In March 2021, the community in Hertford Bengeo Ward received the very welcome news that the  referendum on the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan will take place on Thursday 6th May 2021. Residents  of Hertford Bengeo Ward, who are on the Electoral Register, can cast their vote on whether they want East  Herts District Council to use the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan to help it decide planning applications in  the Plan Area over the 12 years up to 2033. 

Click here to view the plan

The community have been very actively involved in the production of the Neighbourhood Plan since the first  public meeting at Bengeo School in 2017 through to the publication of the final Plan in March 2021. With  the support of a planning consultant, and the Hertford Town Council Neighbourhood Plan Working Party,  the Community Steering Group produced and wrote the Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan has 18 planning  policies on green spaces, important views, nature conservation, air quality, community, heritage and  cultural assets, sustainable travel, and residential and commercial development. It also has an Action Plan  which sets out examples of community projects and initiatives the Neighbourhood Plan will lend its support  to. 

Draft versions of the Neighbourhood Plan were published in June 2019 and February 2020, together with a  Consultation Statement, a Basic Conditions Statement, and a draft Strategic Environment Assessment  Screening Report. All these documents are available on the ‘News’ page of this website, together with  copies of the draft and final version of the Neighbourhood Plan. 

Extensive community and statutory consultee consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan included:  community surveys, policy exhibitions, drop-in events, leaflet distributions, and regular promotion on the  Neighbourhood Plan website and Facebook and Twitter pages. Hard copies of the Draft Plan were  available at key locations in the Plan Area. 

East Herts District Council consulted on the Neighbourhood Plan from July to September 2020 and the  Plan was independently examined between October and December 2020. The policies in the  Neighbourhood Plan were amended in line with the Examiner’s recommendations and the revised Plan was  submitted to and approved for referendum by the Executive Member for Planning and Growth at East Herts  District Council

The Community Steering Group are promoting the referendum to residents of Hertford Bengeo Ward. A  majority vote at referendum is required for the Neighbourhood Plan to be adopted. If it’s adopted, the  planning policies in the Neighbourhood Plan will be given equal weight to the policies in the East Herts  District Plan in deciding the outcome of planning applications in Hertford Bengeo Ward. 

The Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan was produced with the very helpful sponsorship of Hertford Town  Council, Molewood Residents’ Association and Watermill Estate Residents’ Association.

More About Bengeo

Find out more about Bengeo on Wikipedia

Click here for a map of Bengeo Ward from Mapit UK

Some useful statistics about the Bengeo Ward from Qpzm LocalStats

Briefing note on Referendums of Neighbourhood
Development Plans


Since April 2012 local communities have been able to produce Neighbourhood Plans for their local area, putting in place planning policies for the future development and growth of the neighbourhood. The plan can for instance control where new homes, shops and offices should be built, what those buildings should look like, and what infrastructure should be provided. All the policies in a Neighbourhood Plan must be consistent with the Local Plan (in our case, the District Plan by East Herts District Council). The plan can shape development but it cannot prevent development which is part of the Local Plan.

That having been said, the plan can’t create planning policies in areas that are already under the control of a higher local authority (e.g. transport policy is controlled by the County Council), BUT the output from consultations may produce an action plan that will feed into the planning process of the relevant authority.

For further information on Neighbourhood Planning in general, see the guide published by Locality at http://locality.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Quick-Guide.pdf


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The Planning Process

There are five main stages of setting up a Neighbourhood Plan process:

  1. agreeing a designated area for the plan
  2. developing a vision and objectives for the plan
  3. preparing and creating the plan in consultation with residents and all other interested parties (e.g. businesses, landowners, organisations)
  4. an independent examination to check the plan meets the legislative requirements
  5. a referendum – if the plan gets a majority of those voting, it will be adopted and has statutory force.

Useful Links

Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap Guide + Quick Guide to Neighbourhood Plans (www.locality.org.uk)

Writing Planning Policies by Tony Burton

Neighbourhood planning guidance on government planning portal

National Planning Policy Framework

Neighbourhood Planning Guidance from East Herts Council

The District Plan

The District Plan sets out the planning framework for East Herts for the period of 2011-2033 and will deliver sustainable development. The plan will aim to provide new homes, new jobs, new facilities and infrastructure across the District. It also contains Development Management policies that will be used to determine planning applications.

Chapter Seven of the plan discusses Hertford, including housing development in areas designated HERT1, HERT2 (Mead Land). HERT3 (West of Hertford) , HERT4 (Bengeo) an HERT5 (Mangrove Road).

Click here to view or download Chapter Seven of the East Herts District Plan