Final Pre-submission Draft Now Available

The final pre-submission draft of the Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan is now available following approval by the town council’s Development and Leisure Committee at their last meeting on 6th June 2019.

Cllr. Sally Newton and Cllr. Peter Ruffles, from the Hertford Town Council’s  BNAP Working Party, kindly attended the meeting and commended the Plan to the committee, and Joseph Whelan, the Town Clerk, praised the community’s efforts in producing it.

There will be a public consultation from 15th July to 15th September 2019, with 2 drop-in events on the evening of 14th August and the morning of 7th September.

The summary document is being delivered to every household and business in the ward.

» Neighbourhood Plan (summary)
» Neighbourhood Plan (full)

Community Consultation at Mill Mead School exceeds turnout expectations

Around 220 people visited the Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan Exhibition and Community Consultation at Mill Mead School on Saturday the 23rd of March and Sunday 24th March. This better than expected turnout reflects the deep interest in the community about the neighbourhood plan and worries about the issues that affect the community.

Steering Group Chairperson John Howson said: “It is very encouraging that so many people came along for the community consultation. It is really important that people express their views so that we can reflect these in the plan. The next stage will be the production of a draft plan, after that people will have another chance to have their say”.

Not surprisingly perhaps, the issues of transport and travel attracted the most interest. We asked all visitors to return feedback forms for comments and to let us know whether they agreed or disagreed with policies. We received 217 completed forms, these contained 756 comments of which 273 or 36% were in response to sustainable travel policies. The key issues on transport were ‘the rat run’ and parking. Visitors were generally supportive of efforts to increase walking and cycling in the area, though concerns over the busyness of roads and safe cycling spaces were expressed. It was also pointed out that cycling up and down Port Hill is off-putting for some residents.

On Natural Environment and Green Spaces we received 171 comments in all the vast majority of which were positive. This was a very pleasing outcome and shows that our Working Group has wide community support. Only a handful of comments to the suggested Local Green Space designation raised objections (generally around land being suitable for other uses).

Community and culture received 105 comments which were mainly very positive and supportive. Protecting local built assets, protected buildings, the arts hub and allotments were common themes. The water tower continues to divide opinion as most people see it as worthy of preservation while others mention it as an eyesore.

Homes and development drew 142 comments, while there were clearly differences of views on brownfield space, most comments on the suggested policies appeared to be positive. Common themes were the need for sustainable homes, adequate space and parking, the need for affordable homes and that new developments should respect the character of the area. Several people objected directly to the development at HERT4.

There were 45 comments on the theme of Business, the vast majority of which were supportive and positive.

We are revising the plan in the light of this feedback and the amended document will be available for comment later in the year.

We would like to thank everybody who took part to make this such a great success!

Links to pdfs of the display are below.

Culture & Community
Business & Enterprise
Homes & Development
Sustainable Travel & Transport
Natural Environment & Green Spaces

Public Consultation

It is really crucial that the people of Bengeo Ward feel that they have a voice in the new Neighbourhood plan. We have been busy working on the plan for nearly  18 months and we are at the stage where we have a set of policies and a draft plan. Now you have a unique chance to give us feedback during our public consultation on Saturday the 23rd of March and Sunday the 24th of March.

Whatever your situation if you have some thoughts about our neighbourhood – make sure that your opinion on the policies we have developed is expressed so that we can take account of it.

There are five key areas within the plan these are :

  1. Natural Environment and Green Spaces
  2. Traffic and Sustainable Transport
  3. Culture and Community
  4. Housing and Development
  5. Business

Each of these areas have working groups which have developed policies and objectives, these will inform the decisions of planners for a generation to come.

I am really keen that our plan is as radical as is possible within the Neighbourhood Plan framework and that we tackle within it pressing issues like traffic congestion and rat running. We want to  protect some valued green spaces , improve local rights of way and make walking and cycling around the area safer and more enjoyable. We want to help create a Bengeo we can be proud of for our children and grandchildren. It is your Neighbourhood Plan and it is up to you to make sure that we know what you think. So I really look forward to seeing you at the exhibition and having a chance for a chat and listening to your thoughts. See you there!

