Category Archives: News

The Three Villages Magazine: Issue 4 is here!

The December issue of The Three Villages Magazine has published and is available to purchase for £1 across the three villages. Be sure to pick up your copy!

You can find it at a number of locations including, but not limited to:
St John the Baptist, Great Amwell
St Mary the Virgin, St Margarets
St Andrew’s, Stanstead Abbots
The Village Pharmacy
The Red Lion
The Maltings Coffee House
Stanstead Abbotts & St Margarets Village Club

We hope that you enjoy this latest issue. There are some great articles including the latest instalment of Our Historic Churches series, updates from local youth organisations and the schools, a business spotlight on More Than B’loons and a charity focus on HELPING, and you can also find out the winners of our Christmas Schools Art Competition!

If you are struggling to get a hold of a copy, please do be in touch and we will see how we can help.

Thank you for your continued support.
The Three Villages Team

Warm Welcome Spaces

The 3 Churches Benefice is offering two Warm Welcome Spaces to anyone who is in need of a warm place to shelter over the coming cold months.

Coffee Morning & Lunch
Every Monday
9.30am to 1.30pm
The Wilshere Hall, St Andrew’s Church

Community Hub Drop-in
Every Wednesday
10:30am to 12.30pm
St Mary’s Church, St Margarets

Please see the poster for more information…

The mission of Warm Welcome Spaces is to support organisations to open their doors and provide a warm welcome for those struggling to heat their homes this winter. If you’d like to know more, please visit https://www.warmwelcome.uk/.

Issue 4: Cover Photograph Winner!

The winner of our cover photograph competition for Issue 4 of The Three Villages Magazine is this wonderful image by Jenny Hanson.

Image © Jenny Hanson

Jenny has lived in the villages for 29 years and regularly walks down the rivers and around the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT) reserve. This photograph was taken when up on the viewing point at the reserve.

You can view more of Jenny’s stunning work on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/jennyamwell/) and Vero (https://vero.co/jennyamwell).

Huge thanks go to Jenny for letting us use her photograph on the cover!

The robin has long been associated with Christmas. As Molly Murray from The Scottish Wildlife Trust explains:
‘the first legend takes us back to Victorian times, where the tradition of sending Christmas cards started. Royal Mail postmen, who wore bright red uniforms, delivered these cards. This earned them the nickname of “robin” or “redbreast”. Artists usually illustrated Christmas cards with pictures relating to the delivery of letters, such as post-boxes or the postmen known as “robins”, and eventually started drawing the familiar little brown and red bird delivering letters instead of the postmen. This trend caught on and became very popular, and continues to this day, with many robin-themed items being seen on supermarket shelves during the festive period.’

Issue 4 of The Three Villages Magazine will be published at the start of December at all the usual places. It will include the latest Our Historic Churches installment, updates from the local schools and youth groups, and interesting stories from around the villages.

If you haven’t done so already, get your copy of Issue 3 before it disappears!

Thank you for your continued support,
The Three Villages Team

Have your say: 31st October deadline!

The revised deadline for the Consultation Period of The Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2040, which proposes a quarry in Stanstead Abbots, is fast approaching. You have only one week left to have your say.

THE CONSULTATION STAGE ENDS ON 31st OCTOBER 2022.
IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO, PLEASE DO ENSURE THAT YOUR OPINION IS HEARD.

We re-post the information on how to do that below:

HOW TO RESPOND

You can complete a Draft Plan Response Form online or a printable version of the form can be found HERE.

Alternatively, contact the Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Team directly:

MineralsandWaste@hertfordshire.gov.uk

01992 556227 (office hours are 9am – 5pm)

Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Team
Spatial Planning Unit (CHN216)
Hertfordshire County Council
County Hall
Pegs Lane
Hertford
SG13 8DN

SIGN THE PETITION
There is a ‘Stop the Stanstead Quarry!’ petition set up, which needs more support. The more people who sign the petition, the more notice will be taken.

You can read more and sign the petition here: https://chng.it/6V4Q4D7ffR

[Please make sure you respond through the official channels, as well as signing the petition. Signing the petition alone will not be recorded as an official response by HCC.]

Public Meeting: a report

On Friday 14th October 2022, a Public Meeting was held at St Andrew’s Church, Stanstead Abbotts to discuss the proposed quarry at the Briggens Estate. Julia Davies, Councillor of Stanstead Abbotts Parish Council and The Three Villages Magazine committee member, attended the meeting and shares this report…

Report of the Public Meeting
The meeting was opened by Mike Dormon, Chairman of Stanstead Abbotts Parish Council, who introduced Julie Marson MP.  In her speech to the audience of more than 200 local residents, including members of Stanstead Abbotts Parish Council and St Margarets Parish Council, Julie Marson MP made it completely clear that she supports opponents of the quarry at the Briggens Estate. 

Julie Marson will ask questions and invite a minister to speak at the despatch box in Parliament to deplore this quarry proposal, which has many holes in it.  The extension to Harlow is quite enough development for this area.  She will at least slow it down and use every tool at her disposal to stop it.

Miles Dymock then spoke explaining that he lives in the centre of farmland owned by City and Provincial who are leasing the land to Tarmac (who will carry out the quarrying).  He urged members of the audience to respond to the consultation using a letter, an email or the online response form and not to be put off by the difficulty of reading the lengthy report that is the basis for the consultation.  Just writing in to say you are against the Hertfordshire County Council Waste and Mineral Plan, and giving your name and address would help.  Miles had a list of his objections, which were distributed.  One of the key points he has made relates to the heritage of the site – he has collected boxes full of Roman relics, which he has put forward as evidence of this area having significant archaeological remains. 

