Local News

Landowner provokes residents' ire

Monday 4 July 2022

Bengeo residents have expressed concern after a landowner started work on former railway land north of Port Vale.

East Herts Council started receiving reports on Monday (27th June) after machinery entered the site after contactors removed council bollards installed to prevent access. 

Officers visited the site and police also attended, along with local councillor Ben Crystal.

Questions have been raised by residents about the legality of the works taking place and the impact on neighbouring properties.

The land is designated as a Local Green Space in the Neighbourhood Plan and planning permission for development of the site is unlikely. 

East Herts District Council issued a statment on Friday (1st July) in response to concerns.

Our planning enforcement team acted swiftly, visiting the site three times during the week to ascertain the facts and liaise with the owners and other interested parties.

There are several known risks on the site, chiefly cracking walls affected by pressure from soil banks and tree roots. Some of the boundary walls are in poor condition and there is also evidence of cracking in the bridge abutments. The owner is aware that within a conservation area, trees are protected.

Bollards at the front of the site were removed for machine access. The police and Hertfordshire Highways visited earlier in the week and were satisfied that the bollards would be reinstated once works complete.

All work has stopped, machinery has been removed and the bollards reinstated. We’ve recommended the owner undertakes a full site survey and reiterated the legal requirement to seek planning permission should the works require it.

To report further concerns to us, please use our online form. This will go straight to the team for action

:: East Herts District Council

Works taking place include the removal of soil behind the northen abutment of the former Port Vale bridge, as well as the construction of a ramp leading to Russel Street to the east.

Contractors' vehicles left the site on Friday although remain parked in Port Vale on Sunday (3rd July).

Bollards removed to access the site have since been reinstalled
Soil has been removed from behind the bridge abutment

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