WHBC – Emerging Core Strategy Consultation – Welwyn’s Response

(The body of this article was kindly prepared for the WPAG website by Cllr. Colin Hukin, Chairman of the Welwyn Parish Council’s (WPC) Planning & Licensing Committee).


On Sunday November 8th 2012 we reported that WPAG was working with the WPC and the Parish Plan Action Group on the WHBC Consultation Paper for a Core Strategy.

On Monday 28th January 2013 the WPC approved the Parish Council’s Official Response to the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s (WHBC) Consultation Paper on the Emerging Core Strategy.

Cllr. Colin Hukin writes:

What does the Core Strategy Aim to Do?

When finalised, the Emerging Core Strategy will set out the Borough’s vision, objectives and strategy for how Welwyn Hatfield will develop between now & 2029.

The Core Strategy is the key Planning Document in the Local Development Framework.

It covers a period of 18 years, 2011 to 2029, and proposes the Housing Target of 7200 new homes.

It also provides for Employment Land, Infrastructure, Services, Transport, Health, Education, and Public Open Spaces.

What are the Core Strategy Objectives?

The objective is to provide for the Borough’s  development needs over the plan period, in a form which:

  • Maintains the Existing Settlement Pattern
  • Prevents coalescence of Towns & Villages, and
  • Releases a Limited Amount of Green Belt Land, to ensure that its boundaries will not need  reviewing before 2034.

The Housing target, 7200 houses, equates to 400 units per year.  This is the minimum number that the Borough believes will be acceptable to the National Planning Inspectorate. The previous East of England Plan (now defunct) proposed a target of 12000+ new houses over this period.

Planned distribution of New Housing across the Borough is as follows:-

Hatfield                                           3290 Units

Welwyn Garden City                      3150 Units

Welwyn                                             275 Units

Digswell                                              50 Units

Oaklands & Mardley Heath                30 Units

Woolmer Green                                  10 Units

N.B. The Welwyn figure includes 196 houses at the Frythe Site plus some of the (now completed) houses on the former BP Godfrey Davis Garage site (the official start date for the count fell during completions). The remainder are to be built on Urban Land. 

N.B. The Oaklands and Mardley Heath figure includes the houses built on the former Lisles Garage site on Mardley Hill.

N.B. The Affordable Housing Target included within the above figures is at least 1770 homes in the period.

Concerns Raised Relating to Welwyn Parish.

  • The over extraction of water from the River Mimram.
  • Scope for a Neighbourhood Plan for the land in Digswell, and the Tudor Road site in Welwyn.
  • Health Care Facilities and the number of Doctors in Welwyn.
  • Improvements required to the A414, B1000, and Junctions 3 and  4 on the A1(M)
  • Public Transport provision for Digswell.
  • Provision of Primary School places.
  • Support for the Digswell Village Appraisal.


The Response Document was a joint project by Welwyn Parish Council, The Welwyn Planning & Amenity Group, and The Welwyn Parish Plan Action Group.

The Welwyn Parish Council proposed a special thank-you to John Roper, Jon Green, & Ian Skidmore for their time, commitment & input.

Colin Hukin


Welwyn Parish Council Planning & Licensing Committee.

Footnote 1: To read the detailed Response go to the WPC website.

Footnote 2: For a detailed understanding of the WHBC Core Strategy process, go to the WHBC website.