There was a full council meeting of WHBC, on Monday, 24th November, which considered a revised version of the borough-wide Local Plan.
This plan contains no new sites around Welwyn, and so does not encroach on Singlers Marsh or the cemetery. It also reduced the total target for new homes over the next 20 years across WHBC from 16,000 to 13,800.
This plan was approved by the full council and has now been sent to the official Inspector for consideration. Though this is still a way off being finalised, it is a really good step forward. Although the vote was not unanimous, it was supported by all of Welwyn’s borough councillors.
WPAG continues to monitor this process. We also feel that the campaign to register Singlers Marsh as a Village Green should continue – it is not yet protected from development, and we have yet to come across any practical reason not to do this.
Finally, although the campaign against the extra sites that were proposed for the Local Plan last year has been successful, it has obscured the fact that many in Welwyn still want to see new homes built here, especially affordable ones for which extra village infrastructure is provided. There will hopefully now be discussions between the various bodies to capture this need in the new plans for the area that will emerge from the parish and borough councils.