October 2021

Preston Parish Council

Planning Application: Back Lane, Preston

A planning application has been submitted for the field next to the Primary School on Back Lane. Planning consent has already been granted for 3 large houses but this new application is for a mix of ten 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroomed detached dwellings to make better use of the available land. Because it is a small development, affordable housing will not be included and it won’t be eligible for section 106 contributions.

Anyone can respond to the planning application which is now available on the North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) website:
reference: 21/02632/FP. The closing date for comments is Thursday 14 October.

The Parish Council will take the views of residents into account, if appropriate, when considering its response to the planning application. Anyone who would like to send comments to the Parish Council should contact Lisa Lathane, Clerk to Preston Parish Council:

Section 106

Preston Parish Council would like to thank everyone who completed the questionnaire about the use of section 106 funding from the proposed Castlefield development. The Parish Council has considered all the suggestions and has submitted a list of projects to NHDC. The decision on which ones will be accepted will be finally agreed when a decision is made on the application.

Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 21 October

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 21 October 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

A recording of the service from All Saints can be found on the link below:


Sunday 3rd October 9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s

Hebrews 1:1-14, 2: 5-12

Mark 10: 2-18

11am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday  10th October

Harvest Festival Sunday

  8am Holy Communion at All Saints (BCP)
11am Sunday Worship at All Saints followed by Bring & Share lunch
 4pm Harvest Service at St Martin’s

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Matthew 6: 25-33

Sunday 17th October 9.30am Family Service at St Martin’s

Hebrews 5: 1-10

Mark 10: 35-45

11am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 24th October

Bible Sunday


9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s

Isaiah 55: 1-11

John 5: 36-47

11am Family Service at All Saints
31st October No Service at St Martin’s
All Saints Day 10am Joint Parish Communion at All Saints
3pm At All Saints. In Loving Memory – for all who have lost loved ones in recent years

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

St Martin’s Church 120 Club Draw 2020/2021

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

No. 39 Mr A Loustau
No. 101 Mr E C Heathcote

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

60 people with their pets came to a Pet Service at St Paul’s Walden a few weeks ago. It was a very happy occasion. I explained that I had just come back from Scotland where one of my most vivid memories of the beach at St Andrews was of two dogs jumping in and out of the water. They were obviously loving it. Jumping in and out like dolphins. They seemed free. And if dogs could speak, I think they’d have said – Oh joy – we are loving this!

And I told a story. A man is walking his four dogs and lets them off the leash. Three of them run free, free as the wind, while the fourth goes round and round in very small circles. When his owner is asked, Why is the dog doing this, he said that before it had come to him, the dog had been confined in a very small compound and could only run round and round. He couldn’t run free. And so far, he’d not broken the habit.

Sometimes I reflect that we can be like that fourth dog, limited by our past experiences. We keep on reverting to what has hurt us or limited us in the past. This is very natural, and I do not minimise it. Yet I am sure that God wants us to be released from painful or hurtful memories and asks us to trust in him and his Son Jesus Christ to bring this release about.

At the end of the month, we are holding a service called ‘In Loving Memory’. It is at 3.00pm on Sunday 31 October. It will give us the chance to remember loved ones and good memories and to thank God for them.

With every blessing



Beds & Herts Bike ‘N’ Hike – 11 September 2021

My sincere thanks to all the generous people who sponsored me on the Bike’n’Hike this year. With perfect weather I visited 24 churches and cycled 35 miles via Hitchin, Ickleford, Letchworth, Baldock and surrounding villages.
A total of £600.00 (+ Gift Aid) was raised.

Half of this will be donated to St. Martin’s here in Preston and the remainder to needy church projects in the diocese.

Many thanks,

The 2021 Autumn Litter Pick and Clearing Of Twigs And Leaves

PLEASE meet at THE GREEN, on SATURDAY 16 OCTOBER at 10.00am

After a long 18 month ‘lull’ in our litterpicking activity, and with many more ramblers and cyclists coming through the parish, we need to resume our ‘goodhousekeeping’ chores! Thus, the Preston Trust committee would, once again, like to invite you to come and help pick up litter around the village and the parish.

Our Parish Council has also asked if we could rake up and clear the twigs and leaves on The Green and around the pond. Tom Duffin from PFP has kindly offered to recycle this ‘organic debris’ to make a new ‘habitat pile’ for insects and small mammals in Wain Wood.

Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring your gardening/DIY gloves. Our helpful colleagues at NHDC/Urbaser will provide us with HiVis jackets, litter picker tools, black plastic sacks and disposable gloves. As usual, we will work in pairs along each lane and footpath, and bring the filled sacks back to St. Martin’s Place, Church Lane (next door to the former Baptist Chapel).

Just come along and lend a hand, please! This ‘chore’ does not take too long, nor require too much effort, and it really does make a difference. You are all very welcome!

Liz Hunter, Preston Trust committee member

Nature in Focus: a new exhibition about wildlife in North Hertfordshire

From 18.09.21 until 4.01.22, the new North Herts Museum in Brand Street, Hitchin is holding an Exhibition of 60 large size photographs of wildlife in this district. Some splendid ‘Animal Portraits’! These photos of birds, mammals, insects and invertebrates are all the work of the late Brian Sawford of Letchworth. The photos are accompanied by a selection of animal specimens, from the museum’s Natural History Collection.

Brian was a very well known naturalist and a talented photographer. He held the post of Senior Keeper of Natural History at NHDC’s Letchworth Museum from the 1960’s until his retirement in 2005. Brian was also a member of, or chairman of, several East Anglian Regional committees for the Natural Sciences. He initiated the first county wide survey of butterflies in Hertfordshire, involving many experts, and published the results. Brian monitored the ‘health’ of our Local Nature Reserves, and of the environment across this district. He was deeply concerned by the decline in biodiversity, here, in the last 50 years.

Admission to the Museum, and to the Exhibition, is free. There are new ‘wildlife’ items in the shop, and the cafe is excellent!

The museum is open from 10.30am – 4.30pm, Tuesday – Saturday, and on Sunday 11.00am – 3.30pm; it is closed on Mondays.

Liz Hunter

The Preston Trust Consultee Representation

Proposed development by Osprey Homes.

Dear Villagers,

Further to all the recent communications about the Castlefield / Osprey Homes’ Development, we,The Preston Trust committee have also been busy compiling a Consultee Representation to the proposed development which we would like to share with you all.

Just a reminder The Preston Trust’s objectives are as follows:

  • To enhance and preserve Preston for the benefit of all the villagers and visitors.
  • To 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.

Points one, two and three fall under The Preston Trusts’ remit and therefore the proposed Osprey Homes’ Development deserved our comments. As there was no-one with specialist knowledge in this field on the Committee, The Preston Trust engaged an independent planning consultant, Mrs Saffron Loasby BA (Hons) TP PgDip TP who has written and submitted an extensive report, on the proposal, on our behalf and she will continue to aid us as required.

The Preston Trust committee wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated towards her fee. It is very much appreciated, as is parishioners’ membership of the Preston Trust.

This report may be accessed via the village website on The Preston Trust page

Or here:  https://documentportal.north-herts.gov.uk/GetDocList/Default.aspx?doc_class_code=DC&case_number=21/02076/FP

Tim Justham – Vice Chairman,
The Preston Trust.

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.

​Reporting Scam Emails and Texts

Please report suspicious emails to Action Fraud at: report@phishing.gov.uk
Scam text messages should be forwarded to 7726.

Preston Village Hall – Bookings

Preston Nursery School use the hall from Monday to Thursday.

Regarding general bookings, due to the continuing uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, the Village Hall will be available for formal meetings only.

Users are kindly requested to conform to hygiene and safety standards.

This will be kept under review.

For enquiries please email Carol on:

Preston Village Hall Committee

Hitchin Foodbank Shortages

Thank you for your continued support, all donations are welcome; the following items are the most urgently needed due to recent strong demand: Tinned Meat; Tinned Fruit (not grapefruit or prunes); Sponge Puddings; Tinned Potatoes; Tinned Custard; 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.  For more information please visit letchworth.foodbank.org.uk

COVID-19 and the Newsletter

Producing our Parish Newsletter is a community initiative. Between us, we have taken steps to protect both the volunteers who produce and deliver as well as our readers. We have reduced the number of people involved in production – Howard edited the newsletter and e-mailed it as a Word file for printing; Rae and Wal printed, folded and sorted into delivery rounds this month; then distributed, contact free to the volunteers who deliver.