As mentioned last month, the Steering Committee has revised and refined some of the policies following your feedback at the Open Day at the beginning of March. Thank you to everyone who came along and gave us your comments.
The Chair and Vice Chair of the Steering Committee both spoke in some detail about the Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan (KNP) during the Annual Parish Meeting of the Parish Council on 1 st May, particularly regarding what can and can’t be done under a neighbourhood plan.
For example, the allocation of over 700 homes in and around Knebworth is a result of the NHDC Local Plan. It is NHDC who have allocated and allowed the Green Belt to be designated for development. There have been opportunities over the past two years to comment to NHDC regarding their proposals, but the consultation period has now closed. Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan is trying to mitigate the consequences of these allocations. You can view our efforts so far on the website.
There was a lot of comment from the Open Day regarding the lack of restaurants, wine bars and new shops. As residents ourselves, we agree with what you are saying but, although the KNP Steering Committee would welcome all of these enterprises to enrich the lives of local people, unfortunately the initiative to open these undertakings has to be from people or companies wanting to start new businesses here in Knebworth. If you know of anyone looking for a suitable location for a new enterprise, then please direct them to one of our vacant premises.
There were several suggestions for new family homes to be built, with adequate parking places on site, rather than any more retirement residences. We are trying to influence these requirements with our policies. Similarly, we are trying to influence the provision of better road access to the new areas and other parts of the village. Once finalised, Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan will have a legal status, North Herts District Council and the developers are obliged to take notice.
Unfortunately, despite there being many comments about the train service, the KNP cannot insist that extra trains are run every day, however there is a very active Knebworth Rail Users Forum – https://www.facebook.com/groups/knebworthruf/ – for anyone who is interested – it is a public group. For those wanting improved local bus services there is Bus Users Group Stevenage (BUGS) – https://www.bususers.org/your-local-group/bugs-bus-users-group-stevenage/about-us. They are “an independent group committed to campaigning for good quality bus services in Stevenage and the surrounding areas as well as speaking up for bus users in the area. Bus Users Group Stevenage works closely with local bus operators, Hertfordshire County Council, Stevenage Borough Council and other interested parties locally. We arrange public meetings on issues affecting local bus users, campaign on transport related issues and assist passengers with resolving their complaints.“
Environmental and flooding concerns can be addressed on the Hertfordshire County Council website at: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/Recycling-waste-and-environment/Water/Flooding-in-Hertfordshire.aspx. There are many more useful links to contacts for various services on the Knebworth Parish Council website at: https://www.knebworthparishcouncil.gov.uk.
Our revised policies will now be scrutinised by the Parish Council and, if agreed, will then be presented at an initial meeting with NHDC for discussion. There will be further consultations with residents later in the year.
Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee