Waterford Wick

Tarmac ecological houses proposal on the land off the Sacombe Road (past Vicarage Lane) is now officially called The Waterford Wick. If you are interested to find out more about the most recent developments with the proposal – there is a stakeholder meeting in Bengeo Parish Church Hall for Wednesday 17th January – for a meeting from about 18:30 – 20:00 hrs.

More information is available on the Molewood Resident Association website at:
http://www.molewood.org.uk/news/the-waterford-wick-update/

Culture & Communities Update

Former school in Dimsdale Street

The Culture & Communities Working Group aims to encompass a very wide view of “culture” and include all community groups such as the churches, youth organisations, arts organisations, community centres, leisure and recreation initiatives and others. It is culture in the widest sense. In the words of the 2016 Culture White Paper the value of culture is threefold: intrinsic, social and economic. The social benefit is clearly linked to physical and mental well-being. The lower part of Bengeo down to the Town Centre has been identified in the Hertford Urban Development Strategy as Hertford Arts Quarter. There are plans to regenerate the Old McMullens Brewery and Old British School in Dimsdale Street as a Hertford Arts Hub with support from the University of Hertfordshire, Hertford Town Council and Arts Council England.

A community with a strong set of cultural activities is a healthy community and this is especially important for young people – for whom there is too little provision in Bengeo and Hertford generally.

Three key aims are to:

  • Encourage and develop all cultural activities within the BNAP area by developing a community portal of the Love Bengeo website and engaging with local cultural groups.
  • Ensure access to the widest possible variety of activities for all age groups and abilities by promoting existing premises and activities and encouraging fresh initiatives.
  • Improve communication amongst current cultural activity suppliers.

We will explore the types of activities and event spaces that might be made available by the redevelopment of the Old British School.

If there is a desire for a dedicated community centre within Bengeo and where that might be located.

The development of a heritage trail through Bengeo, with key sign-posting and/or permanent notice boards.

Business Survey

The Businesses Working Group is trying to get some further feedback from Bengeo Ward businesses. Therefore we are now asking all local businesses (big and small) that we know of to respond to our very brief 1 page survey so that we can get further views on what the Bengeo Ward businesses would like to see in future Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan.

Please download and fill out the Word document below and email to info@lovebengeo.org.uk.

» Download Business Survey (Microsoft Word document)

Public consultation for Beane Road/North Road Cycle Route

A County Council team has been appointed to improve pedestrian and cycling facilities on North Road, Beane Road, Hertford North Station surrounds, Port Hill and Hartham Common. The scheme proposes localised footway widening and improvements to existing facilities, vegetation clearance, kerb realignment to reduce pinch points, and new pedestrian refuge and right turn pocket for cyclists on Beane Road.

As part of this initiative, the council are asking residents to fill out a questionnaire. The consultation runs until Monday 20th November 2017.

» Read the council’s letter to residents

Business Owners – We Need Your Input

Business owners in the Bengeo Ward are invited to attend the next meeting of the BNAP Business Working Group on Thursday 9th November at the Millbridge Rooms in The Wash.

The Business Working Group seeks to gather input, opinion and advice from all of the business owners within the Ward to ensure their views, ideas and needs are accurately represented. In short, it is your opportunity to ‘have your say’ and help shape Bengeo Ward for businesses both now and in the future.

» View Leaflet (PDF)

Forthcoming Working Group Meetings

We have five working group meetings currently scheduled.

Our Natural Environment and Green Spaces Working Group will discuss considerations such as the disused railway, Bengeo quarry, leisure & recreation and play areas in Bengeo Ward on Tuesday 26th September (venue TBC).

Our Homes & Development Working Group will meet at The Greyhound in Bengeo Street  on Wednesday 27th September at 8pm.

Our Traffic & Transport Working Group will meet at The White Lion in Bengeo Street on Wednesday 27th September at 7:30pm.  Some of the key considerations include the sustainable transport in Bengeo (cycle lanes, bus services, etc), parking issues, pedestrian concerns, speed limits, B158 and through Bengeo traffic, etc. Volunteers who would like to be involved in looking for future solutions in Bengeo are most welcome to join.

Our Business Working Group  will met at 3-5 Cowbridge  on Friday 29th September at 6pm.  We would like to hear from businesses, retailers, and employers big and small in Bengeo Ward (which includes St Andrew St, north of North Road, and Three Lakes). Have your say and help shape the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan for the next 15 years.

Finally, our Culture & Community Working Group will me at The Greyhound in Bengeo Street on Thursday 12th October at 7:30pm.

Please get in touch if you are interested in either of these Working Groups.