Miles spoke about the 80 HGVs that would be going in and out of the site on a daily basis, and that keeping them out of the village would be difficult.  Mike Dormon explained that the plan had not taken into account the removal of the Eastwick roundabout, which will be replaced with traffic lights.  Vehicles will therefore be looking for an alternative turning point in order to travel west to the rest of the east of Hertfordshire for which the sand and gravel is intended.

The sand and gravel will not be extracted in time for use in the first stages of building at Gilston, so suggesting it can simply be transported there by conveyor belt isn’t going to happen.

There were many concerns expressed by the audience: houses shake when lorries go past; St Albans Sand and Gravel had also extracted for years and the village had done its bit; we don’t need another lake; what about protected species – orchids and wildlife?; could we get funding to fight the cause from the National Farmers’ Union or BBC’s Country File?; this is the only open land in a line north from London to Harlow – it is a vital gap to preserve the separation; people choose to live here because it is agricultural; and that Tudor deer parks are at risk.  Another concern is that there is insufficient water and Tarmac would need huge amounts. There were suggestions that people should use their votes to remove councillors who want the quarry and that there could be demonstrations of opposition at Hertfordshire County Council and Tarmac’s AGM.

There were pleas at the end for funds to be donated to the Stop the Quarry website and for expertise – particularly for a hydro-geologist.  You can make a donation by visiting the Go Fund Me Page.

The main message from Julie Marson was that she will welcome individual concerns and that everyone should respond.

Next steps would be keep: to up the pressure by following online, attending any relevant HCC meetings with placards, donate to the Stop the Quarry fund and keep writing to Julie Marson to urge her on in Parliament.  

Julia Davies

FURTHER INFORMATION
You can complete a Draft Plan Response Form online or a printable version of the form can be opened in Word by clicking HERE.

Alternatively, contact the Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Team directly:
MineralsandWaste@hertfordshire.gov.uk
01992 556227 (office hours are 9am – 5pm)

Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Team
Spatial Planning Unit (CHN216)
Hertfordshire County Council
County Hall
Pegs Lane
Hertford
SG13 8DN

STOP THE QUARRY
The Stop the Quarry group has been set up to keep the public informed and encourage residents to actively oppose this plan. You can follow them online…
Website: http://www.stopthequarry.site/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SayNOtoQuarry/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/saynotoquarry

The website also have detailed information about how to complete the online form.

Trade in your worn-out slippers for FREE

Slipper Swaps are returning to Hertfordshire Libraries.

This enables older people and those at increased risk of having trips/falls to swap their tired and worn-out slippers for a NEW pair of special anti-slip ones for FREE.

There will also be the opportunity to find out information about staying safe and warm this winter with advice from occupational therapists and community partners. Small Acts of Kindness are also providing Warm in Winter gift bags and visitors will be able to browse memory boxes from our reminiscence collections.

There is no need to book! Just go along to participating libraries between 10am and 1pm, and library staff will be there to help/direct you as needed. Dates and locations are as follows:

October 17 – Harpenden Library

October 28 – Welwyn Garden City Library

November 10 – Hertford Library

November 16 – North Watford Library 

November 29 – Hitchin Library

December 6 – Tring Library 

December 15 – Oxhey Library (South Oxhey)

For more information, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/slipperswap

Upcoming Public Meeting

The consultation period for the proposed quarry in Stanstead Abbotts has been extended by one month to 31st October. The Parish Council is organising a public meeting to enable villagers to hear more about what is being proposed, what the Council’s concerns are and to give some guidance about providing an effective response.

We are hoping to get our local MP along to the meeting. Once we have her availability, we will publicise the date. In any case, it will be 2 or 3 weeks’ time.

Cllr Julia Witting
Stanstead Abbotts Parish Council

Great Amwell War Memorial

I was delighted to have a chat with workers from Suffolk Brick & Stone Cleaning Company Limited who were doing such a fantastic job of cleaning the war memorial at Great Amwell.

Image courtesy of Rev’d Sarah Forrest

Great Amwell Parish Council arranged for the war memorial to be cleaned and it is looking brilliant. Thank you to the council and the workers for doing such a great job.

Rev’d Sarah Forrest

Briggens Estate Quarry? HAVE YOUR SAY!

As many of you will be aware, Hertfordshire County Council is reviewing its Minerals and Waste Local Plan documents.

The Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2040, which is currently at consultation stage, proposes a ‘mineral allocation site’ (quarry) in the Stanstead Abbotts area. As the impact of this new plan will be significant, we encourage all residents to take a careful look at the plan and make sure you have your say before the end of the consultation period.

THE CONSULTATION STAGE END DATE HAS BEEN DELAYED TO 31st OCTOBER 2022.
IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO, PLEASE DO ENSURE THAT YOUR OPINION IS HEARD.

Check out the website to read the draft plan:
https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/recycling-waste-and-environment/planning-in-hertfordshire/minerals-and-waste-planning/local-plan.aspx

See specifically ‘MAS01: The Briggens Estate’ in Appendix 1 (Site Briefs).

You can complete a Draft Plan Response Form online or a printable version of the form can be found HERE.

Alternatively, contact the Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Team directly:
MineralsandWaste@hertfordshire.gov.uk

01992 556227 (office hours are 9am – 5pm)

Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Team
Spatial Planning Unit (CHN216)
Hertfordshire County Council
County Hall
Pegs Lane
Hertford
SG13 8DN

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