Referendum flyer

We are now distributing our referendum flyer to homes across the Bengeo ward ahead of the vote on Thursday 6th May. If you’ve not yet received the flyer you can click on the link below.

Referendum Information Statement

The referendum on the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan has been formally announced by East Herts District Council. A defined area of Bengeo Field (5.7 hectares) is one of 8 green spaces included in Neighbourhood Plan Policy HBN1: Local Green Space Designation.

Image of referendum statement

The full statement reads as follows:

A referendum relating to the adoption of the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan will be held on Thursday 6 May 2021.

The question which will be asked in the referendum is:

“Do you want East Hertfordshire District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Bengeo Neighbourhood Area to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

The referendum area is identified on the map which is included with this information statement.

The referendum area is identical to the area which has been designated as the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan.

A person is entitled to vote in the referendum if on Monday 19 April 2021:

  • He or she is entitled to vote in a local government election in the
    referendum area; and
  • His or her qualifying address for the election is in the referendum
    area. A person’s qualifying address is, in relation to a person
    registered in the register of electors, the address in respect of
    which he or she is entitled to be registered.

The referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to the referendum is £2,722.77. The number of persons entitled to vote in the referendum by which that limit has been calculated is 6,114.

The referendum will be conducted in accordance with procedures which are similar to those used at local government elections.

Copies of the specified documents, that is those documents listed below, may be viewed at: https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/bengeonp Paper copies of the specified documents are also available for
inspection at East Herts District Council, Wallfields Offices, Hertford, SG13 8EQ – between 9am and 5pm.

The specified documents are:

  • The Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan 2019 – 2033;
  • The independent examiner’s report;
  • A summary of the representations submitted to the independent
    examiner;
  • A statement by the local planning authority that the plan meets the
    basic conditions and complies with the relevant legislation;
  • A statement setting out general information on town and country
    planning including neighbourhood planning and the referendum;
  • This information statement.

Published: 24 March 2021
Richard Cassidy, Counting Officer
East Herts Council, Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8EQ

Referendum announced

The referendum on the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan will be held on Thursday 6th May 2021.

Residents of Hertford Bengeo Ward, who are on the electoral register, can vote on whether they want East Herts District Council to use the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan to help decide planning applications for the Plan Area.

It will be a simple ‘Yes/No’ vote.

A majority vote is required to enable the Neighbourhood Plan to be adopted and to be used to help determine the outcome of planning applications over the life of the Plan (up to 2033). A map of the Neighbourhood Plan Area is on page 7 of the Plan. Since October 2019, around 20 Neighbourhood Plan responses to planning applications have been submitted to East Herts District Council.

If residents vote in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan, the policies in the adopted Plan will be given equal weight to those of the East Herts District Plan in determining the outcome of planning applications in the Plan Area.

Further Tree Heritage Nursery plans

Photo of tree nursery
Tree Heritage nursery in North Road

A further planning application has been submitted for the Tree Heritage Nursery site south of Waterford.

This is the third application in less than 12 months.

The first application in April last year was for 3 three-bed bungalows at the front of the site 3 four-bed traditional boarded barn style dwellinghouses set behind. The properties would have featured designated off-street car-parking. This application was refused and is now the subject of an appeal to The Planning Inspectorate.

The second application was submitted in October and was for 2 three-bed bungalows at the front of the site and 3 three-bed bungalows behind, similarly all with off-street parking.  The application was granted planning permission in December.

The new application retains the 2 three-bed bungalows at the front of the site, whilst the three properties behind have been redesigned to include 4-bed properties with first floor accommodation within the roof, with a chalet dwelling design.

We have submitted a response to the new plans, highlighting the significant and unwelcome impact on the openness of the Green Belt, particularly when viewed from Waterford Marsh.

Read our full response here

The Two Brewers

Photo of public houseA planning application has been submitted to convert The Two Brewers public house in Port Vale in to two residential properties.

The pub is included on a list of community facilities in Appendix E of the Neighbourhood Plan. The appendix is linked to Neighbourhood Plan Policy HBC1: Enhanced Community Facilities. Criterion I of this Policy says: “Existing community facilities, as listed in Appendix E, should be retained and protected. Loss of facilities will only be acceptable where alternative provision is of a scale and standard equivalent to, or superior to, the existing facilities”.

We have submitted a planning response to the District Council setting out our view on this planning proposal.

Read our full response here

Reponse to North Road planning application

We have submitted a planning response to East Herts District Council in response to a planning application to alter access to land at 190/192 North Road.

The land falls within the boundary of the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan. The Examiner’s report on the Plan was published on the 11 December 2020. Subject to final approval from East Herts District Council, the Plan will be put forward for public referendum, scheduled for the 6 May.

It’s noted that the proposed access alteration would require the regrettable removal of trees, close to the junction with North Road. It’s understood that the Scots Pine, on the access land, is dead so may need to be removed, regardless of the outcome of this application. Additional tree removal, associated with this planning application, would have a negative visual impact on the tree-line along that section of North Road and could set an unfortunate precedent for further tree removal in this Green Belt location.

Criterion III in Neighbourhood Plan Policy HBN3: Nature Conservation says: ‘where development results in the unavoidable loss of trees, replacement of trees, in suitable locations, will be encouraged’.

Response to 11 Port Hill plans

Photo of 11 Port Hill, Hertford

A planning application has been submitted for 11 Port Hill.

The proposal is described as: “Removal of detached garage. Proposed single storey side extension. New 1.8 metre high boundary wall with timber gate. New 1 metre – 2 metre high wall to replace fence. Widening of vehicle crossover and creation of one additional off street car parking space.

We have submitted a response to the consultation for this application. We have no particular concerns about the proposals, other than the loss of trees. The electric car charging point is welcomed.

Read our full response here

Proposals for 13 Port Hill

A planning application has been submitted for a site behind 13 Port Vale.

The proposal is described as: “Demolition of existing structures; change of use to residential (C3); erection of two one bedroom dwellings and one three bedroom dwelling; and creation of 4 parking spaces“.

Photo of access to Austin's funeralcare depot behind 13 Port Vale

We have a number of concerns about this planning application, which are detailed in our response to the District Council. These include a lack of detail in the application documents, siting of bins, parking and site layout.

Red our full response here

Response to Hertford Theatre proposals

We have issued a response to ambitious plans to redevelop Hertford Theatre.

Although the majority of the Hertford Theatre site falls within Hertford Castle Ward, a section of the  west elevation is within Hertford Bengeo Ward and thus within the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area  Plan boundary.

Overall, we welcome the proposals – our only comments being on the affordability of community facilities and provision of cycle parking. We also recommend improvement of the playground facilities in the Castle Grounds.

Read our full response here