You say Hello .. and I say Goodbye

Regular readers of this blog will recall that Chase Homes appealed the planning decision from East Herts Council regarding delivery times in and out of Bircherley Green.

This was referred to the Planning Inspectorate who have found in favour of Chase Homes. Therefore the access areas for delivery vehicles and refuse lorries will remain the same, as below:

Delivery access routes

The original dispute is here.

In essence the Inspector has ruled that delivery times and schedules should now be subject to both parties coming to an agreement over timings. His decision is here.

The only thing I can add is that it makes no consideration for all the home deliveries to the new apartment blocks. Here on Folly Island there is a non-stop parade of deliveries from Hermes, Post Office, Yodel, UPS, APC and Uncle Tom Cobbley’s Home Delivery Service from dawn to dusk and beyond. I just hope they will not make the new Riverside walk part of their twenty four hour route.

Meanwhile refurbishment of the old Edinburgh Woollen Mill building continues apace.

I admit to a nightmarish avoidance of all things dentistry since an unfortunate experience with a school dentist at the age of five. I rarely mention it in company. My next door neighbour who is the same age as me had the same horrible experience when he was also five when he lived in Newcastle.

Why there is such a need for a dentist there is beyond me. Here is a photo progress report from Cllr Jan Goodeve’s Facebook page (thank you).

A work in progress

It would be better to see a normal type retail use being made of this. The 1995 East Herts District Council Local Plan has the A1 Prime Retail route mapped from Old Cross to Railway Street.

Since then the retail mix has become more mixed. Hairdressers and nail bars are now considered prime A1 and restaurants, bars and coffee shops seem to get approval to turn old retail premises into service sector units so it should not surprise me of all people to find a dentist where before there were woollen cardigans and cotton pyjamas.

Anyone following this blog will note that I have had to say goodbye to many traders over the years. So sad to see Sharon Howell MBE has retired from the Salisbury Arms Hotel. She was a good friend to me over the years. I enjoyed many a pie and a pint in the back bar and Christmas Day was always special. Cheers.

A few final words!! on parking. It cannot escaped many people’s notice that the area between Railway Street down to W H Smiths is being used as a car park. No one seems to care.

Courtesy of

Way back when I was Town Centre Manager I argued at the Hertford Transport Forum for lockable bollards to be fitted at Railway Street to make the area safe for pedestrians and keys for traders for deliveries.

It took a few years but eventually they were installed. Then someone (!) had them locked and cemented back into their slots. You can all see the result of that action today.

Now even able bodied people, certainly not wheelchair users or mothers with pushchairs can shop at all. I do not know who is responsible other than Town Council, District Council and Highways. Perhaps they could all have a chat.

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By John Barber

John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. He had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder, a hitherto unsolved murder case from 1907.