Timeline for Welwyn Garden City supermarket demolition set

THE current Sainsbury’s store and surrounding buildings will be completely flattened by mid-November as contractors begin work.

THE current Sainsbury’s store and surrounding buildings will be completely flattened by mid-November as contractors begin work.

As the WHT previously reported the WGC supermarket on Church Road closes its doors on August 24 ahead of the multi-million pound redevelopment.

Hoardings will go up encompassing the whole site before asbestos removal begins.

Speaking at a meeting with traders last week project manager Paul Tyler said: “The buildings do have asbestos in, it’s not significant, it will be handled by expert contractors.


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“By mid-November we will have complete clearance of the site.” By early January the foundations will be laid and by September 2011 the store will have taken shape, ready for the fit out inside.

At this stage there will be 150 contractors on site working to get the store ready for customers; they aim not to inconvenience residents by parking in the store’s newly-built underground car park onsite.

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Mr Tyler added: “We’d love to be opening for Christmas trading, but it’s a completely massive project.”

Supermarket bigwigs had planned to redevelop the store in 2007 but halted the development when the chance to purchase the entire block from Wigmores South to Parkway and Church Road became a possibility.

The redevelopment will be over four floors with travellators whisking shoppers to the first floor which will be filled with food items.

A mezzanine level above that will contain a cafe, clothing and household ranges, bringing the overall floor space to 52,000sq ft more than three times its current size.

A car park for more than 400 spaces will be built across the ground and basement levels.

Traders voiced concerns at the meeting on Wednesday night and questioned town centre manager Nicola Kane about whether business rates could be reduced.

The Welwyn Hatfield Council officer explained business rates were set by the Government, but she was investigating whether a discount could be given.

Councillor Mandy Perkins, who was also present, warned: “What you don’t want is a reduction now, then when it’s built you’re hit with a huge hike.”

*For more details on the Church Road car park, the innovative living green wall, where the hoardings will be and plans for a viewing platform into the site, see this week’s Welwyn and Hatfield Times, out now.

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