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  1. By Bill Gardner, and Nicola Harley 6:30PM BST 13 Aug 2014 A retired company director who was “devoted†to his terminally-ill wife shot her dead and killed himself after battling to stop a gypsy camp being built next to their picturesque home. John Knott, 71, is believed to have used his own shotgun to kill Anne Knott, 70, who had Alzheimers, when the stress of caring for his wife while fighting the travellers' plans became "just too much for him". After family members raised the alarm at 10:20am on Monday, police entered the house to find the bodies of the couple lying alongside the weapon, each with a single gunshot wound. Mr Knott had spent recent months struggling to stop plans to allow the travellers to move permanently onto a field next to the £500,000 cottage near Bosbury, Herefordshire, that he shared with his wife. The camp was initially granted permission for two families, but a fresh application was made two months ago to allow a further eight more families to move onto the field. The couple’s next door neighbour, who helped Mr Knott draft objections to the plans, said the stress of caring for his sick wife while struggling against the plans may have caused him to "snap". She said: “It was terrible. John spent every single day trying to think of ways to stop this happening, and it caused him a lot of stress. It was all he thought about. “It was a huge source of trouble for him, and Anne hated the idea too, although she was very ill. “He found it very difficult to accept, and he couldn’t get his head around why the council would even consider allowing this to happen. “It got worse and worse, and he was getting more and more agitated. With all that was going on at home with Anne, it all got too much for him.†Neighbours yesterday expressed their shock at the deaths and described the couple, who organised and took part in village fundraising events, as "pillars of the community." One woman, who said she had been in contact with the couple every day in the weeks before their deaths, said: “They were absolutely lovely. They were sweet, devoted to each other, and very much in love. It’s an absolute tragedy. “He was lovely, a very clever guy. He was still full of beans and had so much to give. I knew he was very stressed about the travellers, but I could never have believed that this would happen.†Mr Knott and his wife paid nearly £500,000 for their Bosbury home in 2006, after he retired from his role as managing director of Birmingham-based Ashford Construction Plc. However, another of the couple's neighbours said they had recently been informed that £100,000 would be wiped off the value of the cottage if the gypsies were allowed to move in next door. The neighbour said: “He and Anne loved that house, and they had worked their whole lives for it, so he couldn't bear to see it ruined. “It was terrible for him. He spent every day battling this application, and he thought he was getting nowhere. “He was very upset about the whole thing. He never stopped talking about it. It all just built up and up.†The original plans were to allow the travellers to camp in the front part of a field next to the couple’s cottage, nearer a main road. But Mr Knott told neighbours that at a recent planning meeting, one councillor had suggested the camp be moved away from the road and nearer the cottage, so people did not have to see the caravans as they were driving into the village. Six weeks before the couple's deaths, Mr Knott wrote a letter to the planning inspector at Herefordshire Council begging them not to allow the larger camp to go ahead. He wrote: "There are at least eight settled (gypsy) families within a one mile radius of the proposed site. The area cannot sustain any more." West Mercia Police are treating the deaths as a possible murder-suicide and are not looking for anyone else involved in the incident. A spokeswoman said: "Police attended an address at Bosbury, Herefordshire at 10.20am on Monday following the concerns of the occupants family. "Police unfortunately found both elderly occupants, a man and a woman, at the property deceased. There is an ongoing investigation as to the cause of their deaths." The Telegraph
  2. Space for Cycling recognises that we need networks. It is calling for high standards of cycle infrastructure design and the invesment needed to ensure it. A Dutch-style approach to cycling. Anyone cycling anywhere. Imagine. It asks people who want to see this to lobby their local councillors. CTC and Cyclenation have created a web-based campaign that enables people to do this and to see the results on a national map. If you do this now you will be contacting your Herefordshire councillors in the run up to a vote on the Local Transport Plan (26th September). A perfect opportunity to concentrate their attention on cycling and the need to continue and increase investment. To participate in the campaign, and find out more, please check our website: CycleHereford
  3. Neighbourhood plans are all the vogue at the moment. Plenty of rural parishes jumping in and having a say about what happens in their patch. Even Belmont parish Council have had a meeting about this: Future Development Of Belmont Rural. Any news on what happened at the meeting Colin? I thought that this would be a good idea, but as Simon Browne points out in the topic "When is a Plan not a Plan", they appear to carry little weight in helping local communities protect their environment. So why do them and would the city be any better off if it had one? Would it prevent the fire station being moved if the locals wanted to ear mark or save the Bath Street site for something else on their Neighbourhood Plan? Maybe our city councillors could explain where thay stand on this issue.
