Courtyard Arts planning application

Courtyard Arts Centre

Courtyard Arts Centre in Port Vale have submitted a planning application for a “single storey rear extension and single storey partially glazed infill extension”.

We broadly support this application, although we note the regrettable loss of car parking spaces.

You can read our full submission to the planning application by clicking the link below.

Courtryard Arts planning application comments »

Response to Travel Pack for Bengeo Nursery development

Developer Durkan have submitted a planning application for the discharge of the planning condition requiring a Travel Plan to be provided for the residential development on the former Bengeo Nursery site in Sacombe Road.

We have responded to the application, making the observations below.

Our full response can be found here:

  1. The Travel Pack information has incorrect information on the 333-bus service. The circular Hertford Bengeo 333 bus services is provided by Trustybus, not Centrebus. The link to Centrebus should be replaced with a link to the county council’s Interlink page – which provides the latest bus travel information in Hertfordshire (subject to links being current at the time the travel pack is issued to residents). The ‘Centrebus’ label, on the image of the bus, should be removed.
  2. It’s noted that the revised travel pack includes scannable QR codes for local walking and cycling routes. In the ‘Walking’ section of the pack, reference to Hertfordshire Health Walks should be included.
  3. Information on local cycle shops could be included in the pack. We recommend that Paul Basham Associates seek advice from Kirstie Feasey at Hertford Cycle Hub on this, and that they confirm that the Cycle Hub is operational at the time of going to press with the travel pack.
  4. The map in the ‘Walking’ section of the pack should include walking routes from the HERT4 site to Hertford North Station. This could include a route along The Avenue, down the ‘Molewood steps’, along Molewood Road and on to the station via Beane Road. Alternative walking routes to the station should be included, avoiding the steps.
  5. Given traffic volumes in the Neighbourhood Plan Area, the pack should make it clear that the lower Bengeo roads via Cross Road and Beane Road have ‘except for access’ restrictions, with additional, time limited, ‘no right turn ‘ restrictions from Bengeo Street onto Cross Road.
  6. The pack could include links to the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan website and to the Love Bengeo Facebook page.

What is a Travel Pack?

Local authorities often make it a condition of planning approval that developers provide “travel packs” (also known as “travel plans”).

The aim of a travel pack is primarily to promote and encourage a move
toward sustainable travel by those moving into new residential developments.

Throughout the planning process, and in line with current government planning policy, measures that would aim to develop sustainable links from new developments, including extended bus service provision, improved cycling and walking links and access to travel information, are agreed to by the

With the physical infrastructure in place, the intention is that each new resident is made fully aware of the travel choices available and is given the best possible opportunity to consider more sustainable modes of travel.

Through the Residential Travel Pack, developers should aim to provide sufficient information that would allow residents to make informed travel choices, and be given the incentive to try new modes of travel either via discounted travel passes or travel vouchers.

Additionally, as a means to encouraging modal shift away from private car use, the health and economic benefits of non-car based travel should also be identified.

What does it mean to “discharge” a planning condition?

There are often conditions attached to planning permissions that need further details to be submitted and approved by the council at certain stages of the development. This process is called ‘discharge of conditions’.

Land at Carmelite Monastery

Photo of land at Carmelite Monastery

A planning application has been submitted for the construction of a new three-bedroomed  home in Ware Park Road, on land owned by the Ware Carmelite Monastery.

We have submitted the comments below on this proposal.

It’s noted that the site is within the Metropolitan Green Belt and that the proposed dwelling would be on undeveloped Green Belt land, in a different location to the existing agricultural building. Paragraph 4.79 of the Neighbourhood Plan says: “Rather than encroach on the Green Belt, or reduce the volume of green spaces, it’s preferable to re-use industrial land or disused buildings for housing, leisure, employment or enterprise”. Although the proposed dwelling would be single storey, and marginally smaller in volume and floor area than the existing agricultural building, it’s considered that its proposed location could have an unwelcome impact on the openness of the Green Belt.

The site is within an area identified in the HERC Ecological Network Mapping as “high priority for habitat creation”. Neighbourhood Plan Policy HBN3: Nature Conservation says: ‘Proposals to create new natural areas and wildlife habitats, or to enhance or expand existing provision, will be supported’. Should planning permission be granted, we would endorse the recommendations of the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal for the replanting of young native fruit trees in the adjoining orchard, supplementary planting of existing boundary hedgerows with native woody species, wildlife friendly soft landscaping, and the integration of bird and bat boxes. As a fruit tree would be removed during the proposed development of the site, we would recommend replacement as per Neighbourhood Plan Policy HBN3 which says: “Replacement of trees with native species, in suitable locations, will be encouraged where the development results in the unavoidable loss of trees on the site”.

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