Conversation continues over Broadwater Road developments

Former Shredded Wheat factory

There are mixed opinions on the developments around the former Shredded Wheat factory. - Credit: Kevin Lines

Following Welwyn Garden City Society and Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's criticism of the proposed development plans along Broadwater Road a number of people joined in and shared their own opinions.

The three developments in question are The Wheat Quarter, The BioPark and The South Site, which together could total more than 2,000 homes.

The two groups, that believe the proposals threaten the town's identity as a garden city, received criticisms of their own by those who say they have themselves to thank for the current proposals.

Michael tweeted to WHTimes in response to the story: "Sorry but the blame lies largely with the NIMBYs who blocked the perfectly acceptable original development proposals. They made no attempt to compromise and have now screwed the pooch. It's on them."

Russell commented: "If the WGC Society had kept there beak out in the first place we wouldn't be having this trouble."

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Dan questioned: "What happened to the Tesco plans for the area? Those seemed good. Wish the WGC Society had got behind that."

Peartree ward councillor Malcolm Cowan shared some of his thoughts with this paper: "It was devastating to hear the recently departed Head of Planning at the council tell us he thought that this plan written in 2008 was of little relevance now. So why bother writing plans?

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"Or you can start with the council’s housing policies which say any new development in WGC must have 30 per cent ’affordable’ housing, half of which – 15 per cent - must be at social rent.

"The Wheat Quarter plan has none. The South Side plan has many ‘affordable’ homes, but few at social rent, and the Wheat Quarter seem to believe they have outsourced their obligations to the South Side, so the proportion there should be for both sites together, or Wheat Quarter must provide its own affordable and social rent homes.

"What this means is that very few of the homes will be there to meet the local need for cheaper homes – many will be bought for buy-to-rent, or Airbnb use, as had already happened nearby. It is clear there will be hefty service charges on top of the purchase price. Local residents will miss out on affordable homes apart from a lucky few."

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