Application to redevelop the GP Surgery at 1 Stevenage Road
Negotiations are continuing to find a better building for the Knebworth
and Marymead Medical Practice. I have had meetings with Stephen
McPartland and Richard Thake to establish how to move forward on this
problem. The owner of the existing surgery had submitted a planning
application to redevelop the site, although this has now been withdrawn.
The site currently occupied by Knebworth Library in St Martins Road is
currently the preferred location. Plans have been produced to redevelop
this site to become a building which can house both the library and the
Pondcroft Road, Milestone Road, Gun Lane Draft Traffic Regulation Order
I attended a meeting with Transport Officers at NHDC on 17th November.
Both Cllr. Richard Thake and Cllr. Julian Cunningham, portfolio holder
for Transport were present. We discussed preliminary proposals to
further restrict parking on Watton Road and also a Traffic Regulation
Order to create a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) covering Milestone Road
and Pondcroft Road, which currently suffer from parking by commuters and
both visitors and employees using the shops and offices in London Road.
Our decision was to leave the parking arrangements in Watton Road
unchanged, as there was too little support for the proposed changes, and
to introduce the CPZ. A number of recommendations on relatively minor
amendments to double yellow line positions in Station Road and
Deanscroft were also accepted.
Norton Green Common
I am pleased to report that Knebworth Parish Council has entered into a
Stewardship Agreement with Natural England for the management of Norton
Green Common. This agreement comes with over seven hundred pounds of
grants from Natural England to restore the Common to a good condition.
However the work needs to be done and the subcommittee are looking for
volunteers to do it! It is planned to hold a stall at the Christmas
Fete to attract interest. It is hoped that two days of will be organised
in the New Year when volunteers will be invited to work on clearance of
the Common. For more information please contact the Clerk of the Parish
Council. In addition to the grant from Natural England, now the Common
is registered it is eligible for payments from the Rural Payments
Agency. This would not have been possible without a lot of hard work on
the part of Rosemary Pateman, Karen Robinson and the Clerk.
After a fairly tempestuous NHDC council meeting in the sports hall at
the North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth, where over three hundred
members of the public turned up, the council decided to agree to go to
consultation on the current draft of the Local Plan. This plan is
intended to shape development in the district up until 2031 (and in
reality at least five years beyond this date). It is the biggest change
to planning in the district since 1996. The plan includes forty two
documents specifying policies on all aspects of development, and
represents a huge effort on the part of the planning policy officers and
the portfolio holder, David Levett. It includes a ‘Preferred Options’
document which list the sites which are most suitable for development,
and therefore, in many cases, are proposed to be removed from the Green
Belt. These sites include two which are in Knebworth, providing space
for 411 homes and a new primary school.
The plan is available online on the NHDC website, and at Knebworth
Library. The consultation period will have already started by the time
you read this, and will continue until the first week of February. The
Parish Council is a statutory consultee in this process, and will
welcome your views. You may also send them direct to NHDC Planning
Policy: just go to the ‘Current Policy and Projects Consultations’ page.
The consultation process is a part of local democracy, and this is an
important opportunity for you to have your say. I strongly encourage you
to take part. I will ensure that any emails or letters I receive will be
fed into the consultation process.