Working Groups Workshop Report

On Tuesday 12th September a workshop for volunteers of the BNAP working groups took place at Hertford Theatre.  The five working groups focused on the areas of

  • Home and Development
  • Culture and Community
  • Natural Environment and Green Spaces
  • Transport and Traffic
  • Business

The workshop was led by Hertford Town Council Planning consultant, Jacqueline Veater, who will be guiding BNAP through the drafting of the neighbourhood plan.

Now that the area of the Bengeo Ward has been officially designated, the next stage will be to prepare a draft for the plan.  Over the course of the workshop, Jacqueline outlined the different stages of the development of the neighbourhood plan and the vital role of the working groups in the process.

As a starting point, the groups were asked to identify a future vision for the Bengeo Ward; volunteers discussed what they most value about living or working in Bengeo ward and areas that could be improved.  

Some of the key topics which were discussed include:

  • Access to green spaces
  • Maintaining the sense of a village community whilst also having a strong central area for people to meet
  • Quality of schools
  • Support for Local businesses to encourage business enterprise
  • Green travel/ initiatives

The working groups broke off into their topic areas to discuss key issues which will then be formed into practical objectives which will help BNAP to formulate an action plan and gather evidence to support the policies.  As a guide, volunteers are encouraged to come up with objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Realistic and Time bound (SMART).  

The objective outcomes and discussions from the working group meetings will help us to write questions for a detailed survey that will ask Bengeo Ward residents about all the issues that matter to them.  The questionnaire will be one of the most effective ways for us to gather views from a large percentage of residents/businesses in the area.   The responses that we receive will help us to write policies that will shape the future of the Ward.

The next step in the process will be individual meetings for each of the working groups within the next few weeks.  These meetings will allow the working groups to focus on their specific areas and continue identifying key objectives which will be presented at the next steering committee meeting on 5th October .

This initiative is an exciting opportunity to improve our local area and we welcome your feedback and involvement.  If you would like to join one of the working groups or volunteer in any other way please get in touch.

Join Our Working Group Meetings

We have two working group meetings coming up – for Natural Environment & Green Spaces and Culture & Community.

Our Natural Environment and Green Spaces Working Group will discuss considerations such as the disused railway, Bengeo quarry, leisure & recreation and play areas in Bengeo Ward on Tuesday 26th September (venue TBC).

Our Culture & Community Working Group will meet on Tuesday 19th September. We also warmly welcome representatives of organisations, churches, scouts, art organisations, associations etc.

Please get in touch if you are interested in either of these Working Groups.

Workshops for Working Group Volunteers

Local residents are invited to a practical workshop for members of BNAP Working Groups and Steering Group at 7:30pm on Tuesday 12th September 2017 at Hertford Theatre. Places are limited so please confirm your attendance.

The workshop will be led by Hertford Town Council’s Planning Consultant and it will focus on:

  • Turning the issues that have been raised so far into draft objectives and a vision
  • Formulating questions to be included in the Neighbourhood Plan survey
  • Collecting evidence to support the planning policies
  • Practical hints and tips on good practice for neighbourhood planning.

We look forward to seeing you then.

Steering Group Agrees Next Steps

The Neighbourhood Plan Community Steering Group met last Wednesday evening,  9th August. The attendees included 5 local councillors, representatives of local Resident Associations, residents and a representative of the business community in the ward.

The meeting provided an important opportunity to discuss a number of areas arising from the previous meetings and feedback received to date and crucially agree the next steps and priorities for BNAP. The key topics covered included:

  • Finalising the steering group’s governance and structure
  • Initial analysis of the Neighbourhood Plan feedback received to date
  • Establishing a Communications Group to concentrate on, among other things, maximising the outreach to all stakeholders in the Hertford Bengeo ward
  • Initiating a set of volunteer Working Groups to start looking at topics that have been identified in feedback and consultation to date.
  • Identifying key milestones to enable smooth progress with preparing BNAP.

The key priorities now are to consolidate the formal structure of the group and to start the “real” work of getting the Working Groups into full swing so that consultation feedback can be transformed into draft policies for the plan.

Based on the feedback received so far the initial Working Groups are:

  • Homes and development
  • Natural environment and green spaces
  • Culture and community
  • Transport and traffic
  • Business

We are now calling for all volunteers interested to be involved in the discussions, consultation and presenting proposals for each of the Working Group. If you have not done so already please get in touch with us and let us know your interest – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/K9JXTG3 or info@lovebengeo.org.uk

There will be initial discussions within each Working Group in August/September. A training session for Working Group volunteers is planned on Tuesday 12th September evening.  More detail to follow.