Byelaws, Planning Portal Software, Chas Lowe site

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Public Consultation on Revoking of NHDC Byelaws

NHDC has reviewed its byelaws, some of which date back to the 19th Century, and have no relevance today. The recommendation is to revoke all existing byelaws with the exception of the 2007 Acupuncture, Tattooing, Semi-Permanent Skin-Colouring, Cosmetic Piercing and Electrolysis byelaw.

In most cases the byelaws, many of which related to enforcement of sanitary practices in commercial premises and to the prohibition of antisocial behaviour in public places have been superseded by more modern national statutes. For example, there is a 1874 byelaw that relates to licencing of ‘Omnibuses, Wagonettes & Stage Carriages and the Proprietors, Drivers and Conductors thereof’.

NHDC are conducting a public consultation on this which ends on 22nd September. Details can be accessed via the website and copies of the survey, council report and the byelaws schedule are available at the NHDC reception desk upon request during normal office hours.

Upgrade to NHDC’s Planning Portal Software

Readers will be pleased to learn that NHDC has upgraded its planning portal software. The system does not look noticeably different, but it seems to be more responsive, and it certainly has had much better ‘uptime’ than previously. It is a pity that the upgrade coincided with the consultation on the Station Pub redevelopment (ref. 17/01622/1). In the end 181 responses were received which, hopefully, will have captured all the valid planning issues that the application raised. No date has yet been set for the Committee meeting at which the application will be decided. Note that it is not possible to appeal against a decision to grant an application, although it is possible to appeal against a refusal.

Some local residents have questioned the need for respondents to planning applications to provide their name and address to NHDC. I have queried this and have been assured that, in fact, responses without an address will still be taken into account. The only requirement is for respondents to provide some contact details, so the officers can get in touch if the response is ambiguous, or if an amendment to the application is received. If you wish to make a representation, you should be aware that your comments will be made public.

Another planning application in Knebworth that readers may wish to consider is the redevelopment of the Chas Lowe site (reference 17/01863/1). The proposal is for the demolition of the existing buildings and the erection of 48 assisted living extra care (Class C2) apartments for the frail elderly, including communal facilities and car parking along with ground floor commercial unit (Use A1, A2, A3, D1 or D2) fronting London Road. The deadline for responding to this is the 6th September.

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