» Click here for the consultation leaflet

Transport Working Group – Update

Travelling around some areas in Bengeo can be frustrating, particularly recently.  Certain times of day and specific areas have issues that members of the Transport Working Group are keen to address.

Our work is based on the objectives previously agreed as priorities by the working group following the survey and first exhibition.  We hope to encourage developments that will improve air quality locally and improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

A414 dual carriageway between Hertford and Welwyn Garden City

We will be looking at ideas from  A414 Corridor Strategy currently out for consultation and any Sustainable Travel Town Plans that might be adopted.

We are developing policies around the future impact of new developments in the ward on traffic.  We are keen to encourage walking, cycling and green travel plans.  We plan to consider parking issues both for residents and related to use of Hertford North Station.

Hertford North Station

We are preparing draft policies and project plans for consultation at the 2nd exhibition in March.

Natural Environment & Green Spaces – Update

Bengeo Ward has wonderful green spaces, rivers, woodlands, paths and panoramic views which we’re keen to preserve, protect and improve. Utilising feedback from the Neighbourhood Plan Survey and the first public exhibition in July, our Working Group have now developed draft policies and action plans. These have been set out in a draft chapter for the Neighbourhood Plan.

These policies and plans will support our group’s key objectives and address issues, specific to Bengeo Ward, on nature conservation, air quality improvement, outdoor play and recreation, green travel, and valuing, improving and protecting all aspects of our natural environment and special green spaces.

We’re now refining and strengthening our policies and action plans in readiness for a second public exhibition in the New Year.

Here are two of Bengeo’s important views.

View over Beane Road marshes from Beane Road bridge
View across ‘Three Lakes’ to west Bengeo

Public Exhibition

The Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan is organising a public exhibition at Bengeo Primary School on the weekend of the 7th and 8th July 2018 from 1pm to 5pm on both days.

This exhibition is the next stage in the public consultation driving the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan (BNAP).

Come and see the results of work so far to develop the future of Bengeo ward:

  • Learn more about the Neighbourhood Plan and its process
  • Hear about the results of the BNAP survey conducted earlier this year
  • Discuss the initial ideas emerging from consultation so far about:
    – Built Environment – housing, community buildings
    – Green Spaces – including Bengeo Field
    – Sustainable Transport – traffic, parking, walking, cycling
    – Community and Culture Quarter
  • Get involved – let the BNAP team know your own ideas about how you want the area you live in to evolve over the next 15 years.

Bengeo History Exhibition

Hertford’s oldest building –  St Leonards Church in Bengeo – is currently hosting a local history exhibition entitled “Bengeo: A century of change 1840 to 1940”.

A similar exhibition four years ago proved highly popular and many people asked for it  to be put on again, so the parish has taken the opportunity to use the church before it opens for its summer season. It will be open on 5th, 6th an 7th May, 12th, 13th,19th and 20th May from 10am to 4pm, with free entry.

Whilst the main focus will be on the years of huge growth and change 1840 to 1940 there will be some information going back further.

There will be a large selection of then and now photographs comparing postcards and images from the past to what is there now.

There will also be information on the history of individual roads and some more prominent houses for those who live within the parish of Bengeo but its hope will also be of interest for visitors from the surrounding area as well.

Take Part In Our Survey

Bengeo Neighbourghood Area Plan together with Hertford Town Council are inviting all residents of Bengeo ward to complete a survey to give your views about how you want the area you live in to evolve over the next 15 years. This is a chance to shape policies which will emerge over the coming months from an analysis of community feedback (such as this survey) and feasibility assessment.
Please visit www.lovebengeo.org.uk for more information (including a Bengeo ward map). The survey is open to Bengeo ward residents aged 10 or over. It is important that each household completes the survey, and individual members of your family may complete their own responses if they wish. The deadline for completing the survey is 18 March.

» Click here to take part in the survey