Preston Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Minutes 15 June 2017

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Date of Meeting 15 June 2017
Location of Meeting Offley Holes Farm
Attendees WS, RR, DD, MT, LH & FH


Item Next Action


Apologies for Absence



Minutes from Meeting 9.5.17

Signed as being an accurate record


Matters Arising from Last Meeting

4. Claire Skeels – Strategic Environmental Assessment from NHDC now received. We will require one if:

  • Neighbourhood Plan allocates sites for development
  • Neigbourhood area contains sensitive natural or heritage assets that may be affected by the proposals in the plan.
  • Neighbourhood Plan is likely to have significant effects that have not already been considered and dealt with through a sustainability appraisal of the Local Plan

Varying maps have been received that may be useful for the Plan eg conservation areas, listed buildings, SSSI, wildlife sites.

6. Planning Next Steps

Use Volunteers to look up listed buildings with descriptions, sites of Scheduled Monuments, places of local wildlife value, SSSI. Jane Campbell is looking at SSSI’s and local wildlife. She will research and write description. Frances Drew – researching listed buildings and scheduled monuments. Deadline for both say beginning July.

LH did see Keith Matthews in March and provided a list of Listed Buidings/Ancient Monuments. She willl be going to see the part-time historian at a later date.

Other Consultations – WS to meet head of Primary School shortly and head of PHC plus nursery to discuss the Questionnaire report and results from it. However, there will be a joint letter from Preston Parish Council and the Head of the Primary to all parents asking them to park at the pub.

Examiner fees – MT clarified that this is paid for by NHDC.

Website – WS to talk to Richard Woolfson about being a ‘back up’ on the website.


Parish Council Update

Concerns were raised with the Council about crime and anti-social behaviour after the questionnaire was sent out. The Preston Parish Council (PPC) has now asked for 30mph sign to be moved to the Preston Village sign on Gosmore/Hitchin Road to slow down those entering the village earlier. Regarding speed limits – MT has spoken to David Barnard about this, we have evidence of a requirement from the community that a lower speed limit is wanted in Chequers Lane and Back Lane. A request has been put in for these two, but it may take a long time.

Drainage – Chequers Lane. Since the Castlefield houses have been built there has been sewage overflow affecting Templars Lane, Chequers Lane as far as Chequers Cottages (plus some areas with unpleasant smells). There is an underlying systemic problem here. PPC are keeping an eye on it and will follow up if needs be.


Planning Next Steps

DDDD has done some research/notes – to circulate.

WS, DDWS/DD to meet to come up with a structure to start the Plan, map out chapter headings and create a skeleton document – alongside objectives. Deadline – mid July

ALLAll – to think about objectives based on questionnaire results, taking out what can go in the Plan. Not all things will be possible. Deadline – mid July

NHDC Local Plan is now submitted, likely to be ‘made’ Autumn 2018.

Outline Plan:-

  • use Mattershall and Tattonhill as our templates (examples of good plans). Links: and

Evidence gathering:

  • Use of volunteers ongoing
  • LHarchaeology (LH)
  • WS, FHGetting to grips with WordPress for producing the Plan (under way)
  • AHLook at the Local Plan and extract anything relevant but also Green Belt and other policies that affect the village eg sustainability, transport/roads that we may need to use or rely on.
  • Sustainability appraisal – look at this in Local Plan to see how it fits with Preston. Do we need our own sustainability appraisal? C/F to need meeting.
  • Character assessment can be built into report.
  • LHHERC report – £50 plus VAT cost for research (Ian Carle) access to database and being sent copies of all info pertaining to the parish. He will also come and present the information he has (LH to arrange meeting during the next two months).



a) Grant application – what do we apply for? Needs to go in by August, spent by March 2018. WSWS researching what professional help we might need. To report back.

b) Timescale – Skeleton/objectives by mid July. Information gathering by the end of August/early September. Research to be finished by then also. Start creating draft policies in mid Sept/early Oct.

c) Grant – What do we want by the end of March, eg printing draft plan, professional fees. Drop in sessions – will need hard copies so all can see plans plus an electronic download being available. Final copy must be printed.

d) ‘The Chilterns’ – LH has a good book on the area, re-reading for research.

e) Preston Trust – CPRE talk in October with reference to Preston Parish to whole village. Should help with our research. [Arranged for Thursday 12 October 8pm Village Hall.]

f) LHHerts Garden Trust – source of information (from LH, to follow) on specific areas.

g) LHCopies of Nina Freebody’s articles on Preston (she was a historian) on now defunct Hertfordshire Countryside (magazine?). LH to collate and circulate.

h) MTLandowners/estates – need to enquire what their management policies are where the land areas are significant in our Parish. Eg hedgerows, arable, coppicing (Defra Stewardship scheme). Tenants manage meadows/hedges/arable, with owners managing woodlands. C/F to next meeting. MT will talk to Clarks at Castle Farm.



Date of Next Meeting

Sunday 23 July at 2pm.