Have your say on Estate Management Scheme changes

Residents living within the Estate Management Scheme (EMS) area are being asked for their views on a new design guide and application fee.

Estate Management Scheme

Have your say

 

It follows a consultation in late 2016 which looked to find a way forward for the scheme to help improve how it is administered and enforced.

 

The consultation considered a number of different options, with the largest number of people (38%) expressing a preference for retaining the existing scheme to protect the heritage and character of Welwyn Garden City. Nearly half of respondents said they would be willing to pay a fee to make an application.

 

The council is now seeking views on the level of the proposed charges, ranging from £50 for small projects - including windows, solar panels and fencing - up to a maximum of £500 for extensions. The money would be used to fund a dedicated team to manage EMS applications and investigate breaches.

 

The council has also created a new online design guide to help people better understand when they need to submit an application - and what changes they can make to their homes without seeking permission.

 

Stephen Boulton, Executive Member for Planning, said:

 

"The message we received when speaking to people is clear - they want to see Welwyn Garden City's unique character protected. Our proposals will make the EMS process much simpler, clearer and faster for residents and we look forward to hearing what local people think."