February 2021

Preston Parish Council: Planning Applications

Preston Parish Council would like to make residents aware of the planning application process by highlighting some relevant points:

  • Planning applications are a key aspect of the role of the Parish Council.
  • The Parish Council informs residents of planning applications via the Parish Council database and PNS.
  • Brief details of planning applications are posted on the Parish Council section of the village website. Full details are on the Planning section of the NHDC website, including how to comment.
  • Anyone can respond to any planning application.
  • NHDC contact those living in adjoining properties to the application site, and others if NHDC deem it appropriate to the particular application.
  • Comments can only be about the specific application and must be relevant to planning law.
  • Residents are welcome to make their views known to the Parish Council which will incorporate them into its response, if appropriate.
  • Those submitting planning applications are welcome to discuss them with the Parish Council if they wish.
  • The NHDC consultation period is three weeks. The Parish Council has to submit any comments it wants to raise within this time limit.
  • The Planning Officer makes the decision on most applications.
  • Some large applications go to the Planning Control Committee where NHDC Councillors make the decision.
  • Only the applicant has the right of appeal against the decision.
  • Decisions are posted on the Parish Council section of the village website and in further detail on the NHDC website.

To register for the Parish Council database,email: Lisa Lathane: prestonclerk@gmail.com
To register for PNS, email: pns@prestontrust.org.uk
Preston website: www.prestonvillageherts.com

Readings And Services For January 2021

Please note that St Martin’s church will remain closed throughout February.
All services will be held at All Saints, St Paul’s Walden. Sunday services at 10 am. 

The services are recorded so they can be seen after 5pm online. 


Sunday 7th February –


10am Sunday Worship

Colossians 1: 15 – 20

John 1: 1 – 14

Sunday 14th February 10am Sunday Worship

2 Corinthians 4: 3 – 6

Mark 9: 2 – 9

Wednesday 17th February

Ash Wednesday

8pm Holy Communion (without imposition of ashes)

Isaiah 58: 1 – 12

Matthew 6: 1 – 6, 16 – 21

Sunday 21st February


10am Holy Communion

1 Peter 3: 18 – end

Mark 1: 9 – 15

Sunday 28th February 10am Sunday Worship

Romans 4: 13 – end

Mark 8: 31 – end

Sunday 7th March 10am Holy Communion

1 Corinthians 1: 18 – 25

John 2: 13 – 22

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

Letter From Our Vicar

Exactly a year ago in this letter, I reflected that in my first three months as vicar here I had experienced worship in our two lovely parish churches, at Lime Tree House and Stagenhoe on a regular basis, and in taking holy communion to individuals at home. I was making the point that God can be experienced wherever people are.

The past 12 months have confirmed this observation – that God is where we are. And although we may be self-isolating at the moment or otherwise unable to get to church, we can remind ourselves of this essential fact: that God is near at hand, all around us.

It is worth going on to say that we can experience God in many ways: in a reading of the Bible, in our prayers, in our search for God in the goodness of others. Every day we are in the hands of God, and that may prompt us to to ask whether we shall live each day for ourselves or for God.

Might I suggest a prayer?

‘Lord, I would like to know you more and more every day. To trust in your presence; to link myself to your son, Jesus Christ; and to be guided by your spirit in everything that I do’

With every blessing,


St Martin’s Church 120 Club Draw 2020/2021

The winners in the January draw in the 2020/21 120 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 22 Mr & Mrs M Brooks
No.114 Mrs M C Reeves

Hitchin Foodbank

This message received from the foodbank:

“Many thanks for all your support especially at this difficult time.  There is no special list of shortages this month, but we can always do with tinned meat (no hot dogs), tinned tuna, tinned vegetables (no pulses) and tinned rice pudding.”

Please ensure items are undamaged and in date. Donations can be deposited in the blue box in the garage at Lychgate House, Church Lane, or at Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

Thanks To County Councillor David Barnard

Preston Parish Council would like to thank County Councillor David Barnard for the help and support he has given recently by organising good quality second-hand gates for the Permissive Path in Wain Wood, a £200 grant towards pond maintenance and the provision of 3 laptops for Preston Primary School for use by pupils without their own devices for home learning.

Neighbourhood Watch

The number to contact at North Herts Police for all non-emergencies (including witnessing of fly-tipping) is 101 or 01707 354000.

For removal of fly tipping which has already occurred, call NHDC 01462 474000 or online at www.north-herts.gov.uk, then follow the links to Transport and Streets, Street Cleaning and Fly Tipping where there is a form to complete to report the details. If you use the What3Words app, please include the three words for the location of the fly tipping.

PC Johnie Streeter and PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues. Their contact details are as follows:

PC Johnie Streeter: 07525 905431 or 01438 757604 Johnie.streeter@herts.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Heather Burrows: 07740 745168 or 01438 757604 or heather.burrows@herts.pnn.police.uk

In the event of an emergency or if you witness a crime taking place please call 999.

Reporting suspicious activity

Please report any suspicious activity or vehicles you may witness in the locality.

Call the police on the non-emergency number 101 or report it online by using the website www.herts.police.uk/report and follow the links.

