Have your say on protecting Welwyn Garden City's heritage

PUBLISHED: 13:58 30 September 2019

Peartree is the former industrial heart of Welwyn Garden City. Picture: WHBC.

Peartree is the former industrial heart of Welwyn Garden City. Picture: WHBC.

Archant

Residents are being called on to have their say on preserving the heritage of Welwyn Garden City.

The Peartree area could be designated a conservation area under new Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council plans.

If the conservation goes ahead, residents in Peartree would be required to apply to make changes to the external appearance of their property, demolish any building or carry out works to a tree.

Nationally permitted development rights - which allow conversions of commercial units to residential - would also be removed.

Peartree would then become a place of special architectural or historical interest area, which would need to be preserved or enhanced.

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The council believes assigning this designated area special status would ensure extra emphasis is given to its special character, history and development.

Peartree was also turned into a walking trail by Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust in July. The historic areas of the town, including the first laundry, Barcley Corsets building, Welwyn Film Studios and the building where Henry Birkin built his famous turbocharged racing Bentleys, can be strolled through in less than 15 minutes.

Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Stephen Boulton, executive member for planning, said: "Our proposals will help to ensure that changes to current buildings, and any new buildings, fit with the existing special character of the area and maintain its heritage.

"This is an opportunity for local residents and those with an interest in the Peartree area to have their say on its future."

The council will hold a meeting at Woodhall Community Centre from 4-8pm on Tuesday October 15, where planning and heritage officers will discuss the proposal.

A character appraisal confirming that the Peartree area does warrant conservation area status and a map of the proposed area can be viewed online at welhat.gov.uk/planning-advice/conservation. Hard copies are also available to view at the council offices in Campus East, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6AE.

Anyone wishing to make comments can complete WHBC's questionnaire form available on the link above or email: conservation@welhat.gov.uk by 5pm on Monday 11 November 2019.

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