September update

Following on from our June update, the pace of progress with the Neighbourhood Plan has increased considerably.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan? – A reminder:
In general, a Neighbourhood Plan is a way of helping local communities influence the planning of the area in which they live and work; it has to work with the Local Plan, not fight against it.

In Knebworth, our Neighbourhood Plan is a rare opportunity to influence the development of the village to make it a sustainable and a pleasant place to live, despite the housing developments proposed in the NHDC Local Plan, and define certain policies to influence design standards.

With the support of the Parish Council, we have managed to secure the help of a Neighbourhood Planning professional, whose knowledge and input has been invaluable. We also applied for and received grant funding for technical assistance from Aecom with ‘Design Codes’ and ‘Master Planning’. They have been on one of several visits they will make to Knebworth to help define types of housing to match Knebworth’s needs and determine appropriate infrastructure to accommodate the consequences of increased housing.

We are in the process of undertaking a series of surveys – your participation in any of these will be very helpful. The Housing Needs Survey continues as we really need more responses. You can now fill this in easily online at  https://tinyurl.com/y9k5apc2  if you haven’t already completed a paper version.

Some committee members are talking to local businesses to get their views, there is currently a Sports & Leisure survey taking place and there will be a Youth Survey soon, so that everyone has their chance to makes their views known. We would particularly welcome encouragement for the younger people to have their say. We will be asking children at Knebworth School, those attending the Knebworth Youth Project, plus Scouts and Guides. If anyone has any ideas on how to target the senior school children to take part, we’d be very pleased to hear from you.

With all this going on, we’re appealing for more residents to help us.  If you would like to help develop the Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan, we would very much like to hear from you.  Contact: neighbourhood-plan@knebworthpc.org.uk

Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan website launches!

Today marks the launch of the Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan website. Content for the website will be added in the coming days/weeks, so please bear with us while we work on the site. Please contact us if you have suggestions for content you would like to see on the website, or if you have any questions or concerns.

June Update

Unfortunately, initial progress was slow, with many aspects of a Neighbourhood Plan having to be learnt before any action could be taken.

Plans  (by North Herts District Council) for some 700 new homes around the village  would increase the population by over a third. The Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan (KNP) is a rare opportunity to influence the development of the village to make it a sustainable and a pleasant place to live despite the dramatic increase in population, and should not be missed.  Contact:  neighbourhood-plan@knebworthpc.org.uk

The task is to create a plan based on the views of the people of the Parish.  This then has to be passed by an inspector and finally it has to be approved by the residents of Knebworth via a referendum.

The plan enables us to define types of housing to match Knebworth’s needs and can make a requirement for appropriate infrastructure to accommodate the consequences of increased housing.

What we want to achieve is a vision for the future of Knebworth Parish and create a sense of community and a sense of ownership of the village by the residents and businesses.

What have we done already?

  • Established a steering group
  • Surveyed residents on priorities and issues
  • Established six working groups on the top priority areas
  • Undertaken additional surveys
    • Parking
    • Housing needs
  • Held two Open Days and displayed information at the Annual Parish Meeting
  • Noted comments and observations from those attending

What are the working groups?

  • Traffic, Transportation and Parking
  • Local Economy (including Retail, Restaurants and Bars)
  • Environment and Flooding
  • Housing and Character
  • Schools and Education
  • Wellbeing (to include Medical and Public Services)

Why do we need a Neighbourhood Plan and why do we need it now?

  • A Neighbourhood Plan can influence the type of development that should happen in the neighbourhood
  • Under the Localism Act 2017 it has a legal status which must be taken into account by the Planning Authority (NHDC)
  • It can also define certain policies(e.g. design standards) that take precedence over the existing Local Plan policies for the neighbourhood within certain constraints
  • We currently have no roadmap or policies to guide planning decisions that are specific to Knebworth
  • A Neighbourhood Plan is needed now as this is our best chance to have an influence on how the village develops over the next few years.

Let us have your opinions and Get Involved!

  • We are seeking to engage all local stakeholders to do this
    • Residents
    • Community groups
    • Local businesses
    • Landowners
  • We also need more help in developing each work stream

Let us have your opinions and Get Involved!

  • We are seeking to engage all local stakeholders to do this
    • Residents
    • Community groups
    • Local businesses
    • Landowners
  • We also need more help in developing each work stream
  • Please contact us: neighbourhood-plan@knebworthpc.org.uk

Windfall Developments

  • The numbers of proposed houses quoted are simply notional figures
  • They are not targets.
  • Therefore any additional developments do not reduce the proposed number of new dwellings.
  • Additional developments are regarded as ‘windfall’ by NHDC.
  • Including windfall significantly increases the number of new dwellings.

So, what are we doing next?

  • The subject matter groups are in the process of researchinginto various areas identified such as what evidence is readily available such as statistics on traffic flow and population demographics, what we can and can’t define in the Plan and what other people have put in their
  • Ultimately they will be working towards creating policies to go in the Plan

If you would like to help develop the Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan and have some expertise in any of the areas covered by the Plan, we would very much like to hear from you.