Plans to transform an area of west Watford into an attractive, vibrant new community took a major step forward following Watford Borough Council’s Development Control Committee decision to grant planning permission for the Watford Health Campus (18 September 2014).
The Committee approved the hybrid application, which incorporates both outline and detailed elements for the mixed-use Watford Health Campus on the 26.5 hectare site, subject to the completion of a s106 Planning Obligation.
The outline element demonstrates how the scheme successfully brings together the varied uses of the site into one cohesive masterplan, which will be delivered over the next 10 – 15 years, including plans to:
- regenerate, in time, the existing Watford Hospital and provide opportunities for the extension of hospital facilities
- deliver up to 681 new homes including a mix of houses and flats: 35% of the homes will be affordable
- create new parks and play spaces and improve the quality of green space overall
- deliver a new public square with a range of facilities and services for the local community
- establish new cycle paths and footways that link with existing provision
- safeguard land for the expansion of school places subject to further discussions with Herts County Council
The detailed element will deliver a new business zone for Watford with modern, purpose built premises that will support additional employment opportunities in the borough. The zone will also create a riverside wildlife area, which will make a significant contribution to improving the quality of green space in the area.
The planning application was submitted by Watford Health Campus LLP (Watford Borough Council and Kier Property) with the full support of the scheme’s other partner, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (which manages Watford Hospital)..
Commenting on the decision, Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill said: “After months of planning we now have the green light to start making things happen and bring the Health Campus vision to life. The business zone is great news for Watford’s economy. Businesses are already signing up – confirmation that business wants to be here and that the Health Campus is providing what they need. It is just the start for the Health Campus but we are definitely underway.”
Phil Woods of Kier Project Investments Limited said: “I am delighted that the Committee and has given its support for the Watford Health Campus proposals. A considerable effort has been made by all stakeholders in developing high quality proposals for this complex scheme which will help create a sustainable community in west Watford and facilitate the re-provision of the hospital. The decision is a major milestone in allowing us to start delivery – a truly exciting prospect for all involved.”
Samantha Jones, Chief Executive said: “We are pleased with this decision. We are fully committed to the Watford Health Campus scheme which will, over time, help facilitate a major upgrade of Watford Hospital. This is great news for our patients, local people and staff.”
Note: A separate planning application has been submitted for the land known as Farm Terrace allotments. This was not considered at this meeting of the Development Control committee.