February 2022

Preston Parish Council

Land West of Castlefield

North Herts District Council Planning Control Committee met on 27 January and voted unanimously to grant planning consent for 21 houses to be built on the land west of Castlefield.

Planning Application: Back Lane, Preston: Amended Plans

There is a new consultation on amended plans for Land adjacent to Dungarvan, Back Lane. Representations should be on the new documents rather than the whole application. Documents added to the website are:

  • Covering letter and statement
  • Drainage strategy: LLFA response
  • Drainage Strategy; Technical Note
  • Preston site access details

Anyone can respond to the planning application which is available on the North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) website:

https://www.north-herts.gov.uk/home/planning/view-or-comment-planning-application reference: 21/02632/FP.

The closing date for representations is Tuesday 8 February.

Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 3 March

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 3 March at 8pm in the village hall. This will follow a detailed risk assessment to ensure everyone’s safety. Any member of the public who would like to raise an issue to be discussed at this meeting should contact the Clerk.

Numbers who can attend this meeting are limited so any member of the public who particularly needs to speak to the Parish Council must register with the Clerk prior to the meeting and be prepared to follow the safety measures which are in place. Contact details are: Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council:

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

Sunday 6th February


9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 13th February 8am Holy Communion (BCP) at All Saints
9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
1 Corinthians 15: 12-20
Gospel: Luke 6: 17-26
11.00am Family Service at All Saints
Sunday 20th February 9.30am Family Service at St Martin’s
Revelation 4
Gospel: Luke 8: 22-25
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 27th February 9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
2 Corinthians 3: 12-4: 2
Gospel: Luke 9: 28-36
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Ash Wednesday 2nd March  8pm Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 6th March 9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
Romans 10: 8b-13
Gospel: Luke 4: 1-13
 11am Holy Communion at All Saints

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in a debate in St Mary’s Church Hitchin. The subject was disagreeing kindly or graciously. It was all about how we manage our disagreements with respect.

All of us, I think, like to be listened to even though others may disagree. Doing this well is important and the principle is a good one.

But disagreeing graciously or with kindness faces many challenges. There is the challenge of social media in which some people become abusive and even threaten violence to those they disagree with. There is the challenge of the‘cancel culture’ which makes certain views untenable.

As a professional mediator, I deal with many cases where emotions run high, disagreement is being expressed most ungraciously, and where litigation is extremely fraught. It may seem rather basic to say that the Christian principle of loving our neighbour must include respecting their point of view even where we disagree significantly with it. It is often helpful in these circumstances to identify the issue in dispute, and to depersonalise it, because if we do this we can “play the ball and not the person“.

For the rest, may I remind you that the period of Lent begins on 2 March, and that there will be a service on Ash Wednesday, 2 March at All Saints at 8.00pm.

With every blessing,

St Martin’s Church 120 Club 2021/2022

The winners in the January draw in the 2021/22 120 Club (£30 each):

No. 11 Mr T R Justham
No. 118 Mrs J M E Hunter

Church Flowers

We have a team who arrange church flowers throughout the year and would like new members to join us.  If you feel you would like to join or just need more information then please contact

Flowers really make a difference in the church and you would be very welcome and much appreciated.

Sit and Stitch

Weekly sessions will resume in St Martin’s Church on Wednesday 9 February 9 (9.15am-11.00am ) and continue until Wednesday April 6th. Refreshments are provided. Please bring your craft project along and join us.

if you require more information.

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.

PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues.
Contact details are as follows:

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.

The New North Herts Museum

The current exhibition is recommended!

At our new NHDC Museum in Brand Street, Hitchin, a new temporary exhibition, Hertfordshire’s Heritage, is now available to be seen and enjoyed until February 27th. Admission is free, and the Museum Cafe is excellent!

30 splendid paintings and 27 very different objects highlight the work of the Hertfordshire Heritage Fund. This small charity was set up by 3 individuals in 1988, to assist the HCC County Archive Office and the 24 accredited museums in the county, with financial grants, when they are trying to raise the funds to acquire an item for their own collections.

83 grants have been given since 1988, and these have assisted with the acquisition of hundreds of items and of thousands of documents. In the last year, the Fund has given grant aid towards the purchase of 3 paintings: 2 by William Ratcliffe for the North Herts Museum, and 1 by Barbara Parsons for Watford Museum. All 3 are on display in this exhibition.

The Fund welcomes new Supporters, and is most grateful for donations and legacies.

The Museum is open, 10.30-3.30 Tuesday – Saturday, 11.00-3.00 Sundays, and is closed all day every Monday. See www.northhertsmuseum.org

Liz Hunter, Trustee HHF.

Hitchin Foodbank Shortages

The following items are the most urgently needed: Juice Longlife; Jam/Marmalade; Dried Potatoes; Coffee; Dried Milk; Sponge Puddings.

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.

For more information please visit letchworth.foodbank.org.uk

The Preston Trust Raffle Results

The draw of the Preston Trust Raffle took place on Sunday 8th January at 4pm at St Martin’s Church. All the numbers were drawn by Malcom Lowle the church warden. There were other members of the Trust present to ensure that the draw was fair.

We were able to distribute the winning prizes after the draw as all the winners were local to the village. As the majority of the ticket owners were not there to select their prize, we decided to award the smaller prizes first, the final ticket won the artwork by Bren Unwin. Here are the results, in reverse order:

Prize Ticket number Winner’s name
Tube of chocolate and nut biscuits Green 153 Juniper
Large tin of ginger biscuits Green 72 Jean
Luxury chocolates Blue 743 Sharon
£20 Deli voucher Blue 262 Joyce
Family Hamper Blue 281 Gail
Meal at the Red Lion Green 227 Gina
Artwork by Bren Unwin Yellow 381 Mel

Thank you for all your amazing support. It was so kind of everyone to take part in the event, many of you gave much more than the ticket value! An even bigger thank you to those who offered raffle prizes, as without these the raffle could not have taken place and would certainly not have attracted such generosity. Also a huge thank you to Flick Wright and Malcolm for their invaluable help, Flick with organising the raffle and the prizes and Malcolm with conducting the draw.

A final request (at the risk of being cheeky), if you have any gifts/items that are rather nice, but not your cup of tea, please feel free to donate to the Trust, I can feel another raffle coming up soon! Please contact me:

or simply drop off at mine-23 Chequers Lane. Thank you in advance.

Jo Coombes – Treasurer – The Preston Trust

Land West of Castlefield

Preston Parish Council, Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and The Preston Trust would like to thank all their members for their input on drafting and finalising the speech for the Planning Control Meeting. The Preston Trust Committee acknowledges the contribution of Saffron Loasby, the Independent Planning Consultant, and the points she presented for inclusion in the presentation.

Planning consent was granted with two additional conditions added, at the request of the three Preston organisations. They are a package of measures to ensure efficient use of water and a feasibility study on solar panels