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LONDON-Healthcare group Roche has won planning permission for its new UK head office at Shire Park, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. Construction is expected to start early next year, with completion in late 2005.

Designed by Building Design Partnership, three-storey building will include 235,000 sf of space on a 10-acre site. It will allow Roche to bring together more than 1,100 employees currently scattered across four separate sites in the town.

The new building is based around a covered ‘street’ which will act as a focal point within the building. As well as providing a space for people to meet and talk, the street will connect the open plan work floors and a range of facilities including a restaurant, café, health and fitness centre and library.

John Melville, Roche’s UK Managing Director, said: “We are delighted that the council has looked favourably on our plans and granted permission for this exciting new development. Their decision will enable us to fulfil our goal of creating a modern environment that will encourage interaction and team working while remaining in Welwyn Garden City.”

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