Enabling house building with Homes England Accelerated Construction Programme


Key facts

  • 410 homes

  • 1,274 improved car parking provision

  • Highways improvements

  • Landscaping and green spaces

Project Objectives


  • To transform an underused part of the historic Welwyn Garden City into new homes

  • To plan, design and deliver multiple enabling infrastructure projects to de-risk the land in readiness for development

  • To ensure the new homes are high quality design befitting of the Garden City

  • To guide the design of a new neighbourhood sensitive to garden city design principles and aesthetics


In January 2019, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council was the first local authority in the country to secure a grant from the Homes England Accelerated Construction programme, and were awarded £6.1m to deliver up to 410 homes in the centre of Welwyn Garden City. Welwyn is the UK’s second Garden City (celebrating its centenary in 2020), and the site is in a sensitive location to the north of the town centre and rail station. 


ICC engaged with senior council officers in the mobilisation phase and recruited a multidisciplinary team of award-winning experts including Allies & Morrison, Arup, Colliers, AZ Urban Studio and Bridges Associates to deliver the programme through a 3-stage commission. Design development was aligned with the Treasury five-case methodology, including extensive and complex options appraisals for the enabling infrastructure and phasing works within the project operational and financial constraints.



Inner Circle acted as Development Director, programme manager and ultimately trusted advisor to the client team. Leading the team we found a creative approach to enabling the 410 homes, developed an implementation and delivery strategy. As the early milestones were hit workstreams were transferred to the in-house or technical consultancy team to progress through the implementation phased. Inner Circle were retained at Development Director to oversee the programme. 


Products included:

  • Strategic Planning Framework

  • Design Code

  • Feasibility study and Strategic Outline Business Case

  • Outline Business Case

  • Stakeholder Engagement Plan 

  • Town Centre Strategic Brief


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