Harpenden news reports.       2018                       


A Pavilion to be proud of --on Harpenden Common -- for Harpenden Cricket Club and the Community

Following a public consultation on Sunday Jan 25 in the current cricket pavilion and initial discussions with SADC planners the Harpenden Cricket Club have now submitted an official planning application.This will provide a new home for the cricket club with superb facilities for the cricketing club


Photo above . A group of visitors viewing the plans for the new pavilion on Sunday jan 25th

My wife and I were privileged to have a private viewing of the panels in February this year. They are incredibly beautiful and still in remarkable condition for their age.

A single image can change the face of History

Portrait imagery was the key aspect of the programme. Images whether painted or photographed could have an incredibly powerful influence on the population. Examples featuring Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, and Margaret Thatcher were used to demonstrate this power. Clever or deceptive dependent on your personal position.

Saving the Cottages for the Nation

The current owner, Ms Murphy, from Hertford, explained that she and business partner Alison Wright bought two adjoining cottages, which house the mural between them, specifically to find a way for the paintings to be brought into public ownership.

"The panels should be in the care of the nation - we are committed to finding a way of doing it."

"They are so rare that the paintings must be preserved for both present and future generations, as a sign of those past beliefs and turbulent times," he said.

"We have been pursuing this aim for a number of years and have now launched a public appeal as the only way to preserve them for posterity."

The owner added that if the money couldn't be raised, they would have to apply for a change of use to residential.

Hopefully Simon Schama’s programme will awaken the local Herts authorities to take action now.

Ron Taylor. Editor. Harpendia.com

Hemel’s hidden treasure featured by Simon Schama on BBC TV’s ‘The Face of Britain’ Wed Sept 30

Simon Schama visited Piccott’s End Cottages to show an important aspect of the history of British portraiture, revealing some beautiful and compelling images that demonstrate their eternal power.

Defacing religious paintings

The cottages in Hemel were a resting place for Pilgrims on their journey from Ashridge to nearby St Albans Abbey in the 1530’s. The interior wall panels had been painted extensively with religious murals reflecting imagery of the Christ, the Virgin Mary, and Saints. Scenes include Jesus's baptism, St Catherine of Alexandria, St Peter and St Margaret. During the Reformation the faces of Jesus, Mary and the Saints were obliterated (defaced- see below) to make the images powerless in the sight of anyone who visited the cottages. At some time post Reformation the panels were covered by linen and NOT seen again until 1953.


Lots of information is available via the SADC consultation web site. You have to be registered and then trawl through the hundreds of comments made by commercial organisations and residents. Additionally several ‘gems’ of information were shown (briefly) at The Harpenden Society public meeting on Feb 4 at Rothamsted Conference Centre. My reports starting today (March 2) will be revealed during the coming weeks.

The maps below show the Legal and General proposals for 500 homes and  a new primary school.

How did this expensive proposal or ‘Masterplan’ become a ‘live’ option. Find out in more revelations soon. Ron Taylor. Editor.


Residents will be encouraged to walk and cycle via the routes on the map which are going to be improved.

So what happens with all the new cars being added to already congested roads?

The 500 homes development above is not sacrosanct .

A survey has revealed a large number of small scale sites around Harpenden that could be utilised. Another developer has plans for a 50 home site.


Legal & General have huge land interests in NW Harpenden and south Beds (see map below) They have submitted their concepts to SADC (See part letter below) for the yellow area on the map with detailed plans later on this page.


1,000 plus homes could be built by Cen Beds to cope with Luton Housing shortfall in the PINK area of the map-almost in Harpenden, ON LAND OWNED BY LEGAL & GENERAL. READ THE EMAIL BELOW (EXTRACTS) TO SADC EXPLAINING THEIR REQUIREMENTS



June 2017.

Over 2,000 responses from Harpenden residents now analysed to show their considerations for the future of the town.

The charts below  show the overall information.

Transport and Movement

Environment, Sustainability and Design

Employment and retail


Social Infrastructure and Community Facilities


Male 867            42%

Female 1195       58%


Under 16 4 0.2%;   17-24 11 0.8% ;  25-49 623 30% ;   50-64 624 30% ;     65 and over 800 39%


< 1 year  27 1%;                  1 – 5 years  201 10%;         6 – 10 years  211  11%;

11 – 20 years   357  18%;     21 – 30 years    349    18%;   

31 – 40 years   342  18%;     41 – 50 years     267   14%;   

51 – 60 years   110    6%;      61 – 70 years     63     3% ;

70+ years 29 2%

How can the 948 Sports Foundation help Harpenden schools. associations, clubs and individuals?

Read the article below.

“When people ask me ‘what is the Industrial Strategy?’ I say this sort of partnership between Timac Agro and Rothamsted…developing a fantastic ecosystem of research, development and real-life improvement into people’s lives,” said Afolami.

“This is it. A partnership between a research and development centre and a dynamic, global pioneering company. That is the Industrial Strategy in action,” he added.

“This is putting in place what we need in Britain. Now we need to build awareness of the amazing work that is going to be done through this partnership, and I’m happy to do all I can to help,” said Afolam

Cyril Cappe, (above) general manager at Timac Agro UK, said the company had been attracted by the overlap in core values – excellence, innovation and sustainability in agriculture. “At the end of the day, this is why we are at Rothamsted, to serve our development,” he said. In order to build solutions for farmers, Cappe said his company needs to take three key steps: to develop its people; to build itself into an industry agro that’s flexible in providing solutions in the field; and to invest in research.

It is this final key ingredient that brings Timac Agro UK, a subsidiary of the Roullier Group, to the Rothamsted campus, Cappe said.

