July 2021 – Special

Castlefield Development


This newsletter has been written jointly by, in alphabetical order, Preston Parish Council, Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and The Preston Trust. All three organisations are Consultees for the planning application and each will respond as appropriate to them.

Planning Application

The Planning Application for this development is now available on the North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) website: https://www.north-herts.gov.uk/home/planning/view-or-comment-planning-application, reference: 21/02076/FP.

The closing date for comments on the website is Saturday 7 August but residents

are encouraged to request an extension to allow time to consider the application and any evidence or professional opinions which may be published by Preston Parish Council, The Steering Group and The Preston Trust. This can be done by contacting the case officer: Tom.Rea@north-herts.gov.uk or 01462 474565.

Drop In Sessions

Preston Parish Council will be holding drop-in sessions in the village hall on:

Thursday 29 July between 6.00 pm and 8.00pm and on
Saturday 31 July between 10.00am and 12.00 noon.
These will be by socially distanced appointment and are an opportunity for residents to make their views known to the Parish Council.

The Parish Council will take the views of residents into account, if appropriate, when considering its response to the planning application.

The Preston Trust

The Preston Trust was formed in 1990 to augment the village and act in its interests, complementing The Preston Parish Council and acting where the PPC is unable to do so. The main objectives are to:

  • Enhance and preserve Preston for the benefit of all the villagers and visitors.
    Secure the preservation and protection of features of historic or public interest, including the village’s history.
    To promote high standards of planning and architecture.
    To support financially and promote any purpose for the benefit of villagers and in particular, its children and senior citizens.

Whilst recognising that there will be some development,The Preston Trust is exploring all possible avenues to mitigate the impact of this Castlefield Planning Application.

These may include:

  • Arranging independent analysis of ecological report
  • Commissioning an independent traffic and feasibility report
  • Engaging an independent planning consultant
  • Lobbying councillors / politicians
  • Socially distanced, doorstep visiting of parishioners to answer queries and to gather views to be incorporated, if appropriate, into the Trust response.

Residents may also want to consider contacting their MP.Bim Afolami at The House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Email: bim.afolami.mp@parliament.uk

The Neighbourhood Plan

The Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan is part of the local development plan and its policies must be taken into account by NHDC. It is important to note that the policies do not necessarily reflect all the preferences expressed by residents in the initial survey. As many as possible were included in the final Plan.

The Neighbourhood Plan policies are attached with the electronic version of this newsletter. They are also available on the neighbourhood plan website:


Anyone without computer access who would like a paper copy of these policies should contact

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group’s response to the application will focus on the Neighbourhood Plan and whether it has been fully addressed in the submission by Osprey Homes. Policies which may be relevant are: QL3, HD1, HD5, HD8, EH5 and TC1.


The decisions on the development of this site will be decided by NHDC Councillors at a Planning Control Meeting. Preston residents are advised and encouraged to respond to the planning application and make their views known, whether they support or object to it, even if they responded to the consultation in June which was organised by the developer, Osprey Homes.

How The Decision Is Made

NHDC has to take account of:

  • The National Planning Policy Framework
  • The saved Local Plan
  • The emerging Local Plan and
  • The Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan

in the order listed here, when making its decision.

NHDC considers the application as it stands for this site only at the present time. They DO NOT take account of any dwellings recently built in Preston or compare this site to any others in Preston.

Princess Helena College (PHC) is privately owned and cannot be taken into account by NHDC as potential future residential development for Preston when this planning application is assessed.

Assistance For Residents Without Computer Access

The postal address for representations on the application is: North Hertfordshire District Council, PO Box 10613, Nottingham, NG6 6DW.

Both the Parish Council and The Preston Trust have a list of people who will help anyone who hasn’t got a computer to write their letter to NHDC. To request help, please contact:

Paper Copy Of Application

There is a copy of the Castlefield Planning Application, including the summary and conclusions of lengthy reports, available for parishioners to borrow:

Points To Note:

  • NHDC are unable to accept anonymous and confidential comments.
  • Residents should make relevant comments and not assumptions.
  • How long someone has lived in Preston is not relevant to the planning application and will not be taken into consideration.
  • Comments to NHDC can include: number and design of dwellings, materials to be used and how they fit in with the local area.
  • No development at all will not be considered by NHDC.
  • Some of the reports included in the application are lengthy. If short of time, it may be helpful to read only the summary and conclusions.
  • An energy statement will be submitted to NHDC by the developer.
  • Air Source Heat Pumps will be used in the proposed dwellings rather than gas boilers.
  • Thames Water will comment on whether the drainage plans are adequate for the proposed number of dwellings and, if not, will work with the developer until they are satisfied with the proposals.
  • Hertfordshire Highways will comment on traffic issues.
  • An ecology survey will be included with the planning application.
  • Castlefield is private land and not a public green space.
  • A construction management plan will be requested.


Anyone with queries is welcome to contact:


This newsletter has been edited, printed, sorted and delivered in the usual way and the three organisations are grateful to everyone involved for their contribution.