Welwyn Garden City residents vent anger at Panshanger Aerodrome proposals

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 March 2016

Panshanger resident Carol West

Panshanger resident Carol West


WGC residents have reacted angrily after seeing plans to build up to 1,000 houses on Panshanger Aerodrome, which were displayed by the landowners last week.

At the exhibition on Thursday, March 10, landowners Mariposa Investments and the Homes and Communities Agency covered the feasibility of retaining the airfield, and listed reasons to justify why “the viability of such a proposal is therefore doubtful”.

Preferred plans involved moving the green belt boundary further north, and building a new primary school and local centre, which may include some retail.

Roughly 400 residents attended Thursday’s consultation, one of which was Panshanger resident Carol West, who said: “It’s not Welwyn Garden City anymore, it’s ‘Welwyn Concrete City’. Their plans are completely ridiculous because it’s far too dense. It’s not in keeping with the garden city.”

That view was echoed by fellow Panshanger resident Gillian Rowley, 62, who said she “didn’t want to live in a concrete jungle”, and added she had concerns over the impact approximately 3,000 people would have on doctors and schools already being stretched.

Borough councillor for Panshanger Sara Johnston said: “They have totally and utterly underestimated the strength of feeling within the area.

“I came here hoping to be reassured and I have come away more anxious than I came in. They appear to be trying to maximise profit.”

Committee member of community group Panshanger People, Gary O’Leary, said: “It’s really a numbers game from a development perspective rather than quality. The airfield is an option that has conveniently disappeared.”

Will Davis said: “The only option that has any detail is the 1,000 home option, which means they will have to get the green belt moved.”

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