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Hatfield Aerodrome

Following the closure of the British Aerospace aircraft manufacturing plant in Hatfield in 1993, and the closure of the associated runway in 1994, the former Hatfield Aerodrome site represented the largest area of redundant industrial land in Hertfordshire, and what resulted, was one of the most ambitious redevelopment programmes in South East England at the time.

The re-development of the Hatfield Aerodrome site was taken forward in accordance with the adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance,pdf icon Hatfield Aerodrome SPG [15MB], which set out the key development strategies and principles for the site. Here, the main aims of the SPG were to:

  • Promote sustainable development on the site;
  • Provide for a mix of uses on the site;
  • Promote economic development on the site to help replace the thousands of jobs lost when British Aerospace closed; and
  • Provide work and homes for local people.

Outline planning permission for the mixed use re-development of the site was granted in December 2000, and work on the site was then taken forward in a number of phases, with the council working in partnership with various agencies to ensure the successful regeneration of the area.

These days the former Hatfield Aerodrome is now home to a number of different uses, and these are outlined below.

  • Hatfield Business Park: Over 3.5million sq ft of business space has already been occupied at the Business Park, with an additional 600,000 sq ft left to develop. Major businesses on the site include T-Mobile and Ocado, with Eisai and Three Valleys Water also having both recently opened headquarters there.
  • University of Hertfordshire: Now the borough's largest employer UH opened its new de Havilland Campus, complete with student accommodation, on the site in 2003.
  • Residential Area and the Adjoining Hatfield Garden Village: To date 2,046 homes have been built on the aerodrome site, of which 30 per cent are affordable, offering rental or shared ownership to meet local housing needs.
  • Parkhouse Court: This new neighbourhood shopping centre, completed in 2008, comprises residential, retail, child care and hotel uses, in addition to an eight stand bus station, and was designed to meet the shopping needs of residents on the site.
  • Police Station: Opened in 2008, the new police station is housed in two former listed buildings from the days of the de Havilland aircraft factory, which have been refurbished and extended to create a high-tech police facility serving central Hertfordshire.
  • HoweDell Primary School: Relocated to the aerodrome site in 2007, HoweDell is Hertfordshire's first 'sustainable' school. The project has been subject to much acclaim, and also includes a child day care facility and a community centre.
  • David Lloyd Club: This sports and leisure club is housed in the listed former Comet Test Hangar, which was converted in 2005.

Whilst the transformation of the former aerodrome site is largely complete, there are a few vacant plots left on the site, the development of which should be taken forward in discussion with the council and in accordance with adopted policy.

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