COVID 19: Preston Help Line

Preston Parish Council and The Preston Trust would like to remind Preston residents that the helpline continues to be available during the on-going corona virus situation. Help is available for shopping in Hitchin, Whitwell and Kings Walden, collecting prescriptions, dog walking and phone chats.

Anyone who requires help should 01462 434403 and the call will automatically go to whoever is on duty or email: mtrinder@idnet.com or pns@theprestontrust.org.uk The phone line will be monitored daily from 8.00am to 8.00 pm.

Please note that the answer phone will pick up calls coming in after 8.00pm and the caller will be linked to a volunteer the following day.

Please stay safe and remember to follow the latest Government guidance.

North Herts CVS Community Transport Scheme

Preston Parish Council would like to make residents aware of this local Community Transport Scheme which is available for any elderly residents who may require help to attend medical appointments, particularly their Covid 19 vaccination appointment.

Drivers are volunteers who have had all the necessary training and checks including risk assessments to enable them to operate during the pandemic. Both driver and passenger will wear masks and the passenger will sit in the back of the car. Anti-septic wipes are used before and after each journey. Drivers will wait to take the person home after their appointment.

There is a minimum cost of £5 for the first 11 miles of any journey with each extra mile charged at 45p. There is also a £2 booking fee. Transport is available 7 days per week and should be booked a week in advance if possible:  01462 689402 between 9.00 and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. There is an answerphone so please leave a message if necessary and someone will get back to you.

Anyone who would like to volunteer as a driver should make enquiries on the above number.

February 6th – 14th: CPRE: The annual COUNT OF STARS in ORION!

The Council for the Protection of Rural England are repeating their annual campaign, asking us all to count the number of stars which we can see in the Orion constellation, and then to send in our results. From this data, a national map of ‘dark skies’ and levels of light pollution can then be drawn. See their website at www.cpre.org.uk for details on how to register and sign up for ‘Star Count 2021’. Anyone can take part – it is all free! Just have a go and become a ‘Citizen Scientist’! On several clear evenings, look out to the south and south-east, find the ‘rectangle’ of Orion with the 4 bright stars in its corners, count the number of stars within that rectangle, and send in your results.

Without street lights, this village and parish provide a narrow zone of slightly darker sky between the glow of lights from the urban areas of Luton, Hitchin and Stevenage. The Preston Trust is a member of the Hertfordshire branch of the CPRE.

Artificial bright lights illuminated throughout the night disrupt the natural diurnal cycle of changing light levels by day and by night. This upsets ‘the nocturnal ecosystems’ – the night-time activities of our wildlife, such as the feeding opportunities for moths, bats, badgers and foxes, the migration of insects and birds, and the breeding rituals of frogs and toads. Having the lights switched on also, obviously, uses energy and costs money!

National mapping of areas of low light pollution has led in recent years to those areas being given the status of, and internationally recognised as, ‘Dark Sky Reserves’. We now have several of these in GB: the South Downs, the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, the Kielder Forest Park, the Galloway Forest Park, Exmoor, the Brecon Beacons, the Elan Valley and Snowdonia, the Isle of Sark in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides, and the town of Moffat in the Annan valley. Evidence of sustained low levels of light pollution, with constant dark skies, contributes to the award of this new status. Check out CPRE’s 2020 map of light pollution levels across the country, mainly based on the contributions of 2,500 ‘stargazers’.

Be inspired by the magic of the stars which are visible from the darkness of our gardens!

The Spring 2021 Litter Pick

With our ongoing ‘national lockdown’ situation, it is unsafe for the Preston Trust to organise our usual Springtime Litter Pick along the lanes, bridleways and footpaths within this parish. As we all know this corona virus is highly contagious, and can last on different surfaces for many days. We will hold a Litter Pick, when it is deemed safe to do so.

We have had a considerable influx, in the last 10 months, of walkers, ramblers and cyclists visiting the parish. Most of them have left no trace of litter during their visit; they have greatly appreciated our clean and green countryside. Once litter is dropped, it seems to have a magnetic effect, and attracts more.

Just enjoy our litter free countryside, as you take your daily exercise!

Liz Hunter, Preston Trust committee member

A Message from LADACAN

As some may know, the good news is that Luton Airport has withdrawn the “Condition 10 noise footprint” planning application we all spent so much time, effort and money opposing in 2019/20 in its three revisions. Between us and other groups we generated more than 500 objections on the planning portal.

The BAD news is that the Airport has now submitted a different application to achieve the same and worse, not only to increase its noise footprint by even more, but to add more passengers and flights and road journeys. By withdrawing the previous application, it has “rubbed out” those 500+ objections, so we all need to start from scratch again – and the deadline is 17th February.

We’ve prepared a people-friendly summary of points that can easily be made in opposition comments, and guidance on how to create and submit an objection, which can be found at: https://ladacan.org/luton-airport-19-million-time-to-say-no/

Please circulate this email to friends, family and other local contacts, encouraging them all to oppose – our aim should be to achieve 1000 objections this time!

Full details of the planning application can be found at:


or by searching online for “Luton Planning Portal” and entering reference 21/00031/VARCON into the Search field.

We’re relying on everyone to chip in and find a few minutes to file a comment objecting to this iniquitous application.