Housing Development at Martlets
The Parish Council have had a meeting with a property developer called Stonebond Properties Ltd who are hoping to build 18 houses on the field between Martlets and Levenage Lane. The company know that this is a significant development for a village the size of Widford and they want to be as open as possible with the residents and the Parish Council. Stonebond are proposing a good mix of housing from one bedroom flats to a 5 bedroom house.
They recognise that this development would be outside of the village boundary and as Widford is a Group 2 village planning permission should not be granted. However, as they pointed out, East Herts District Council have failed to secure the 5 year housing supply that is required by their own 2007 Regional Plan and, as a result, their current planning policies are not valid in all situations. The NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) is very clear that where Local Plans are out of date in terms of housing supply, there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
The Parish Council are trying to arrange ameeting with East Herts District Council to better understand the situation. The development is at an early stage and no formal application has yet been made. Stone bond have offered to attend a village or Parish Council meeting to answer any questions.
High Speed Broadband Meeting
Gigaclear Plc are installing a high speed broadband network in East Herts and they have just started work in Hunsdon. The company brings fibre right up the premises which allows very much higher download and upload speeds which are not affected by usage. The slowest package is 50Mbps and much faster speeds are also available. Gigaclear will be holding an open meeting in the Village Hall at 7.00pm on Friday 5th February to meet the people of Widford and explain their plans. Everyone is welcome and tea and coffee will be provided.
Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting
An Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting will be held at 6.15pm on 22nd February 2016 in the Village Hall to agree the budget and precept for 2016/17.
Annual Meeting of the Parish
The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held on 1st March 2016 immediately before the Parish Council meeting. Everyone will be most welcome to come and to have their say.
Widford to get a Defibrillator
An anonymous benefactor is offering to provide an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for the village. This is a wonderful idea which has been warmly welcomed by the Parish Council. The AED will be installed at a central location and will require little or no training to use. The Parish Council has offered to help with the costs of installation.
Update on Footpath 18 from Janine Wignall
Although this is not yet resolved some progress has been made and these notes tell us where we are at the moment.