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

Verger’s House Response

A planning application has been submitted to East Herts District Council for the  conversion of St Nicholas Hall and the School Room and the first floor of the Verger’s House from A1 (retail) to C3 (residential) use to provide one self-contained dwelling and one first floor residential flat. There are no proposed changes to the retail frontage along St.Andrew Street.

Photo of The Verger's House in St.Andrew Street

St.Andrew Street falls within Bengeo ward and the BNAP Community Steering Group has issued a response to the proposals.

We broadly welcome the proposals in this planning application, subject to them being consistent with the policies in the draft Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan, and with relevant Local Plan, Conservation Area and Listed Building policies and guidelines.

Read our full response here

The public consultation closes on 8th October 2020.

Bircherley Green Response

We have submitted a response to the planning application by Chase New Homes for the mixed-use redevelopment of Bircherley Green in the town centre, including up to 4,694 sqm of retail floorspace, an 86-bed hotel and 70 residential flats.

We generally welcome the proposed development which will hopefully provide long term benefits for residents and visitors

Read our full response

Update 16th September 2020: Planning permission has since been granted for the redevelopment of Bircherley Green.