On Friday (17th) I went to see the latest plans for the Watford Health Campus, at Watford Football Club’s hospitality suite. The plan for a new Health Campus has been around for many years but, what with the financial climate and the ever changing needs of the area, these plans have been revised and updated on numerous occasions.
The Watford Health Campus consists of over 26.5 hectares. Much of the land that is to be developed is currently derelict and unused brownfield. The transformation of this land, over the next 15-20 years, will create jobs, provide picturesque open spaces and new homes, for those in the West Watford area. There will also be a new community hub, situated behind the old workhouse building, which will consist of shops, restaurants and community facilities. There will also be an underground multi-storey car park and space for the hospital to expand, depending on its clinical needs.
Phase 1, of the plan, starts with the construction of a new road, which will begin in the spring. The road will link Dalton Way (by B&Q) with the hospital site (Willow Lane) and will be completed by the end of 2015. (The same time that the Croxley Rail Link should be completed.) This road will ease congestion on other roads in the West Watford area.
Phase 2, of the plan, is the construction of new business facilities and premises at the lower end of the Health Campus site, near the existing industrial site, which will be demolished as part of the new road. Green spaces will also be created, which will include new footpaths and enhanced cycle routes, making it safer and more pleasant to travel along.
Phase 3, of the plan, involves the construction of new, quality homes.
One of the main objections to the plan is the destruction of the Farm Terrace allotments, behind Watford Football Club. Although these allotments have been here for many, many years there are plenty of other allotments, within walking distance, that are available for use.
Obviously, there are people who object to these plans and these plans will go through more changes over the coming years, but the road, industrial facilities and some of the new homes are already guaranteed.
I, for one, hope that these plans do come to fruition and I can’t wait to see my hometown with a new lease of life, that this regeneration will bring.