In the centenary year of Welwyn Garden City, the Council is leading on an ambitious programme to develop the town centre and take the world's second garden city into its next one hundred years.
In early 2020, we introduced the project through public engagement sessions as part of the existing Town Centre North SPD. With the launch of the project occurring in our centenary year, we have created an overarching brand to showcase the opportunities in the town centre called WGC 2120.
Not much has changed in the town centre since the Howard Centre opened in 1990. A new Sainsbury's, the redevelopment of the old police station, and the new Council Chamber. WGC 2120 is an exciting opportunity to kick start a new phase of development in the town delivering new homes, retail and leisure space, and supporting infrastructure in the heart of the town centre. With continued demand for new housing, we have been preparing the Campus East Car Parkfor redevelopment supported with funding from the Homes England Local Authority Accelerated Construction Programme. This will provide a great opportunity to increase the town's prosperity and to be enjoyed by existing and future residents.
In February, we organised public engagement sessions to introduce the project to the public, gather views on the overall development and engage with local residents. This allowed us to understand what further opportunities we should incorporate in the project and what constraints would need further consideration by design team on this project. We received reviewed your feedback which covered social infrastructure, housing, continued and future links to the town centre, noise and light pollution produced by construction, car parking and green spaces.
In November, we introduced the proposals on Campus West to the public. In normal circumstances, we would have held the engagement sessions to discuss the proposals in person, however due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) regulations, we instead created a virtual exhibition. Campus West Car Park
Care was been taken to ensure that all information we would present at a public exhibition was displayed on our website, Despite not being able to attend the sessions in person, we measured one of the highest response rates to engagement to date. The online exhibition was visited 1,920 times, with 1,058 unique views. The feedback received was reviewed and grouped into themes relating to the design, environment, access and car parking demand.
We have reviewed the feedback received and integrated some of the most common responses into the revised proposal, which have been detailed in ourdocument.
An overview of car parking capacity for all the town centre car parks is available to view here:
Phasing of WGC 2120
The scale and ambition of the WGC 2120 project means that each opportunity will be delivered in several phases, with the developments of Campus West Car Park, Campus East Car Park and Cherry Tree Car Park anticipating completion in Phase 1, while Hunters Bridge Car Park and the Town Centre North SPD site due for completion in Phase 2. Further information on the timeline is available in the project pages.
Keep checking for updates on the project as we make progress.