Spen Hill Developments Ltd – a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesco – has appointed award-winning EPR Architects to develop a masterplan for the old Shredded Wheat Factory site on Broadwater Road, Welwyn Garden City.
The scheme, which is in the early stages of development, is set to deliver several hundred housing units on the 20 acre site alongside cafés and restaurants to complement the existing town centre and other community assets for Welwyn Garden City.
The development will be closely guided by ‘garden city principles’ ensuring that greenery, space and a sense of community feed through all aspects of design. It is also hoped that developing housing in this brownfield location will help the council meet its increased housing targets and reduce pressure on the Green Belt areas surrounding Welwyn Garden City.
EPR were appointed following a design competition held by Spen Hill with some of the country’s leading architects to develop a residential masterplan for the site. While all the submissions were of a very high calibre, EPR’s vision and experience shone through.
EPR were listed by the Architects Journal AJ100 Awards in 2013 as one of the top 20 architects in the UK. They have a long history with Welwyn Garden City, with their founder Cecil Elsom CBE designing the award winning town hall building in 1936.
Mark Witham of Spen Hill Developments Ltd said:
“Spen Hill is delighted to announce the appointment of EPR to lead this exciting development for Welwyn Garden City. The quality of their entry to the competition and their subsequent design work has been of a very high calibre and we are greatly looking forward to presenting some of the initial designs to the community in the next few months.
“We are very keen to consult widely as we bring forward the development and look forward to working closely with councillors, council officers, the WGC Society, the Heritage Trust, and the wider community on our plans.”
Stuart Lowther of EPR Architects said:
“We are very excited to have been appointed to this scheme, which is something of a homecoming for EPR given our role in the design of Welwyn Garden City’s original town hall building in the thirties.
“Our masterplan has been developed to embrace the core principles established by Ebenezer Howard, which were originally implemented by Louis de Soissons at Welwyn Garden City. Our vision seeks to reinterpret the implementation of these Garden City principles to create an inclusive community within a community, offering a new approach to patterns of living and working that reflect the aspiration of a healthy life style for today”.
A first public exhibition of the proposals is planned for the end of June 2014.