Council order forces residents to seek permission to amend homes

Benslow Lane in Hitchin is one of the areas affected

Benslow Lane in Hitchin is one of the areas affected - Credit: Archant

RESIDENTS will have to ask for permission to make certain changes to their homes, in a bid to protect the appearance and character of the area.

More than 200 homes will be affected by an order from North Herts District Council (NHDC), which withdraws certain development rights from houses in Hitchin and Knebworth conservation areas.

It means those living within the areas who want to make changes to the outside of their homes will have to apply for planning permission to the authority – although this will be free.

In Hitchin, addresses affected include those in Trevor Road, Walsworth Road, Benslow Lane, The Avenue, Chiltern Road, Highbury Road, Wymondley Road and The Chilterns, while houses in Stockens Green and Gipsy Lane will be affected in Knebworth.

The orders were confirmed last month, after a public consultation last year.

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Ian Fullstone, NHDC’s head of development and building control, said: “Hitchin is a historic town and Stockens Green is a particularly distinctive early 20th century development.

“Preserving their special character and appearance is important and the areas identified have been given extra protection so they can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.”

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Residents have received confirmation letters with full details of the different classes of permitted development which have been withdrawn.

It follows a public consultation which took place at the end of last year.

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