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

Response to Sacombe Road planning variance

We have submitted a response to an application to vary the approved plan for the construction of 8 homes in Sacombe Road.

The proposal is: “Variation of conditions 2 (approved plans), 9 (Landscaping), 10 (Fencing and hedges) and 12 (external materials) of planning permission: 3/18/0572/FUL (Construction of 8 sustainable homes on land previously used as storage depot and associated vehicle / machinery workshops) – Provision of gables, bay windows and timber framed porches. Internal layouts amended.”

The response of the Bengeo Area Neighbourhood Plan is:

  1. The land above is within the Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan Area. The draft Plan is currently at the  Examination stage. 
  2. On the 6 October 2020, a response to application 3/20/1809/NMA was submitted to  East Herts District Council by the Neighbourhood Plan Chair. 
  3. The applicant’s request for a variation to Conditions 2, 9,10 and 12 of planning permission  3/18/0572/FUL is noted and we await the planning department’s decision. 

Response to Revised Tree Nursery Plans

Photo of tree nursery
Tree Heritage nursery in North Road

Revised plans for the tree nursery in North Road were recently submitted to East Herts District Council.

It is noted that this application has revised the volume of dwellings down from 6 to 5, and that they are now all single storey. It’s also noted that the cumulative volume, and the gross external floor area, is marginally less than that of the existing commercial buildings, though two of the proposed buildings would be closer to  North Road than the existing buildings.

Despite the reduced ridge height of the proposed dwellings to the rear of the site, the negative impact on the  openness of the Green Belt, particularly when viewed from Waterford Marsh, remains a significant concern.

The Neighbourhood Plan supports the appropriate development of Brownfield land over encroachment on the Green Belt. Residential development on this site, particularly given its proximity to Waterford Marsh,  described in Hertfordshire County Council’s ‘Local Character Assessment’ as ‘one of the best examples of wetlands in Central Hertfordshire’, would set an unwelcome precedent of such encroachment.

Response to office conversion plans in St.Andrew Street

Photo of 46-48 St.Andrew Street

A planning application has been submitted to convert offices at 46-48 St.Andrew Street to residential flats.

The property falls within the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan boundary. The Regulation 16 consultation on the draft Plan closed on the 10 September and the Plan is currently at the Examination stage.

It’s understood that the commercial space within this building has been vacant for some time. Whilst the loss of commercial space is regrettable, it isn’t beneficial for buildings within the Plan Area to remain unoccupied for lengthy periods, therefore, it’s preferable for the building to be converted for residential use.

The submitted plans suggest that studio space (possibly a legacy from when the building was occupied as an art gallery?) is being retained. If this is the case, we would encourage its use as a community space.

The submitted plans indicate that there are 6 parking spaces to the rear of the building. It’s unclear whether designated vehicle parking spaces will be allocated to residents of the flats. It’s important that no additional on-road parking burden is placed on local roads. It’s strongly recommended as per criterion I c) of Neighbourhood Plan Policy HBH3: Landscape Design, that sufficient, secure, covered, cycle parking is provided for occupants of the flats, to encourage active travel.

Land Adjoining Sacombe Road

A planning application has been submitted for land adjoining Sacombe Road, to vary plans that were approved in February 2019.

“3/20/1809/NMA | A non-material amendment to planning permission ref: 3/18/0572/FUL – Variations to approved house types to reflect alternative method of construction. | Land Adjoining Sacombe Road Waterford Hertford Herts”

We have submitted the following response:

  1. The land above is within the Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan Area. The Regulation 16 consultation closed on  the 10 September and the draft Plan is currently at the examination stage. 
  2. Residents have expressed concern about the condition of this land and are keen for progress to be made in  it being developed for housing.  
  3. The proposed revisions, including the replacement of the two-bedroom dwellings with three-bedroom ones,  the use of different building materials, and the revised external designs, look to be materially different to  those approved under planning application 3/18/0572/FUL. 
  4. A Neighbourhood Plan response was not submitted to the March 2018 planning application (Ref:  3/18/0572/FUL) as the draft Neighbourhood Plan policies were not published until June 2019.

Hartham Leisure Centre Response

We have submitted a response to the planning application for the redevelopment of Hartham Leisure Centre.

We consider the revised external design of the proposed two-storey extension, with its curved roof on the south elevation and some lighter timber-effect cladding, to be an improvement on the 2019 designs.

We also welcome the proposals to refurbish the pool hall and wet and dry changing facilities (including accessible changing), and the plans to extend the pool spectator area.

With construction scheduled to commence in April 2021 (subject to planning consent), it’s essential that works are completed on time, with minimal interruption to the provision of community facilities.

Read our full response here

Theatre proposals welcomed

The Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan Steering Group have responded to the public consultation on plans for the redevelopment of Hertford Theatre.

Artists impression of redeveloped Hertford Theatre

Although Hertford Theatre is primarily within Hertford Castle Ward, a small section of it (part of the current café seating area) falls within Hertford Bengeo Ward. Based on information provided in the consultation material, the new side elevation, housing the proposed café and bar on the ground floor and Cinema 1 on the first floor, is likely to project further into the Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan Area.

We welcome the proposals to:

  • increase the connectivity between the theatre and its surroundings, particularly with the River Lea and Hertford
    Castle Gardens
  • retain as much of the existing building as is practicable
  • improve and increase the range, volume and quality of facilities for the local community and wider population
  • use (where possible) sustainable electricity
  • landscape using ‘bee friendly’ native species

Subject to plans being approved, we understand that construction is scheduled to commence in August 2021 and complete in April 2023. As Hertford Theatre is such a key community building, it’s vital that the project is delivered to schedule so that disruption to local roads is minimised and to enable Hertford’s residents and visitors to Hertford to benefit from the proposed enhanced community facilities.

We will submit a response to the full planning application