Plutus Estates (WGC) Ltd and Metropolitan Housing Trust have submitted their exciting new proposals for the iconic former Shredded Wheat Factory in Welwyn Garden City. The planning application to deliver nearly 1,500 new homes, a wellness centre, employment space and a new Civic Building has just been submitted to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.
John West, development manager said:
“We are so grateful to the community and so many stakeholders who have spent time with us over the last six months to bring forward the very best proposals for this crucial site.
“We have been working exceptionally hard with the Council, stakeholders and of course, met with the wider community during our public consultation last year. We have also taken the time to meet with the Civic Society, Centenary Foundation, Welwyn Garden City BID, local charities, healthcare operators, higher and further education providers and we are committed to maintaining communications with everyone as we progress.
“We believe that the plans we have submitted to the council will transform this hugely important site in Welwyn Garden City. We are very keen for the application to be determined as quickly as possible, so that we can get on with delivering both open market and crucially, many more affordable homes for local people.
“We are also proposing to deliver the long talked about upgrade to the railway footbridge and create outstanding, modern and flexible workspaces within the refurbished listed Production Hall building. In talking to Digswell Arts Trust and a wide range of national and international art galleries and museums – there is a real enthusiasm for developing a Museum and Art Hub here in Welwyn.”
The proposals for the site have been consulted on extensively with the council, local stakeholders and members of the public – hundreds of whom attended a two-day exhibition in the Howard Centre at the end of last year. Of those who responded to the question of whether they supported the proposals – 74% said yes.
Local architectural practice and original designers of the Listed Buildings, Louis De Soissons have delivered the design of the new civic building – offering a direct first floor connection to the footbridge – which will provide a new home for a Living Well Centre, community facilities and a bar / café.
The southern parcel of the site has been designed to echo Garden City principles, whilst the northern part of the site retains the industrial heritage with proposals to retain the original silos and restore the railway lines as part of a cobbled piazza. Public Realm spaces will include a sensory garden and public art with access to art galleries situated in and around some of the original factory machinery.
John West continued
“With further proposals for a new Living Well Centre, shops and restaurants and public gardens in time for the Centenary Celebrations in 2020 – we are incredibly proud of this application and look forward to continuing to work with the community as the proposals are considered by the Council. We are delivering so much more for Welwyn than the previous proposals and are delighted with the engagement and support from stakeholders
“As promised, we will also be opening an information centre on site to ensure that the community are always able to stay informed about the proposals. We will be based on site and look forward to hearing from local residents.”
The Council will now consider the application and consult the community before determining the application.