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Buntingford Civic Society

Since our children left school we've tried to avoid holidaying in August but this year was an exception as we took up an invitation to sail on the west coast of France. No Radio 4, TV or telephone - bliss!

But it takes more than 10 days to completely switch into holiday mode and while I was walking through Ars En Re, on lie de Re, I was marvelling at the way so many bicycles, cars and pedestrians seemed to be 'mixing it' on the narrow streets of this historic town. Even our companion who has balance problems was finding it easy to walk around. Then it struck me that the pavement area was defined by colour and texture but at the same level as the road surface, very similar to what I had seen in Poynton, Cheshire, and along the lines advocated by consultants Hamilton Baillie. I believe the Town Council are still considering whether to appoint HB for further consultation; should they do so BCS will endeavour to support them in every way we can. If you are interested in the concept and want to see a working example take 10 minutes to view 'Poynton regenerated' on You-Tube.

The trouble with being away is you miss things happening at home. If like me you missed the World War One exhibition in the Manor House please join me in asking the Town Council to put it on again in November. I'm told the work done by the local branch of the British Legion, the Town Council and especially Freman College was outstanding and well worth further exposure - wouldn't remembrance week be an ideal time?

So what's changed on the planning front?

Fairview's latest iteration still falls short of the ideal by a long way. Reducing the housing to 316 units maintains a density well in excess of the recommended 30 per hectare and the removal of the care home to accommodate more industrial units will not increase employment prospects overall. We would like to see fewer houses and the care home and leisure facilities restored.

Wheatley Homes went to appeal on Wednesday 20th August, (prior to publication), to try and force through their application for a further 180 houses. I remember a meeting about 2 years ago in which we were told it had not been Wheatley's intention to make an application but their hand was forced by other developers, however they understood the local need and would plan sensitively! Words are cheap, not so actions I guess. We will continue to oppose their plans and you can too by logging on to EHDC planning site and using planning reference #3/13/1925/OP. The plans can also be viewed at Manor House.

All quiet on the Aspenden Road bridge development but the appeal window remains open until 12th September.

It's good to be able to report a minor victory at Aspenden Road junction. Councillor Toby Archer (of Cheese Plate fame) and The Mercury provided the final push necessary to bring Herts Highways and Trimac together. We and other interested parties have been trying for months to enforce the original planning condition to paint yellow lines at the junction and now it looks like it might actually happen in September.

As to the Journal, it would appear the majority view is that we like it as it is. That being the case I see no reason for major change.

On the last day of our holiday we experienced some of the worst rain I've ever sailed through which prompted my 9 year old grandson to ask "What do you call dangerous precipitation? A rain of terror." Boom, boom.

Paul Spears, BCS Co-Chair

If you have any queries about Buntingford Civic Society or issues you would like to raise, you can now email the Chairman direct at chairman@buntingfordcivic.org.uk.

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