Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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

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

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…

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

Remembrance Day service

Remembrance Sunday 14th November 2021There will be 2 Outdoor Services for Remembrance Sunday in the Villages around the War Memorials.

The Great Amwell Remembrance Service at the War Memorial on the New River will start at 10.15am.The Stanstead Abbotts Remembrance Service at the War Memorial at St Andrew’s Church, Cappell Lane will start at 10.45am.

The Services will last approximately 30 minutes and all are welcome to come.

The St Andrew’s Service will be shared via Zoom as part of the regular Online Sunday Service from the 3 Churches Benefice. A link can be found on the website

St Margarets Fireworks night – Review

Gaby Wilde:

Last weekend was the St Margarets Fireworks night.

It was absolutely fantastic, I attended with my family and I am glad that I did.

There was a huge queue out the front but it moved quickly and was well managed. It was £6 for an adult to enter.

I honestly don’t think that I have ever seen so many people in St Margarets, it was great to see such a fantastic turn out after such a difficult couple of years.

The Fireworks display was brilliant, very advanced for a village display.

Congratulations to the organisers, I look forward to attending next year and seeing many more displays.

Scroll down to see some of the pictures that we got….

St Margarets Station Art

Written by James Marinos:

At French & Jupps we strive to support our community through the sponsorship of innovative ideas, partnering with community lead initiatives that make our local and surrounding area so vibrant.

In acknowledgement of the hard work of all those involved with our latest sponsorship it brings us great delight to announce the unveiling of the refurbishment of St Margarets train station in Stanstead Abbotts.

The refurbishment of St Margarets station and signal box was a concept driven by The New River Line Community Rail Partnership. The Community Rail Partnership (CRP) was formally established in January 2020 by local authorities, community groups and organisations working in partnership with Greater Anglia and other rail networks to enhance station platforms up and down the country.

At the centre of this initiative for our local area is Katie Goldthorpe, CRP Officer for the New River Line which covers all stations from Hertford East to Broxbourne. Katie not only works for the organisation but also lives in Stanstead Abbotts and had long thought that the signal box could be transformed at St Margarets. It was when she joined the CRP in 2020, she seized the opportunity to do something with it.

To commence the process, Katie contacted French & Jupps to propose sponsoring the redesign of the station platform with art, which was enthusiastically received by director Paul King. From there the campaign was launched on the Stanstead Abbotts community Facebook page in addition to posters being pinned up on village noticeboards requesting submissions from people within the area to submit original artworks the redesign.

The response was fantastic, with local residents and two local primary schools St John the Baptist and St Andrew’s Primary School getting involved. The result is stunning with the twelve art pieces in a variety of mediums being chosen and printed by local company Universal Signs.

Katie’s work doesn’t end there. She had also been working with Rosemary & Robin to bring new life to the station through a planting scheme introducing foliage onto the station platform. The tireless work of all involved culminated in the annual station adoption award being granted at the unveiling by Alan Neville, Community Engagement Manager, Greater Anglia.

Overall, the day was a great success, enhanced further by the generous offering of cakes and refreshments provided by local businesses Libby’s Coffee Shop and The Galley Hall pub in a true reflection of community spirit. 

We believe the results are spectacular and that the return to travel from our local station is made all the brighter as a result of their hard work.

To get involved and support this local cause on some of their upcoming projects, you can contact The New River Line Community Rail Partnership on: 

You can also follow The New River Line Community Rail Partnership on Facebook and Twitter

Outcomes from the Neighbourhood Plan Heritage Report

Written by Robert Bennett:

The Heritage subgroup of the Neighbourhood Plan met for more than 2 years, reviewing a wide range of material and collatinghistorical and archaeological evidence within and adjacent to the settlement area. 

Whilst the protection of the Heritage that we do have, and the broadening of our understanding of what that Heritage implies (its value) was a priority for the Heritage group, there is further and really exciting potential to the work we have begun. This is the ‘what happens next’ part of the project.

Engagement with Heritage can build a sense of community where knowledge and activities are shared amongst thatcommunity, this is our ‘Sense of Place’. 

This relies on the careful dissemination of information in a way that allows engagement and reflection. Equally new skills can be developed by those who do engage, for instance, and at the most simple level, where information has been made available on the Village Facebook page, community members have asked how they can access LIDAR imagery, the Heritage Gateway, or the early maps on the National Library of Scotland website.

In all cases this information was made available with an offer of further help and support if needed.

Beyond engaging our community on the internet there is a massive potential and interest in ‘on the ground’ activities. Whilst community engagement in field-walking or test pittingmight help settle questions such as “Where were the earliest settlements?” or “What is the date of the linear settlement along the High Street?” there are also tangible benefits for those who participate.

They can gain new skills and understanding, they become empowered within the place where they live.

It must be acknowledged that almost all of the working group areas have this potential, it is the point where showing you care about your community feeds directly back to the participant in terms of their worth.

It is the point where the ‘they’ of expertise joins the ‘we’ of community in interpreting and understanding the past.

We are currently in a dissemination phase to our work. A series of posts have been made to the village Facebook page that covers both the distant and recent past. These have included explanations of field names (Osiers and Slap Ladle), changes to roads, the Mesolithic finds made in digs in the settlement areas, the Stanstead Abbotts residents who were listed in the Ware Poor House census, the Anglo-Saxon origin of St James, the changing layout of the Red Lion and the Anglo-Saxon monastic burial ground at nearby Nazingbury.

In all cases we have tried to keep the information up to date and with simple citations where the community can read more.

The ability of the group to move into a more pro-active phase would rely on some key factors including: sufficient levels of interest from community members (which is already indicated), access to funding to meet the requirements of any project, access to expertise to help us realistically plan for a programme, train participants, review outcomes and help us to disseminate findings in a meaningful way.

If anyone is interested in getting involved, contact us via the Neighbourhood Plan website or our Facebook page.