Yesterday I spoke at a Planning Control Committee meeting. I was supporting the Parish Council, in the form of Cllr Roger Willcocks, in objecting to application, ‘17/02652/1 - 135A LONDON ROAD, KNEBWORTH, SG3 6EX’. This is the conversion of the old aggregates yard, part of Chas Lowe & Sons, into two 2-bed flats and two commercial (retail) units. The grounds on which we objected were principally to do with parking.

Although we did our best to convince the committee to refuse permission, only two members agreed with us. The minimum parking standards had not been met, but the committee accepted that the location justified relaxing the standard. The full argument, as well as the text of the Parish Council objection, can be read in the report of the Planning officer.

In a case like this, where the vote goes the ‘wrong’ way, my view is that the time has not been wasted as the committee’s attention is drawn to the desperately bad parking situation in the village, and may be less inclined to grant another similar application, having, perhaps, more appreciation of the severe cumulative impact of so many high-density developments going on in Knebworth.

Full details of the application can be read on the NHDC Planning Portal. Just search for the reference number on the application (in this case ‘17/02652/1’).

Station Pub Planning Application (Ref 17/01622/1)

It was good to see the support at the Pop Up Pub in the village hall last month, held as part of the SOSPUB Campaign (see photo). The planning application for the Station Pub, which retains a pub but includes development of part of the site into flats, is still to come before the NHDC Planning Control Committee, this month’s meeting is on Thursday 15th March, 7.30pm. I gave fairly extensive additional comments last month which you can find here:

Changes to brown bin service

You should all have received a leaflet about changes to the waste and recycling services being made in May. The leaflet is available on NHDC’s website: and this page is also the one to sign up through if you wish to use the brown bin service. To keep costs to a minimum NHDC is asking everyone who can to use the online option, but you can pay by phone via the general number, 01462 474000, and selecting waste services. The cost is £40 a year for one bin, with an early bird discount of £35 available if you sign up by the end of March. Payment can be by debit or credit card.

NHDC Budget 2018-19

The budget for 2018-19 was agreed at the full council meeting held in February. Total net budgeted expenditure will be £14.6m. To give some context, in 2010, total net spend for NHDC was running at £18m. Throughout the long march to reduce costs, the focus for NHDC has been to protect front-line services: those which directly affect residents of North Herts.

Of the £14.6m net expenditure, Council Tax will pay for the lion’s share, £11m, and the rest comes from Business Rates and New Homes Bonus. There are considerable increased costs flowing through as a result of various inflationary and contractual increases. Offsetting these increases are savings, primarily from the new Waste Collection and Street Cleaning contract which covers all the services the council must provide as a statutory obligation. This is around £2m per annum cheaper than the current one with Veolia, which has been running for 14 years, and some additional savings are expected in 2019-20.

The result of all this effort is that the increase in Council Tax for next year will be £6.49 for a Band D property for the year, to £223.45. Your total Council Tax bill is much higher than this as NHDC collects the tax on behalf of Herts County Council, the Herts Police, and Knebworth Parish Council.

Over our long, wet winter in our congested village with its inadequate parking facilities, one issue comes up time and time again. This is the anti-social habit of drivers parking with one (or more) pairs of wheels on the grass verge, turning it into a muddy wreck.

The solution is to contact:

  1. HCC – Herts Highways are responsible for putting bollards on grass verges as these areas are part of the highway. This is something you could approach Cllr Thake about as he could consider using his Herts locality budget to install some bollards in this location.

  2. The second option is to check if there are any road markings on the street that go past the premises, as technically such restrictions continue to the back of the pavement. If there are road markings in this location then I you could approach Jon Charter, Parking Service Manager to investigate the issue from a parking enforcement point of view. Jon’s contact details are as follows: Email., Tel. 01462 474358.

I know this is not a total solution, but it does give a few options.

I decided to load up my regular columns for Knebworth Parish News onto this website. I occasionally post things here, but for anything I have to say that can be fitted into 280 characters, I tend to use Twitter.

This website does not use cookies, but even if it did you should not be worried about them.

I don’t keep any information about you, although I am registered with the ICO, just in case.

North Herts District Council

Tel: 01462-474000 Email: Twitter: @NorthHertsDC

Contact NHDC about all the following:

  • Vandalism
  • Noise
  • Bonfires and Construction Dust
  • Licensed Premises
  • Stray Dogs
  • Public Toilets (not in villages)
  • Abandoned or burned-out vehicles
  • Dog Fouling issues
  • Council Tax/Housing Benefit
  • NHDC Housing (for the following:)
    • Actual or threatened homelessness
    • Housing debt advice
    • Advice on any housing issue
    • Common Housing Register queries

NHDC are responsible for parks and gardens in the towns in the District, but for these, call the contractor directly:

NHDC Ground Maintenance Contractors

John O’Connor

  • Pest Control: 01462-436694
  • Urban Parks (not Knebworth)

NHDC subcontract waste and street cleaning. Contact Veolia directly for these matters:

NHDC Waste and Recycling and Street Cleaning

Veolia: Tel 0800 3286023

  • Street cleaning
  • Litter and graffiti
  • Missed bin collections
  • General waste and recycling queries
  • Fly tipping
  • Drugs paraphernalia such as discarded needles

Knebworth Parish Council

Tel: 01438-813795 Web:

The Parish Council is responsible for the recreation grounds and the village hall in Knebworth.

NHDC sold its council house stock in 2004 to NHH. Call them and not NHDC for matters to do with homes the own:

North Herts Homes

Tel: 01462-704100

If you live in a NHH property, then use the above to: * report repairs * report anti-social behaviour * discuss rent payments

The County Council is responsible for most other ‘Council’ functions in the District.

Hertfordshire County Council

Tel: 0300 1234047

  • Highways Fault Reporting (potholes, street lights, traffic lights, road signs, blocked storm drains)
  • Bus passes
  • Public transport information
  • Schools and childcare
  • Libraries
  • Social Care

The County Council have oversight of the Police and Fire Services:

Hertfordshire Police

In emergency, call 999 (or 112)
Non-emergency enquiries: 101.

Hertfordshire Fire & rescue


In emergency, call 112

Non-emergencies, call 0300-123-4046

Knebworth Links

My post on Knebworth Links (especially for the Neighbourhood Plan) has some further links on contacts for Knebworth.