Local Plan – Upgrading Berkhamsted Civic Centre – Have your say, too!

It’s been a while … but we are back in action now. We’ve just submitted B-Hive’s response to Dacorum’s draft Local Plan for 2020 to 2038, which includes plans for enhancing Berkhamsted Civic Centre as well as residential development to the rear.  The main building is outdated and the whole site is under-utilised, but has great potential to be a wonderful asset for our community.  Here’s the Local Plan and the also the link to the Berkhamsted plans and proposals containing the BK12 Civic Centre and land to rear of the High Street site. 

Civic central wheel logo

Here’s our submission to DBC’s consultation 
http://bhiveberko.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BK12-B-Hive-final-submission-to-DBC-1.pdf
and our one-pager about CIVIC CENTRAL 
http://bhiveberko.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Civic_Central-Annex.pdf

Please submit your own response to the consultation by the end of Sunday 28 February.  It’s best to develop your own submission, as DBC are likely to ignore responses that are simply a ‘copy and paste’ version of B-Hive’s, responding via:
• Email: responses@dacorum.gov.uk
• Post: Strategic Planning, Dacorum Borough Council, The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1DN
• Or directly on-line:https://consult.dacorum.gov.uk/

If you have any comments, you can email us on BHiveBerko21@gmail.com

Local Plan – lots more houses?

The consultation for the  Dacorum Single Local Plan till 2036 is now open and will close on 13 December. You can read more  (and there is a lot to read!) on the DBC website. Better still you can see the plans at the public exhibition THIS FRIDAY 17 November from 2pm to 9pm at  Berkhamsted Civic Centre.
 
Options for consideration range from 0 to 2250 new homes in Berkhamsted (or from  2,950 to 14,390 across the whole borough).
 
What can you do?
  • View the plans at the Civic Centre this Friday from 2pm to 9pm.
  • Comment on the plans and send your feedback to Dacorum Borough Council by email or directly on the planning portal.  Sections 8. 9 and 10 focus on environment, infrastructure and the options for growth.
  • Share your views with us by responding to this email, as we are considering a B-Hive response.
  • Tell your family, friends and neighbours about the Local Plan and encourage them to send their feedback too.
  • Come along to the Berkhamsted Citizens Association meeting tonight at the Civic Centre:

    Berkhamsted Visioning Evening

Results of the car park survey

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey on the Lower King’s Road car park proposal. We had 232 responses – more on that below!

Although our survey has closed, there is still time for you to respond to the DBC online consultation quoting application number 4/00122/16/MFA. The consultation is open until Monday 29 February.

Entrance to Waitrose with MSCP in place

See the plans and read more on the DBC website.

We are now composing the B-Hive response to DBC based on your views – and will share it on the B-Hive website as soon as it’s ready .

Here are a few of the findings from the survey in the meantime:

  • Almost three times as many people (64% compared to 22%) think the proposed car park will not resolve parking and congestion issues in Berkhamsted town centre than think that it will.
  • Double the number (56%) believe the car park is not essential than those who think it necessary for the town (28%).
  • Just under three-quarters of respondents think that DBC has not done enough to involve local people in the development of the plans – and that DBC should delay the planning application in order to gather more evidence about whether this is the right solution.

As part of the survey, we received 400 individual comments and suggested solutions covering a wide range of issues. They showed a lot of careful thought and demonstrated just how much people care about the car park proposal.

We presented the survey findings to the Berkhamsted Town Council (BTC) planning committee on Monday evening. Their final decision was a bit unclear but our understanding is that they decided to approve the car park in principle on the condition that DBC put right the inconsistencies in the application and discuss it further with BTC. The final decision on whether the car park goes ahead will be made by the DBC Development Control Committee.

Whatever your views, please be sure to use this last chance to tell Dacorum what you think.

What do you think about the proposed multi-storey car park?

Dacorum Borough Council (DBC) has submitted the planning application for a multi-storey car park on the site of the current Lower Kings Road car park, next to Waitrose. The proposed car park would cost over £3 million and have 327 chargeable parking spaces on 8 levels in a 4-storey building, compared with 122 spaces in the existing car park. The public consultation started on 28 January and the planning notice is scheduled to be displayed on the site this week.

B-Hive exists to promote the best possible use of public space and assets in Berkhamsted, so we want to hear what local people think about the plans.

The DBC planners have delegated powers to make the decision about this application, so the time to have your say is NOW.

We are asking you to do 3 things:

1.            Complete our survey  by Thursday 18 February. It’s quick and easy to fill in! We will use your views to inform the B-Hive response to the Council. 

2.            Respond to the DBC online consultation quoting application number 4/00122/16/MFA.

3.            Pass on the survey https://www.surveymonkey.

See the plans and read more on the DBC website at http://site.dacorum.gov.uk/planonline/AcolNetCGI.gov?ACTION=UNWRAP&RIPNAME=Root.PgeConsultees&TheSystemkey=217635

Library Consultation – DONE

Thanks to the 325+ people who have given their opinions as to what they would like to see in the new library when it arrives in Berkhamsted, probably next year.

