Townscape Group

Living Magazines Berkhamsted Citizens Association

Our thanks to Berkhamsted Citizens Association for this news item.

It seems a long time since we gave the Environment Award for 2019 in March. Once more there was no plaque awarded, but a certificate of Commendation went to each of:

  • 5A Castle Hill: remodelling and environmental upgrade – awarded to John Minshull, (architect), Phil Bailey (environmental consultant) and to Jo and Jon Rollit, owners and BCA members
  • Brownlow House, Ravens Lane/Chapel Street: change of use and refurbishment – awarded to Paul Meistry (Builder) and Chris Fairthorne (Joiner)

Our thanks go to our Townscape Group member Simon Heywood, who wrote and gave such a comprehensive and visually exciting presentation at the AGM. The winners seemed delighted. Our congratulations to them all!

Other topics covered by Townscape in the previous two months, in no particular order:

  • Replacement of public trees and renewal of public planting
  • Multi-storey car park – now due to open in March 2020
  • Reviewing and commenting on many applications in the conservation area, especially those concerning houses covered by Article 4 Directions, or locally listed, or retrospective, or all three
  • Alerting the DBC conservation officer to listed buildings we feel are ‘At Risk’, especially The Lamb and buildings in Church Lane. Watch out for cobbles’ repair!
  • Keeping track of Enforcement breaches, especially unwelcome internal illumination of advertisements
  • Lobbying for protection of the AONB and Green Belt near the castle from light pollution
  • Making representations on Bearroc 1 & 2, with some success but not as much as we would have liked. Better luck on opposing other unwelcome, infill developments
  • Looking to have the George Street play area designated a Community Asset
  • Keeping track of the issue of the new draft Local Plan, which now looks to be released for consultation in May 2020
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – lobbying on the Town Council working party for use of funds for our preferred projects to improve the town’s facilities
  • Canal & Riverside Project (CARP) – pressing for a meeting despite the evasion of the C&RT, British Waterways’ successor
  • Lobbying in support of the designation of the path from Upper Ashlyns Road to Ashlyns School as a public footpath. We submitted evidence, and will support the Appeal following its rejection by HCC
  • Relaunching the sale of the BCA Footpath Map for the walking season – now available in local outlets and National Trust shops, and selling well

The Townscape Group covers these and other topics, and makes representations, both written and in person, to the Town, Borough and County Councils, as appropriate. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any topics that have been raised by this article; or any other matters relating to the town’s historic fabric, planning or infrastructure.