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Constraints to Development

Flood risk

WSP Consultants produced a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for the District in 2008. This, in combination with Environment Agency Flood maps, provides a picture of flood risk for North Hertfordshire that will inform the land allocations process as part of the emerging Local Plan. The document has been agreed with the Environment Agency.

Flood risk is an issue that you need to consider if you are planning any new development. Applicants and their agents can obtain flood risk standing advice from the Environment Agency.

Contaminated Land

The potential for contamination from historic or current land uses to impact on proposed developments must be considered and appropriately addressed by developers. For this reason North Hertfordshire District Council's Environmental Protection Team is a statutory consultee of the Local Planning Authority.

The Council supports the re-use of brownfield sites and so the Environmental Protection Team has produced advice and guidance for developers on such sites and for developers of sites with an end use that is sensitive to contamination.

Noise Surveys for Planning Applications

If you are planning a development (large or small) and are seeking planning permission, further information is available on Planning Practice Guidance

Tree Preservation Orders

There are many trees within the district which are the subject of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). Guidance on how to apply for permission to undertake works to trees with a TPO is available.

Conservation Areas

Within North Hertfordshire there are some 40 Conservation Areas and the Council will only permit proposals which will maintain or enhance their character. Further information can be obtained from the Conservation Area pages.

Listed Buildings

There are over 2500 listed buildings within the District and it is the policy of the Council to only allow extensions, conversion or alterations which will preserve the character, historic fabric and setting of the buildings. Further information can be obtained from the Listed Buildings pages.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

To the west of the district is The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The landscape, designated in 1964, lies between Hitchin, Lilley and Hexton and follows the escarpment of the Chiltern Hills. The Council seeks to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Area.

Article 4 Direction

An Article 4 direction was confirmed in July 1998 in respect of part of the Hitchin Conservation Area and removes 'permitted development' rights in respect of extensions to properties in this area including porches and the erection of gates, walls and fences. This is to protect the character and appearance of the area. Please contact us to arrange an inspection of the documents.

Area of Special Control for Advertisements

In order to protect the visual amenity of the rural area of North Hertfordshire, this area has been deemed an area of special control within which the display of any advertisement is restricted. A copy of the associated plan and documentation is available at the Council Offices.