Painting by Tractor
Deer in the field at the top of Preston Hill
Before you turn left to go up St. Albans Highway
Trees silhouetted against sunset and snow on the fields
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The Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan has been through all the required consultations and last August went to the Independent Examiner. The Examiner recommended that the Neighbourhood Plan should go to referendum, subject to his suggested modifications being made. The Plan was amended to include these modifications and at their meeting on December 19th, the NHDC cabinet of District Councillors agreed that it should go to referendum. The date of the referendum will be announced on Friday 7 February.

We would like to encourage you to vote on this important issue for Preston. All of our parishioners will have the opportunity of voting, either Yes or No. If 50% of those voting answer Yes, the Neighbourhood Plan will be made, and will become part of local planning law until the year, 2031.

Two drop-in sessions have been arranged in the Village Hall on: Thursday 20 February from 6.30 to 8.30pm and Saturday 22 February from 10.00 to 12.00. Members of the Steering Group will be available to answer any queries on the Neighbourhood Plan prior to the Referendum.

The Examiner’s report can be viewed by following this link:

19.11.05 – Preston Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan – Examiner’s Report Final

The plan has been updated in accordance with the Examiner’s report. it can be viewed by following this link:

Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan 2018 – 2031

The referendum will be organised by NHDC Electoral Services. Preston residents will be informed of the date as soon as it is received. The referendum follows the same process as local elections in our village hall on School Lane.

There will be ONE question on the ballot paper:

Do you want North Hertfordshire District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Preston to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

Also available are:

These documents (as well as copies of the Questionnaires, Survey Results, Regulation 14 Draft Plan, First and Second Regulation 16 Submission Versions) are also available via the Your Say page.

Should you require any further information about the Neighbourhood Plan, the process of its production or the referendum, especially if you are new to Preston, please feel free to contact the Steering Group using the contact form. Direct contact details are also circulated in the parish newsletter, parish council mailing database and the Preston News Service.

Progress and Next Steps

The Neighbourhood Plan describes our shared vision of what is important to us and how we want the Parish to develop over the next 13 years. The plan has appropriate regard to national policy and conforms to the strategic elements of the emerging local plan. It is compatible with EU obligations. Needless to say it is also based on up to date and robust evidence.

We are now at the final stage which includes the referendum – see Stage 6 below.

Completed – June 2016
  • Stage 1 –
    • Define the Neighbourhood Plan area
    • Determine if the parishioners would like a Neighbourhood Plan for Preston
Completed – September 2017
  • Stage 2 –
    • Survey – consult residents about their wishes for the parish
    • Obtain grants towards costs of survey and publicity
    • Analyse and present survey results
    • Gather other information
    • Define the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan
    • Engage volunteers for specific projects
Completed – April 2018
  • Stage 3
    • Consult residents on Draft Objectives
    • Review and refine objectives and draft plan, incorporating comments on objectives
    • Select independent Consultant to advise on the draft plan and to ensure that all relevant criteria and legislation are fully met
    • Obtain grant towards cost of professional help
    • Engage and work with independent Consultant to finalise draft plan for Regulation 14
    • Informal consultation (Regulation 14)
    • Produce next draft of the plan based on the consultation results
    • Submit draft plan to North Herts District Council (Regulation 15)
Completed – Summer 2018
  • Stage 4 – Conduct formal round of public consultation (Regulation 16)
Completed – February 2019
  • Stage 3 revisited
    • Update plan in line with any changes in the NPPF, the emerging Local Plan and addressing Regulation 16 comments
    • Submit updated plan to NHDC

The following 3 stages are organised and paid for by North Herts District Council.

Completed – November 2019
  • Stage 4 revisited – Conduct formal round of public consultation (Regulation 16)
    • Consultation
    • Collate comments
  • Stage 5 – Examination of the Neighbourhood Plan by an independent examiner – to ensure it meets all statutory obligations.
In Progress – December 2019 onwards
  • Stage 6Referendum conducted by North Herts District Council
    • NHDC Cabinet decide if the Neighbourhood Plan can proceed to Referendum
    • Cabinet decision made public
    • Referendum date announced
    • Referendum takes place. To be successful, 50% of those voting in the referendum must vote in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan.
    • The Neighbourhood Plan is made and must be used by Planning Officers when determining planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area.

For a fuller description of the stages in producing the plan please visit the Our Future page.

How it all began

Our Parliament passed the Localism Act in 2012. This new Act gives all communities, for the first time ever, the legal right and opportunity to prepare their own Neighbourhood Plan. Such a plan sets out policies to guide development and the use of land in a parish or a neighbourhood. Once approved by NHDC, the plan becomes part of the statutory planning process.

At a public meeting, in our Village Hall on 26th June 2016, a large majority of the 35 residents attending voted in favour of producing a Neighbourhood Plan for this parish. Some residents volunteered to form the Steering Group, and to be responsible for producing the plan. Others have volunteered to be involved in different ways.

This is our parish – we are concerned about our future – we want everyone in the parish to have their say to help shape that future.