Monday, September 29, 2008

My Town Monday - The Regeneration Debate.

My town is run by Welwyn and Hatfield District Council. For a number of years the general feeling has been that Hatfield has been the 'poor' neighbour. It does seem at times that Hatfield does get left behind and recently Hatfield has been suffering. Hatfield has a 1960's very dated town centre that is in desperate need of regeneration. There is one huge supermarket which is modern and dominates everything. The rest of the town centre is on its last legs. The council have been promising for years to pump money into a regeneration scheme. Just as they manage to locate a partner to carry out and help fund the vision, the country is plunged into 'credit crunch' recession. The regeneration is put on hold.

Welwyn Garden on the other hand has a thriving town centre, lots of shops, pubs and at least a million coffee shops. There is however a large patch of land owned by 'The' supermarket giant Tesco's. This site was mainly factories, but they have been flattened and the area can now be reused. The council want the site to provide houses, leisure and employment opportunities, but not big retail parks. This is to preserve the town centre area. Tesco's on the other hand would love to build a big superstore.

In a very clever move by Tesco's they have identified something that Welwyn Garden City wants and has wanted for a while, a swimming pool, we used to have an open air one, but it was closed around 10 years ago and the one that the council promised the town has never been forthcoming. So they have submitted plans for a centre to include a big store, swimming pool, town square and housing. This was reported in the local paper last week as a done deal. The artists impression of the place looks great. People are talking about having a 'new pool' . Sadly it seems that it was a clever bit of marketing on behalf of the supermarket owners as this week the council have come out and said that the plan contravenes the current planning regulations. So unless there is some heavy negotiating carried out we will be looking a bare patch of land for the next decade.

Take a look here to see the full sorry tale!!

9 comments:

suebaru said...

I think they'd be better off planting more conker trees...it's not like we need more coffee shops!

Travis Erwin said...

Sorry, I somehow failed to get your link up earlier. It's on the list now.

LuLu said...

I know what you mean about Tesco's and their schemes. We have "Henley Grange" over here. it's meant to be an "eco town" with 7,000 houses and of course the obligatory Tesco store ! !

Tesco have just lost planning permission to build and are taking it to appeal. The main reason was because the toen wouldn't be that "eco" if everyone was driving there to get to Tesco's ! ! !

Thought I'd pop over to see if you were back onto the "My Town Monday" and was really pleased to see that you were. Hope all is well and saw that you had a play on webinar last night ! ! Cool isn't it ! MSN for grown ups!

pattinase (abbott) said...

New studies show that indoor pools contribute to asthma. Even outdoor ones. So plant the conkers.

Debbie Yates said...

I hope your "town" gets it together...development can be so difficult! Love your card it's adorable.....

Barbara Martin said...

There always seems to be some issue to be resolved before developments are completed. They ought to plant more trees.

debra said...

Seems like issues with developers have no boundaries...

The Anti-Wife said...

Plant more trees and flowers. It would be a shame to ruin open space.

Barrie said...

It can get very sticky with developers in the mix. We've issues off and on in our town with them. BTW, our blog is so cute!