Everyone enjoyed himself at the wonderful concert laid on by Knebworth Community Chorus this Saturday. The Village Hall was full to bursting, and many mince pies were consumed. A fair volume of mulled wine was drunk too.

The children of St Michael’s, Woolmer Green School put on a wonderful performance of singing and playing their instruments: violins and flutes.

Merry Christmas!


Royston Bowls Club received £1,000 towards the purchase of a machine to de-thatch the green in order to help reduce disease and improve the playing surface.

The club’s Steve Kilford said: “Royston Bowls Club would like to thank the council for awarding us a grant of £1,000, this will go some way towards the purchase of a de-thatching machine.”

Royston Historical Pageant was awarded a grant of £500 to assist with the costs of putting on a large historical event on Therfield Heath in July 2019.

The funding will be used to assist with publicity and advertising costs and to pay for re-enactment groups to attend.

Councillor Sarah Dingley, pageant co-ordinator, said: “Grateful thanks to the Royston Area Committee for the grant awarded to Royston Historical Pageant.

“It will help us to create a memorable event for the whole community.”

And finally, the Royston Choral Society was awarded a grant of £750 to assist with the costs of putting on a community concert. The funding will go towards the publicity and equipment hire for their performance of Bach’s St John Passion at Royston’s parish church on April 6, 2019.

The Royston Choral Society has been putting on concerts for the people of Royston since 1974 and the event is part of the society’s commitment to put on 4 concerts annually.

Huw Jenkins, Chairman of the Royston Choral Society said: “The Royston Choral Society has been a community unauditioned choir since 1974. We recently performed Britten’s War Requiem to high acclaim and will continue to rise to the challenges set by the musical director, Andrew O’Brien, with the performance of Bach’s St John Passion in the spring.

“We are most grateful for this grant from North Herts District Council as it will support the Royston Choral Society in its commitment to provide ‘Fine music made locally’.”

Councillor Tony Hunter, NHDC’s chairman of the Royston Committee, said: “We are pleased to be able support these projects in Royston. We look forward to seeing how the projects develop and progress in the future.”

The grants are subject to completion of the necessary formalities.

Mods which relate to Knebworth

MM 283 - MM 296 are the relevant paragraphs. The Main Modifications will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet at a special meeting on Monday 10 December 2018.

Subject to their approval, consultation will then be held on the Main Modifications. This consultation will also provide the opportunity to comment on the additional work produced by the Council following the hearing sessions. Details of the consultation will be published on the NHDC website following the Cabinet meeting.

MM 285: “Transport Assessment to consider the cumulative impacts of sites KB1, KB2 and KB4 upon key junctions and rail crossing points for all users, including walkers and cyclists, and secure necessary mitigation or improvement measures;”

MM 286: “Approximately two hectares of land to the south of Gypsy Lane and adjoining the existing settlement reserved as an appropriate site for provision of 1FE Primary School”

MM 288: “Land north of Watton Road reserved for long-term secondary education”

MM 295: “Our transport modelling does not identify any specific mitigation scheme requirements for Knebworth. However, the high street, including the junction of Stevenage Road/London Road/Watton Road and Station Road, is a known pinch point, particularly when delays or incidents on the A1(M) result in the B197 being used as an alternate route between Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage. There are also issues of poor pedestrian/cycle access along Station Road under the railway line, and similar issues at Gun Lane and new development will be expected to consider improvements to walking/cycling conditions in these locations and make reasonable contributions to secure their delivery.”

From: Main Modifications page on NHDC website.

The European Parliament voted to burden every blog like this with an obligation to anticipate any possible copyright breach, even to the point of using the title of a title elsewhere. To my mind politicians do not understand the Internet and instinctively do the wrong thing.

This is what the EFF has to say:

Despite waves of calls and emails from European Internet users, the European Parliament today voted to accept the principle of a universal pre-emptive copyright filter for content-sharing sites, as well as the idea that news publishers should have the right to sue others for quoting news items online or even using their titles as links to articles. Out of all of the potential amendments offered that would fix or ameliorate the damage caused by these proposals, they voted for worst on offer.

Full article here.

The Saga Continues

The next meeting of the Planning Control Committee is due to meet on Thursday 20th Sept to review the reasons for refusal of the applicationto redevelop the station pub (ref. 17/01622/1).

The general idea is to simplify the reasons for refusal to avoid the appeal being decided by a public enquiry, a very expensive process for NHDC and for everyone else.
This is the link to the meeting agenda item.

The key document is the officers’s report, which recommends that:

  • Reason 1 (loss of pub) is retained, but related to the new version of the NPPF that is now in force, but a dependence on policy ETC7 (change of use of shops etc.) is dropped,

  • Reason 2 (cramped layout) is retained,

  • Reason 3 (inadequate parking) is dropped, on the grounds that Herts Highways had no objection the original application,

  • Reason 4 (noise and odour impacts) is dropped on the grounds that this can be mitigated in practice,

  • Reason 5 (lack of completed S106 Obligation) is dropped on the grounds that it is likely one will be in place by the time the appeal takes place,

where Reason 1 etc. are the reasons originally given by the Planning Control Committee in its decision on 19th April 2018.

There is a discussion about this on the SOS Pub Facebook Group.