News Archive


Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council CPO will assemble land for town centre regeneration

St. Modwen’s partner, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, has approved the implementation of an existing Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), in order to assemble remaining land interests for the long-planned regeneration of Hatfield town centre.

The Partnership – the council, Homes and Communities Agency and St. Modwen – has been working to find a solution that will bring forward regeneration for the town centre following the downturn in the economy. The design review resulted in St. Modwen securing planning consent in April 2010 for a revised scheme to redevelop the town centre. The council’s agreement to exercise the CPO, secured in 2007, marks the final stage of land assembly for the regeneration project. It is now anticipated that work on a first phase of the regeneration could begin next year.

The revised scheme has been designed to be flexible, so that it can be delivered as a whole or implemented on a phased basis, as market conditions and funding availability allows. The plans include the creation of a central High Street for the town, providing 7,897 sq m (85,000 sq ft) of retail and 112 residential units. The scheme maintains an anchor store for the eastern end of the town centre, along with a new town square, new bus interchange, taxi rank and public toilets. The first phase includes the redevelopment of an existing community building into five retail units on the ground floor totalling 628 sq m (6,760 sq ft), with fifteen flats on the three floors above. Two new buildings could also be developed, subject to viability, which will form an extension to the existing arcade in the town centre.

Rupert Wood, Regional Director at St. Modwen comments: “There has been continued commitment from the Partnership to redevelop the town centre since the start of the uncertain economic times. The ability of the Council to ensure full land assembly represents a significant step towards delivering the regeneration Hatfield town centre needs. This decision will put the Partnership in the strongest possible position to progress the project, when market conditions allow.”

Councillor John Dean, Leader of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: “Regardless of the sequence of the development phases, in order to redevelop the town we need to complete the purchase of land that falls within the revised scheme. If agreed, the acquisition of land will put the council and its partners in the strongest possible position to progress the project, as funding becomes available. Now we can give certainty regarding the redevelopment to all the property owners and businesses in the town centre both in and out of the CPO area.”

Hatfield is one of three town centre regeneration projects currently being driven by St. Modwen’s Northern Homes Counties office. It is also one of 17 town centre projects within St. Modwen’s extensive UK regeneration portfolio, which comprises over 5,600 acres of developable land and over £1 billion of assets.