Panshanger plans feedback: Residents voice concern over airfield and healthcare provision

PUBLISHED: 13:15 29 November 2017

Plans for Welwyn Garden City's Panshanger airfield. Picture credit: Mariposa Investments and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Plans for Welwyn Garden City's Panshanger airfield. Picture credit: Mariposa Investments and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Archant

Landowners of WGC's Panshanger airfield have released feedback details after unveiling their latest plans for the area.

Mariposa Investments and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) displayed proposals for 650 dwellings, as well as a two-form primary school, community centre, six gypsy and traveller pitches and open spaces.

•Updated plans for Panshanger airfield unveiled

The exhibitions last week drew around 300 residents and led to more than 100 feedback responses, with more expected over the coming weeks.

Initial reaction to fixed questions showed 93 per cent considered open space facilities as important/very important, along with 75 per cent for a community building and 74 per cent for affordable housing and a primary school.

However, the proposed gypsy and traveller pitches received just 10 per cent backing, while the self-build housing also proved unappealing with 18 per cent.

Among written responses, which encouraged open feedback, just over a quarter of all respondents stressed the importance of retaining an airfield in some form.

A similar number also raised concern over the lack of additional healthcare being provided and the pressure that would put on overstretched existing surgeries.

However, a Mariposa Investments spokesman told the WHT that, according to Local Plan specifications, the site’s size does not require a GP surgery.

But he added it would be for the local Clinical Commissioning Group to come forward with proposals further along the planning process if it felt the need.

Assessing the latest plans, Welwyn Garden City Society chairman Will Davis said several important surveys on traffic, ecology and flooding have still not been shown to the public.

“Many residents have been concerned about all of these for some years but there has been nothing forthcoming from the landowners,” he said.

“Without knowing what these surveys say it’s very difficult to form a view as to how much this development will impact the rest of Panshanger.”

Overall, he added, there was not enough detail available to mould an informed opinion, with uncertainty looming over specifically what provisions there were for parking, healthcare and several other elements.

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