the town, I would like to repeat my concern about what is going on, with developers trying to turn a buck, disregarding the heritage of WGC and, also, the council's planners ignoring their own rules when it comes to recommending or not applications for approval.

"Also, the fact that the council seems to have fallen behind with the Local Plan, so that pressure to provide housing has increased, has not helped and the fact that certain sites in the borough, for example Brookmans Park, seem to be protected from development has made the situation worse, something that is of particular concern.

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"It must not be forgotten that this is about people, not just bricks and mortar, and that the provision needs to be of affordable and good homes."

Tony Skottowe added: "The WGC Heritage Trust remains deeply concerned about the total disregard from the developers for the fundamental origins of the town. We cannot see how the town could continue to call itself a 'Garden City' the developments as proposed are allowed to go ahead."