The future of Welwyn Hatfield is in your hands

News editor Chris Lennon concludes the WHT's series of features focusing on different aspects of the core strategy – which is a blueprint that will steer development in Welwyn Hatfield until 2026... TODAY you can make a difference to how Welwyn Hatfield

News editor Chris Lennon concludes the WHT's series of features focusing on different aspects of the core strategy - which is a blueprint that will steer development in Welwyn Hatfield until 2026.

TODAY you can make a difference to how Welwyn Hatfield will develop over the coming years.

For the past six weeks, the WHT has been running a series of features on this page focusing on some of the major aspects of the core strategy.

That has been a challenge in itself - the issues and options document that's been the basis of these articles weighs in at over 300 pages.

We've focused on housing, employment, town centres, neighbourhood and village centres, transport and infrastructure.

There are other aspects to the core strategy - what to do about affordable housing, green space and climate change, for example.

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Although the content of this 300-page report might not seem the most riveting in the world, the importance of this process cannot be underemphasised.

But now it is over to you.

For the two-month public consultation period starts today (Wednesday), and is your chance to give the borough council your thoughts as to future development.

You don't need to comment on everything - indeed, there's so much to the core strategy, it would be difficult to give expert opinion on absolutely every aspect of it.

But the more viewpoints and ideas - whether it be on housing, transport, jobs or whatever - the better.

Councillor Mandy Perkins, executive member for planning and environmental health, said: "It is important as many people as possible get involved in this consultation and feedback their views on the options identified.

"The council must gather as much information as possible regarding people's expectations for the borough in order to formulate the most viable development plan for the next 15 years or so.

"As well as planning for future development it is also critical that existing communities are protected and enhanced in line with residents' expectations."

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

THE issues and options document is available to view online now, at www.welhat.gov.uk

If you don't have your own internet access, you can also see it at:

* all libraries in the borough

* the borough council offices at Campus East, WGC

* the town and parish council offices in Hatfield, Cuffley, Welham Green, Welwyn, Woolmer Green and Colney Heath

* the area housing office in Hatfield town centre

* Essendon Primary School

To take part in the consultation, you can sign up to the council's online database, email planningpolicy@welhat.gov.uk or call 01707 357532.

There is also a series of public workshops (see below). The consultation closes on Friday, May 1.

A SERIES of events organised by Welwyn Hatfield Council to help the public find out more about the core strategy start tomorrow.

The sessions will help aid the public consultation, which will take place during a two-month period over the spring. They are:

* Tomorrow (Thursday), 2pm-7.30pm at Breaks Manor Youth Centre, Link Drive, Hatfield.

* Saturday, March 7, 10am-4pm at White Lion Square, Hatfield Town Centre.

* Wednesday, March 11, 2pm-7.30pm at Civic Centre, Prospect Place, Welwyn.

* Friday, March 13, 2pm-7.30pm, at Cuffley Youth Centre, Station Road.

* Monday, March 16, 2pm-7.30pm, at Campus West (council chamber), WGC.

* Saturday, March 21, 10.30am-5.30pm, at Howard Centre, WGC.

* Wednesday, March 25, 2pm-7.30pm, at United Reformed Church, Oaklands Avenue, Brookmans Park.

* Friday, March 27, 2pm-7.30pm, at Hatfield Community Hall (next to Howe Dell School), The Runway, Hatfield.

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