On Friday January 18 1980 the Welwyn and Hatfield Times reported that more than 500 pre war council houses were to be demolished over a five year period in a massive £20 million redevelopment in Welwyn Garden City.
When the original houses were built back in the 1920s they were of an “experimental” nature. The buildings were made of concrete and suffered from severe damp and structural problems.
The decision was made by the Welwyn Hatfield Council’s Housing Committee on the 14 January, but they said there was a long way to go before work could start.
Top of the list was to persuade the government to release their share of the cost, which was estimated to be about a third of the £20 million.
The houses, which had been the subject of numerous investigations and complaints were designed by Welwyn Garden City architect Louis de Soissons for the original Garden City Corporation. When they were built they were some of the first of there kind using concrete for the walls.
The committee were told by architect Alan Howes that the walls were now leaning out due to the loads on them and other problems included rusting window frames and heating.
Different options were investigated from full redevelopment to full modernisation, but the committee were in favour of pulling the houses down and starting again.
The roads to be demolished under the plan were:
By The Mount
Parts of the following roads would be demolished:
Holwell Road 18 houses
Knella Road 4 Houses
Longcroft Lane 16 houses
Ludwick Way 35 house
Mill Green Road 36 houses
Peartree Lane 70 houses
Woodhal Lane 12 houses
Contained within Hertfordshire Archves and Local Studies collections are the blue prints to some of the road layouts and floor plans for some of the original houses that were pulled down in the 1980s.
The reference for this collection is UDC21/77. The photos show only a fraction of what is available.
You can also see on the plans that Woodhall Lane was to have originally been Called Hyde Road and Holwel Road was to have been Omicron Road.