Local Plan: Welwyn campaign gets nearly 1,000 signatures

PUBLISHED: 13:39 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:15 28 June 2019

Russell Haggar's son Christian holds the petitions to keep Welwyn special. Picture: Supplied.

Russell Haggar's son Christian holds the petitions to keep Welwyn special. Picture: Supplied.

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The keep Welwyn special campaign, which was started in response to the draft Local Plan's call for sites, has garnered nearly 1,000 signatories.

Russell Haggar and Councillors' Sunny Thusu, Tony Kingsbury, Paul Smith and Steven Markiewicz. Picture: Supplied.Russell Haggar and Councillors' Sunny Thusu, Tony Kingsbury, Paul Smith and Steven Markiewicz. Picture: Supplied.

Though the petition is not specifically anti-development, the campaign is reacting to plans to increase Welwyn's housing stock by up to 50 per cent.

READ MORE: Welwyn Hatfield sites identifed which could see thousands of new homes built

It should be noted that these plans have been put forward by landowners under the call for sites opened by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, and no decision has been made on whether any of these sites are suitable to be included in the draft Local Plan.

Russell Haggar, who is helps with the local Welwyn Planning and Amenity Group, says the campaign is "about asking the councillors to listen to people when they review the response to the consultation".

The group, which monitors planning in the area, delivered the 922-strong petition to local borough councillor's Tony Kingsbury, Sunny Thusu, Paul Smith and Steven Markiewicz on Sunday.

"We met at Welwyn cemetery, a tranquil rural setting whose surrounding fields are being promoted for development - if successful, this peaceful site will be surrounded by bricks, concrete, tarmac and traffic," Mr Haggar said.

"And chunks of Singlers Marsh are at risk of being tarmaced over to provide road access for the housing estates."

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Cllr Kingsbury, who is also the leader of WHBC, thanked everyone for signing the petition and engaging with the process.

"Like them, we recognise how important the Local Plan is for the future of our borough.

"That is why there is a lot of work now to look at the sites that have been put forward, and try and find the right balance between the growth we know is needed and its impact on the borough.

"I know as Conservatives we will look at each specific case and do all we can to support residents."

READ MORE: Villagers hit back at promoted sites suggested for Welwyn Hatfield's Local Plan

Welwyn West ward Cllr Smith also thanked Welwyn residents for being active.

He said: "Russell Haggar, working under WPAG, has done a fantastic job in further raising awareness over the consultation regarding the initial call for sites.

"Welwyn has an incredibly strong community spirit which is evidenced by the number of people who signed this petition."

The council has received over 10,000 comments during the consultation period, which ended on Monday.

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