Plans for 72 homes in Woolmer Green dashed again

PUBLISHED: 10:07 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:22 27 April 2018

Entech House. Picture: Danny Loo

Entech House. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Welwyn Hatfield Council has once again rejected plans for 72 homes and retail units in Woolmer Green.

The local authority followed officers’ guidance on the proposals for Entech House – currently industrial space in London Road – which involved building 46 houses, 26 flats and retail space.

A commercial building with four shops on the ground floor and office space above were also included.

Officers had advised councillors to reject the proposals due to conflict with the Local Plan regarding the loss of an allocated employment site.

“It is also considered that the redevelopment of this site in a residential use is likely to result in the disproportionate growth of Woolmer Green,” officers added in a report.

The applicant had initially submitted similar proposals as part of the Local Plan process but they were dropped, before a second attempt was also kicked out last September.

Woolmer Green Parish Council had backed the plans in principle as an alternative to Green Belt development which is included in the Local Plan.

“The mix of housing should harmonise with and compliment the character of Woolmer Green, which benefits from having a broad range of houses and flats of varying sizes,” the local authority said in its submission.

It added: “The parish council has been told that retailers have expressed an interest in occupying the retail units and that ten to 15-year leases have been discussed.

“New shops would be a positive benefit to the village and its residents.”

However, representatives stressed that any scheme would result in a significant loss of green landscaping, which should be “minimal and mitigated” as far as possible.

Currently there is a residential property on the site along with the industrial space, but most of the buildings are vacant.

The front offices and warehouse are being used for design and manufacture of materials for the rail industry.

Officers explained that insufficient marketing had been completed to demonstrate that there was no reasonable prospect of the site being used for employment purposes.

For the full report go to Welwyn Hatfield Council’s website.


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