The move was welcomed by Achim Dobermann, (above) Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research. “About 5 years ago, we started developing around the institute, so that not only our own science but that of companies with a similar mind-set and goals to our own could come and join us in finding practical solutions for farmers,” he said at the opening.

“Rothamsted’s entire history is built on soils and crop rotation and now livestock, too,” noted Dobermann. “Timac Agro has decided to set up shop, and it’s a perfect fit for us.”

20 Plates at roads in the Townsend Lane, Tuffnells Way and Roundwood Lane areas have all been targeted by vandals who snapped the wooden-backing panels in half before bending the metal name frame out of shape and discarding the debris nearby.

Anyone who has witnessed the incidents or has any relevant information should contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on 101.

The name plates are provided by St Albans City and District Council which has been left with the hefty repair bill.

Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community, said: “We want to catch the people responsible for this spate of criminal damage and put an end to it.

“This is a senseless and anti-social crime that costs Council taxpayers money and is of great annoyance to the residents of the affected areas. I urge people to help the police with their inquiries.”

St Albans Chief Inspector Shane O’Neill of Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “We are investigating criminal damage to a number of street name signs in Harpenden. 

“If anyone has any information about who may be responsible or has any footage of the people carrying out the criminal damage, we would like to hear from you.  

“This type of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. Together, we can help make Harpenden a safer place to live.”

Councillor contact:

Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community for St Albans City and District Council.

Tel: 07956 220264. Email: Cllr.B.Read@stalbans.gov.uk

     2018 Awaiting news for the Referendum

Roundwood Park Community Pitch
Nearly £50,000 received to date

Help the School reach their fundraising target of £200,000 and
carve your name into Harpenden’s history

David Craigen, Head Boy at Roundwood in 1990-1991 and former Harpenden Colts player, has donated a massive £11,000 to our artificial pitch campaign. With gift aid, this donation boosts our current total by £13,750 to nearly £50,000.

On Tuesday 27 February, Roundwood Park School was delighted to welcome David Dein, former vice chairman of Arsenal Football Club, the Football Association and former President of Arsenal Ladies Football Club. David Dein was instrumental in convincing some of the world's biggest talents to join Arsenal and was also responsible for bringing Arsène Wenger to the club. David shared with students the story of football’s evolution from a floundering sport in the 1980’s to the multi-million pound global industry it is today. Determination and innovation have enabled the Premier League to become the top level of English football. His inspirational message to students was that hard work, vision and courage are essential values if you want to succeed in life. 


David Dein was impressed by the plans for the state of the art, full size, floodlit artificial pitch that is currently under construction at Roundwood Park. The Roundwood Park Community Pitch, which is a collaboration between Roundwood Park School, Harpenden Colts, the Football Foundation and Watford FC Community, will provide a fantastic facility for students of the school as well as members of the wider community to participate in multiple sports all year round.    


Of the project, Mr Dein commented: “I want to wish you all every success in your project in developing the new artificial pitch.  I hope from it you will find the next Tony Adams, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney or Steven Gerrard to come through for the England team; it is so necessary, well done”.


David Dein with year 10 & 11 RPS students                   AND with Alan Henshall

Mr Stannard
St Albans City & District Council Planning Services
Civic Centre, St Peters Street St Albans
AL1 3JE 

Monday 5 March 2018

Dear Mr Stannard

Re: Prior Approval for Change of Use at Southdown Industrial Estate - references 5/2018/0204, 5/2018/0205, 5/2018/0206, 5/2018/0207, 5/2018/0208

I am writing to you on behalf of both Harpenden Town Council and the Harpenden Neighbourhood Plan steering group to object to the Prior Approval applications that have been submitted for 5 units at Southdown Industrial Estate.

The Town Council has been working with the local community to produce a Harpenden Neighbourhood Plan that sets out a vision for development in the future. The Neighbourhood Plan has been subject to much community engagement and has recently been submitted for Regulation 16 consultation.

Throughout the development of the Neighbourhood Plan, Southdown Industrial Estate has been recognised by local people as an important employment location for the Town. It is felt that this must be protected to help ensure that Harpenden retains a small but productive amount of employment floorspace.

We have a specific policy in the Neighbourhood Plan that states that ‘a change of use to a non-B Class use at this location will not be supported unless it can be demonstrated that the premises are no longer suitable for business use or there is clear evidence that there is no prospect of a new commercial occupier being found’. We have not seen any evidence that suggests that this site is no longer suitable.

Our objection is on the basis that the conditions of Class P do not appear to have been met based on the information supplied with the Prior Approval application. We believe that a formal planning application is required in order to fully consider these conditions.

Our specific concerns relating to the conditions are set out below:

Air Quality – We have concerns regarding the health and wellbeing of future residents. Residents will be living next to industrial units that through their everyday operations create pollution issues.

Contamination – We are aware of the history of this site and are therefore concerned by the lack of evidence submitted by the applicant with regard to what exists beneath the units. We would expect to see the outcome of exploratory work on the site.

Flood Risk – We have concerns regarding surface water flooding and would expect to see a surface water management strategy.

Noise – This is a busy industrial estate that includes many noisy operations at unsociable hours. The industrial estate is also adjacent to a busy train line. This noise pollution would have a negative impact on future residents.

St Albans City & District Council have recently recognised the importance of this site by consulting on and issuing Article 4 Directions which are due to come into effect on 22 March 2018.

An acceptance of this Prior Approval for Change of Use would directly conflict with the views of local communities who wish to protect the location and would have serious implications to the local economy

Yours sincerely

Carl Cheevers
Town Clerk, Harpenden Town Council