Proposal for the demolition of The Woodside Centre and erection of a two-storey SEND school at The Woodside Centre, The Commons, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 4DD


Welcome to our public consultation page for proposal for the demolition of The Woodside Centre and erection of a two-storey SEND school at The Woodside Centre, The Commons, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 4DD.

The proposals will shortly be the subject of a formal Planning Application to Welwyn and Hatfield District Council but before this, we are providing an opportunity for local Members and residents to view and comment on the proposals.

The application is being submitted on behalf of Bowmer + Kirkland, who are working with the Department for Education and Hertfordshire County Council to deliver the proposed development.

Undertaking public consultation with local stakeholders in advance of submitting a planning application is an important part of the process and allows members of the public and the local community to provide valuable feedback ahead of the proposals being finalised.

The Site

The application site is located within Welwyn Garden City, to the south of The Commons. It extends to approximately 1.3 hectares (3.2 acres) and comprises the Woodside Centre and associated land, including hardstanding, parking (37 spaces, including 7 accessible spaces), grassland, hedges and trees. The Woodside Centre is a single-storey building which is currently used by Hertfordshire County Council for storage.

The Proposed Development

The proposed development involves the demolition of the Woodside Centre and erection of a two-storey SEND school catering for 60 secondary-school pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and 30 members of staff, as well as an associated Multi-Use Games Area and hard and soft play areas, a car park and landscaping within the curtilage of the new school building. The school will contain a main hall/gym, library and sensory rooms in addition to classrooms and studios.

The County Council has a duty to promote high standards of education, fair access to education and a general duty to secure the sufficiency of school places. In addition, it must consider the need to secure provision for children with SEND, including the duty to respond to parents’ representations about school provision. Hertfordshire’s SEND schools are now reaching capacity and, as demand continues to rise, new capacity must be built into the system to ensure that they are able to meet the needs of children. Currently, there is not a SEND school for secondary age pupils with Communication and Autism (C&A) in the whole of Hertfordshire.

Therefore, the proposed development will be the first secondary C&A school in the County. Welwyn Garden City is a relatively central location within the County and this site is available to serve this need.

Please click to view PDF versions of the indicative plans for the proposed development

Please see indicative visuals of the proposed development below:

Front visual

Hall visual

Rear visual

Providing your Feedback

We would welcome any feedback you may have on the proposed development. In the first instance, please either use the feedback box below or send any comments you may have to

If you would feel more comfortable providing written comments, please post your comments to:

DPP, Studio 012, Haylofts, St Thomas’ Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LE

We will review your comments in partnership with the design team.

Once the planning application has been submitted, full details will be available on the Welwyn and Hatfield District Council website and there will be a further opportunity to comment.

We look forward to receiving your comments on the proposed development.

Feedback Form

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