We’ve collated all of the responses, and written a report, which has gone over to the Hertfordshire Library Service.

Overall, you want more books, flexible space, sustainably and locally sourced contents, and availability outside the core hours.

Herfordshire Library Services have thanked us for running the events on the 9th and 18th:

“The Head of Service, Andrew Bignell, was very pleased with how well the session went at the Civic Centre on Saturday. We were both struck by how well you and your B-Hive colleagues did in organising the event and in getting so many people to engage with the process.” Russel Barrow, Area Librarian, West Herts.

Online survey about the All New Berkhamsted Library

Hello everyone

We’re gearing up for a load of enthusiastic people to come to the two consultation days on what we want to see in the Berkhamsted Library once it has moved to the High Street.

In case you missed the news, it will be moving during 2016, and B-Hive are helping Hertfordshire County Libraries run a couple of consultation days so we can all get involved in working out how to get the most out of the new library.Shelves

Berkhamsted Library, Thursday 9 July 10.30 to 3.30
Civic Centre, Saturday 18 July, 10.00 to 1.30 (with refreshments, cakes and children’s activities)

But, we know not everyone will be able to make either event. So, there is a quick and simple online survey to capture your thoughts. There is the opportunity to write any thoughts you have on the survey, so you are not restricted. Better to have people along on the 9th or 18th, but if you’re not sure you will be able to make it, please fill in the survey.

A NEW LIBRARY FOR BERKHAMSTED – HAVE YOUR SAY

Berkhamsted library will be moving to a new building on the corner of the High Street and Kings Road during 2016 as part of the redevelopment of the former police station and current library site by Beechcroft (mainly for retirement apartments) which got the go-ahead from Dacorum Borough Council earlier this year.

Hertfordshire County Council Library Services have asked community group B-Hive to help find out more about what people from Berkhamsted would like to see in the new library. So we’re going to hold 2 community consultation events in July.

Come along to have your say and find out more at:

Berkhamsted Library, Thursday 9 July 10.30 to 3.30
Civic Centre, Saturday 18 July, 10.00 to 1.30 (with refreshments, cakes and children’s activities)

This is a really exciting opportunity to influence the design of the library and, in particular, ensure it includes some flexible community space, which so many people told us they wanted in the B-Hive consultation in 2013.

Tell your friends to come too.
LIBRARY POSTER-page-001
Want to get involved, help at one of the events or find out more?

Hot off the press – new Library

Good news hot off the press!

B-Hive will be working with Herts Library Services to organise two consultation events in early July to get community views about priorities for the new library when it moves on to the High Street next year. At our meeting with County Library Services on Friday, it was great to hear that they are keen to work with B-Hive and include local people’s ideas in the design brief.

Could the new library look like this?

Could the new library look like this?

The community will have opportunity to help shape the layout of the library for core services and suggest how to maximise its use, both in and out of hours. That could include meeting areas, creative space, pop-up events, advice sessions, exhibition space – many of the priorities the community asked for in the 2013 B-Hive report.

Please let us know if you can spare a few hours between now and July to help us organise the consultation. There will be lots of different ways to contribute. Watch this space for dates and more detail soon!

Update: DBC give go-ahead for library/police station site but reject Swing Gate Lane development

Hi all,
YES  to the police station/library site but a resounding NO for the linked affordable housing development at Swing Gate Lane.
Kate went along to the DBC development control committee last night where the application for the police station and library site was approved (8 to 4 in favour). However, the application  for the Swing Gate Lane development was refused by  9 to 1 (1 abstention and 1 councillor arrived late) on the grounds of the height, mass and bulk of the building and it not being in keeping with the surrounding buildings, particularly the adjacent smaller cottages. Specific clauses in the core strategy and local planning policies were cited as reasons for the rejection.
There was a reasonable amount of debate, with Berkhamsted Town Council and Councillor Julie Laws speaking against both developments and Chris Thompson (Managing Director of Beechcroft, the developer) speaking in favour.  A key implication of the refusal for planning permission for the Swing Gate site is that this was the means by which Beechcroft were going to fulfil the affordable housing requirements under S106. The police station and library site was approved subject to the condition that the developers provide affordable housing in Berkhamsted or make a financial contribution.

Finally, you can read the various submissions in relation to the 2 sites, which are documented in the meeting agenda in the following link https://www.dacorum.gov.uk/home/council-democracy/meetings-minutes-and-agendas/events/2015/03/19/development-control-committee/development-control-committee

We will keep you updated with further news. If you have any comments or want to get actively involved with B-Hive, please contact us at info@bhiveberko.org.uk.

All the best,
Kate, Wendy, John and Jane