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 :
Natural Environment and Green Spaces
Traffic and Sustainable Transport
Culture and Community
Housing and Development
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!
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.
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.
We are preparing draft policies and project plans for consultation at the 2nd exhibition in March.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Travel & Transport Working Group is focused on making Bengeo a place for people where they can enjoy walking and cycling for their everyday journeys. This is in keeping with Hertfordshire County Council’s draft Local Transport Plan.
Our aim is to identify issues that currently affect these types of journey so that BNAP can set out policies to ensure they are addressed. We will also be looking at more strategic issues that will improve connectivity, both within Bengeo and to other local areas, for example the town centre.
Whilst walking and cycling are a focus, it is also recognized that we all need to drive for some of our journeys. Traffic issues also form part of our research, the obvious issues such as through-traffic and on street parking are possibly the most significant. We are again identifying issues and reviewing how our local traffic network might look in the future. An example of this is the Old Cross junction, it seems to be a barrier to both pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles so we are considering how it could be improved.
We are also identifying measures that will ensure reliable and good quality public transport links are available to Bengeo. This would apply to all types of traveler, commuting into London, maintaining train access to Stevenage or bus services to the town centre and other local towns.
Key aims are to:
Maintain and enhance sustainable travel links within, to and from Bengeo.
Reinstate the transport hierarchy.
Give pedestrians priority back over cars.
Possible projects include:
Providing a pedestrian route on both sides of Beane Road to improve access to the station.
Managing parking in the vicinity of pedestrian crossings (i.e. at dropped kerbs) at junctions.
Investigate and improve congestion on Hartham Lane, when vehicles exit the Hartham Leisure facilities and Sainsburys. This would include creating a safe crossing arrangement for pedestrians.
The Natural Environment & Green Spaces group aims to look at every type of green space within Bengeo ward including woodland, farm land, nature reserves, Hartham Common, allotments and Children’s Play areas.So many people in Bengeo love the area because of its semi-rural location and open spaces. It is a key characteristic of our ward. Whether it be looking after an allotment or walking out on a pleasant afternoon across one of the many country walks that surround the area. The sense of openness and mixed land use is key to the area’s identity.
We in the Natural Environment and Green Spaces Working Group have been thrilled by the positive responses we have received while discussing our local green spaces, and the key role that many people feel these spaces play in their lives. Once, not so long ago Bengeo was a small rural village, but despite much growth the area has managed to keep that semi-rural atmosphere. We feel this is part of who we are.
The key aims of the group are to:
Promote and protect rights of way around Bengeo including cycle tracks, walking routes and common land.
Enable sustainable use of Bengeo green spaces.
Maintain and protect wildlife habitats within Bengeo ward.
Promote use of our natural environment for recreational activity for all ages.
Protect Bengeo ward from poor air quality by protecting and increasing green lungs and corridors.
The groups is currently evaluating the following projects:
Including a photo library and detailed use of mapping to optimise conservation opportunities.
Using the disused railway land in lower Bengeo as a cycleway and footpath.
Having a community garden and or aviary amongst other ideas.