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Once again bad news for Buntingford following the Planning Inspector's decision to grant permission for 56 dwellings at Aspenden Bridge. Of all the applications so far received, this was probably the one that was felt the most inappropriate and therefore the one that we could possibly win. Road links to the site were our biggest bone of contention and it is extremely worrying that the Inspector made this comment:

"A consequence of this is that heavy goods vehicles may meet on the narrow section and in order to pass one will have to mount the footway. Although it has been suggested that this results in safety issues for pedestrians, the vehicles will be moving so slowly that it is most unlikely that a pedestrian would be unaware of the situation."

I can hardly believe this comment but it does demonstrate what we are are up against.

On a better note a care home at the old Sainsbury site is now back on the agenda. This was in the original plans, but at the behest of EHDC it was replaced with employment land. A lack of interest in the employment land means that the care home is now back on the table. As well as providing employment for up to 50 local people it will give the elderly some comfort in knowing that this facility will be available for their later years. It does also demonstrate that EHDC, our planning authority, really do not have a grip on Buntingford or its requirements.

Bovic Homes' application for 400 dwellings still awaits review by EHDC Development Management Committee and there is no date yet set for its hearing. The Civic Society will, of course, lobby for its refusal but as mentioned earlier the Aspenden Bridge decision shows what we will be up against.

Some National Trust passes are still available free of charge to Civic Society members. These allow one free entrance to selected National Trust properties and can be obtained by contacting the Society's Secretary, Carol Noble by email.

Finally, a proposal for 43 dwellings on land to the North of Park Farm Industrial Estate with access from Ermine Street has been lodged by Weston Homes plc.

Will it never end?

Graham Bonner, Chairman, Buntingford Civic Society

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

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