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, and more information about the plaques project is available here


Unfortunately the plaque installed on Lombard House has been forcibly removed, but we plan to replace it soon.


WINTER 2017 / 2018 NEWSLETTER now published
click here for the latest newsletter, with more news on planning matters



Next meeting: 21st March, Wednesday


Walking the Lea Valley path

Speaker: Elizabeth Hamilton, CPRE Herts


Last year we enjoyed a talk given by Kevin Fitzgerald CPRE Herts, who reminded us of the importance of getting out into our ever-receding countryside. This year Elizabeth Hamilton takes us on a virtual walk with lots of beautiful slides to show us that lovely parts of the Hertfordshire countryside still endure, some quite close to towns. You might even be inspired to try some of this local trail yourself.


For other meetings planned for 2018 see here




Consultation on this draft HCC plan closed on 23rd January 2018.  It can be found here.


This draft proposes a new by-pass for Hertford.  A subcommittee of the Society  reviewed the draft and made these comments, including considering more options 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link, alternatives to building a new by-pass, and shortening the time for which the Hertford-Stevenage rail service was withdrawn.




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.


 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.



ONGOING - Bengeo Quarry appeals


At present there are 2 planning activities unresolved and relating to the proposed Bengeo Quarry: one is to appeal the HCC refusal of the initial application, and the other is a revised application.  Public consultation on both has now closed.  The old Minerals Plan forms part of the setting for these.




Members are invited to submit their own photos which show an important view of Hertford or which illustrate an issue the town is facing.  The webmaster will choose which photos to use on the webiste, probably after some editing e.g. to reduce their size, and will show them alongside the member's name. Email photos to





The council's DCC met on October 11th, and sadly approved the plans submitted.  The Society expressed its views on this development in detail here and here.


Although the rebuilding of Bircherley Green is clearly the biggest and most important development scheme in Hertford for many years, there has been little or no information from the developers about progress or timing, whilst more shops are boarded up.


The permission was formally issued on 5 January, following conclusion of the planning agreement. That agreement provides, among other things, for the developers to report to the Council by 5 April on the progress of discussions with the NHS about the possibility of part of the new development being designed and used by the NHS for local GP practices. There will also be submissions from the developers about various details which the Council has to agree before work can start, such as a construction traffic management plan, a drainage strategy, and details of external lighting, noise insulation, and vents and extractors. For other recent large developments such submissions have been posted on the Council’s website, where it is possible to comment. In this case no such submissions have been posted yet, although there is an application for approval of proposed signage for the hotel.

In the meantime we are seeking information about what is to happen to the Wallace memorials in the existing paving and on the wall of the former Waitrose.


DISTRICT PLAN hearings have now ended 



950 new homes are planned for Hertford in the District Plan which is currently 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 has made objections because the Plan completely fails to give due weight to national policy for the protection of the Green Belt, and does not include any long term vision in considering options such as completely new settlements for the location of new housing.  We are also making 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 Inspector's decision on the Plan will be made known some time in the future.


NEWS - DISTRICT PLAN modifications


"The Council have now published the modifications they propose to make to the District Plan. The six-week consultation period ends on 29th March 2018. Our comments are being formulated, and may include the mention of a new Hertford by-pass and the flexibility of i.e. potential increase in housing allocations.  Make your comments to the Society here.