  4. If Bath Street is demolished wouldn't it better for accommodation ie Flats/apartments being central to the city. Not clear how this is going to work. Both sites look the same size. Who owns the existing Fire Station? What is going to happen to the existing site if the Fire Service move. From the annual Report: "Originally formed as an independent corporate body on 1 April 1998, as a result of Local Government Reorganisation, Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority (the FRA) is now constituted under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. The FRA sets its own budget requirement, receives a share of Non-Domestic Rates and Revenue Support Grant, and issues its own Council Tax Precept. The approved budget for 2012/13 was £33.821m to which additional agreed expenditure of £0.475 funded from earmarked reserves has been added, bringing the total budget to £34.296m. These resources are those available for the FRA to spend on provision of services under the statutory accounting regime, within which the FRA is required to manage resources". Does this mean it is not answerable to the Council?
  5. Urban village group have had their plans for a 10 one bedroom apartments next to the Freedom Church in Coningsby Street Hereford.
  6. If you, like me, are sick of the way the ruling council cabinet is taking decisions, please sign my petition:
  7. While out today I came across this planning notice on Waterfield Road proposing the construction of a car park. When I attended the public meeting at Eastholme before Christmas I got the impression that most of the gathering were against the car park being situated here, especially the anglers, as it was too far from the Belmont Ponds. The anglers would have liked a car park off Haywood Lane closer to the ponds. Has this application being advertised in the local press as you can easily miss the notice on the lamp post. The letters in the box on the planning application state the application is a planning application and affects a public right of way, agreed. However at the bottom of the application are further letters and D catches my eye as this would state that the proposed development does not accord with the provisions of the Development Plan. Is the development plan the same as the Unitary Development Plan? In which case because this land is protected public open space I would have assumed that any development would not be allowed. Has anyone else been consulted about this proposal? Any comments to the council by 3rd February 2012.
  8. Extraordinary Meeting of Belmont Parish Council Will take place on Friday 2nd November 2012 at Belmot Community Centre Eastholme Avenue, Belmont, Hereford. Commencing at 7.30pm For the sole purpose of discussing and making comments on plnning application reference S122747/0, being outline planning consent for a development of 85 homes on land at Home Farm Hereford.
  9. Is this all the kit for the new car wash? (Removal of 9 parking spaces and change the area into a hand car wash and also erect a canopy for valeting with associated signage) Planning application numbers S121029/F and S121030/A
  10. Tesco have applied for planning permission for change of use and to remove 9 parking spaces and change the area into a hand car wash and also erect a canopy for valeting with associated signage. Planning application numbers S121029/F and S121030/A
  11. THE owners of Hereford's Belmont Golf Club will be launching a drive for a new, separate clubhouse. Golf Inns Limited's managing director, David Milton, is re-focusing on running and developing the existing golf and hotel business. Milton believes a new clubhouse, for which they will be applying for planning permission, would help secure golf in Belmont” independent of Belmont House. A new clubhouse will free up the house for development without the complication of the existing clubhouse operation, said Milton. He said the sale of Belmont, agreed back in December 2009, had not happened and it had led to uncertainty for the club and their members. Milton said: Further uncertainty is not in anyone's interest, so Golf Inns Ltd will instead now concentrate and re-focus on running and developing the existing golf and hotel business at Belmont. “In the short term, we will be moving forward with a number of improvements and investments which have been on hold for some time, including exciting new initiatives for golf at Belmont and phased improvements to both the course and the Lodge Hotel. He added: "With the uncertainty behind us, a clear strategy identified” including a commitment to golf members remaining at the heart of the business” and with a whole host of new initiatives and a programme of further investment already underway, this promises to be a very exciting time for all involved at Belmont. General manager Mark Suddes will be staying at the club to oversee the programme.
  12. Ref: DMS/102577/F Site: Tesco Stores Limited, Abbotsmead Road, Belmont Development: Proposed expansion of existing bulk storage area Comments: Plans have been circulated. Members had several comments and recommended refusal on the grounds that the development would have an adverse impact on neighbouring properties. Full details of the objections raised are on the letter, a copy of which has been provided to Members.
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