Hertford Civic Society is a charity which has since 1969 acted as a focus for residents interested in shaping the future of the town.




* To stimulate the interest of residents in the quality of the environment in Hertford and the surrounding area and to maintain its character as a small market town.

* To encourage central and local government, companies and private individuals to adopt high standards of architectural design, town planning and management of the environment.

*To encourage appropriate development, improvement and conservation so that we and future generations can benefit from the good which we have inherited and safeguard Hertford’s life as a community in which we can live and work.




To find out more about us, our achievements, how we pursue our aims, and what our current activities are, click on ABOUT US.




In the past few months the project to erect blue plaques on buildings of historic importance around the town has been completed, and the Hertford Heritage Trail has now been launched in partnership with the Town Council.  Free leaflets to guide you round the trail are available from the Tourist Office in The Wash opposite the theatre, and more information about the plaques project is available here



AUTUMN 2018 NEWSLETTER published
click here for the latest newsletter, with more news on planning matters


New Chairman  Malcolm Ramsay


At the AGM on 26th April Malcolm Ramsay was elected chairman in the place of Terry Betts.  Terry served 6 years in this position, and more years than he can remember before this as Treasurer.  We are all very grateful to the hard work that Terry has put in over all of these years.



14 November, Wednesday, 7:45 for 8 pm


Recording Hertford’s oral history

Speaker: Peter Ruffles, Oral History Group


The Oral History Group (which the Civic Society helped to bring into being) will delight us with tales of bygone Hertford as recorded by the Group and its volunteers. Peter needs little introduction to anyone living in Hertford.


At the Hall of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph, St John’s Street, Hertford, SG14 1RX, off Railway Street, near Hertford East station.  





Consultation on the County's draft Transport Plan closed in January 2018, and the approved Plan has now been published.  It can be found hereAlthough in general the Plan takes a stance against further road building, it includes a proposal for a new by-pass for Hertford.  A subcommittee of the Society made these comments on the draft, including considering a tramway as well as a guided busway for a new East-West link, alternatives to building a new by-pass, and shortening the time for which the Hertford-Stevenage rail service was withdrawn.




We recently met HCC and discussed these short & longer term alternatives to a by-pass. 




Consultation on this HCC draft has now closed.  The plan will set the scene in which future applications for specific quarries will be assessed.  Click here and then double click on "Draft Minerals Local Plan" to view the Plan.


The current position is that the consultation responses have been reported to Members and the Plan is to be submitted to the Secretary of State shortly.  


We were pleased to see that no areas around the town are now designated as suitable for further quarrying. For our comments see here and, more technically, here.  In response to our comment that the Plan does not make clear how quarrying applications outside the areas preferred in the Plan will be assessed, the officers have agreed that an additional Policy is needed;  however they have not so far said how they think the Policy should be expressed.



ONGOING - Bengeo Quarry


The Inspector is still working on the appeal against HCC's refusal of permission for the first application.  A second revised application was also refused by HCC.  The old Minerals Plan forms part of the setting for these.





Readers were invited to guess where the photo on the left was taken.  Also when the last bus stopped there, and when the next bus is due.


The winner is Steve Beeston, who after some prompting, said it was next to Hertford East station - see the its roof in the background? No service buses currently use it. However he provided the webmaster with a photo of a vintage bus, driven by enthusiasts, at the stop.





This is how it looks now.


Work has now started to demolish the site of the hotel - see photo above without the clock. 


The council's DCC met on October 11th 2017, and sadly approved the plans submitted.  The Society expressed its views on this development in detail here and here.  A few of our views were adopted, e.g. the bus station is to stay in its present location and not moved to Fore Street.  The permission was formally issued on 5 January, following conclusion of the planning agreement. 



DISTRICT PLAN now adopted 



950 new homes were planned for Hertford in the District Plan which was subject to review by a Planning Inspector.  750 of them would be on Green Belt sites, including 150 to the north of Bengeo and 250 west of Thieves Lane.  The Society made objections because the Plan completely failed to give due weight to national policy for the protection of the Green Belt, and did not include any long term vision in considering options such as completely new settlements for the location of new housing.  We also made the case that the total amount of housing to be built in the District is so large that national and local air quality standards cannot be met.


The Inspector's review started on October 3rd 2017, at Wallfields Hertford, considering District wide strategic issues.  The hearings were open to the public and have now ended.  Hertford specific issues were addressed on November 7th, with Air Quality on November 9th.  Peter Norman presented the Society's views, which are given at greater length here and here.  


The Council then made these modifications to the District Plan as examined. They include mention of a new Hertford by-pass and the potential increase in housing allocations.  


The Council adopted the modified District Plan on October 23rd 2018.