Population in Welwyn Hatfield ‘to swell by 16 per cent’

THE population of Welwyn Hatfield is set to swell by more than 16 per cent over the next eight years, official figures suggest.

In 2008, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded the population of the borough as 112,000.

However, according to its latest figures, Welwyn Hatfield is forecast to be home to an extra 18,000 people by 2018.

That equates to an increase of 16.1 per cent over the 10-year period.

The statistics also reveal the predicted rise in the number of residents in the borough is the sixth largest in the entire country.

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At 18.9 per cent, Colchester, in Essex, is anticipated to see the largest increase.

A combination of increased immigration, rising birth rates and longer life expectancies provide the backdrop to this picture.

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The news is likely to heighten existing concerns over the pressures already faced by Welwyn Hatfield’s schools, infrastructure and health services.

“Welwyn Hatfield has long since been considered to be an area with a fast growing population,” MP Grant Shapps said.

“That’s fine, but what we want to see is that growth linked to improved local services and, in particular, the urgent reconsideration of all the major services being removed from our QE2 Hospital.”

Mr Shapps, who is the minister for housing and local government, added: “Now that there has been a change of government we’re going to directly link the growth in housing and business in our area to the delivery of new facilities, like a revamped Hatfield town centre.

“For the first time our local area will be able to take new money that it will get from central government and plough it into improving our quality of life.”

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