Local News                         2023/22


Scientists breed

designer wheat for

whisky distillers

A team of scientists from Rothamsted Research

have bred a type of wheat specifically to improve

whisky production.

The group’s lead researcher says this new wheat

will reduce the processing problems, higher energy

use, and wear on pumps caused by using current

wheat varieties.

Rothamsted’s Dr Rowan Mitchell said: “At present using wheat grain is a problem for distilleries because it causes sticky residues that mean the whole distillery must be shut down for cleaning.

“Our novel wheat is designed to have grain with low levels of soluble dietary fibre and should greatly decrease these problems. Great for making whisky, but the opposite to what’s required by bakers.”

He added that the development will also make UK grown wheat more desirable for use in whisky compared to imported maize, which is currently easier to process.

This new wheat line is one of the first wheat varieties in the world developed using ‘reverse genetics’ - where scientists start with knowledge of what a gene does, rather than screening for the trait in a plant first and then looking for which of its genes are responsible.

Their non-GM approach, called TILLING, allowed them to rapidly breed their gene of choice into an existing wheat variety – no easy task as wheat has six copies of each of its genes compared to only two copies of each in humans.

The group focused in on genes they discovered that controlled the amount of a chemical found in plant cell walls called arabinoxylan, responsible for soluble fibre levels and what determines its viscosity - whether the liquid extract is ‘thin’ like water, or ‘thick’ like honey.

By using traditional plant breeding methods, they created wheat lines where these genes had stopped working – referred to as ‘knock out’ or loss of function lines.

In these lines, the arabinoxylan molecules where both shorter and fewer in number, leading to a whisky-friendly wheat that produces a liquid extract between 50 and 80% less ‘gloopy’ compared to wheat without the knock-out genes.

Interestingly, the team saw that the plant responded to this change by increasing the bonds between the remaining arabinoxylan molecules, which helped it maintain the size and shape of its cells.

The group have a patent on the use of the gene for this application and are now working with plant breeding company Limagrain to develop a new commercial variety.

Co-author Dr Simon Berry, marker specialist at Limagrain, said: “There is going to be a pilot scale test on about a quarter of a tonne of grain at a distillery this year and we are aiming for an official trials entry within the next 5 years.

“Low viscosity wheat would strengthen the continued use of UK wheat in distilling and offer a solution to those distillers still using maize.”

Scotch production is an extremely important industry to the UK, worth about £5 bn per year.

The project, which also included the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, was funded by UKRI and Innovate UK.


Local help to tackle money worries

Mounting personal debt is an increasing problem as many of us struggle to pay bills because of the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on our finances.  There are high levels of debt on credit cards, and personal loans and not everyone can manage the repayments at the moment.

Help is at hand from Harpenden Money Advice Centre which is a charity providing confidential, non-judgemental and impartial debt and budgeting advice. This free local service from trained advisers, all volunteers, will look at how best to tackle your debts.

Manager of the charity Richard Payne said "Our team are here to help people look at their money problems and work with them to come up with an affordable plan, prioritising the most urgent payments and looking at what they can afford to repay.  Anyone can get into debt, and often it’s no fault of their own doing.  It could be a job loss, relationship breakdown, bereavement or other change in circumstances and it can be very hard to admit there is a problem.  But that is the first step to sorting it out.  We are still open during these strange times and can give help via Zoom or on the phone.  Do get in contact.  We are very friendly and just want to help."

One client told their story:

"Two years ago I felt I was drowning. I was making payments every month but then had no money for the remainder of the month and was then getting further loans to get through each month, increasing my debts and finding myself in a vicious cycle I couldn't get out of. I also needed to find somewhere else to live, as the tenancy on the place I was living in was running out. With your help and support not only did you arrange an affordable monthly plan with my creditors, but you also found me a new place to live.

I was at a point two years ago where I felt almost suicidal but thanks to you, I now see a light at the end of the tunnel and emotionally and mentally I have emerged from that black hole I was in. Thank you, without your help, I dread to think where I would now be."

To find out more contact Richard Payne on www.hmac.uk or call 07954 276281 email info@hmac.uk

Harpenden Money Advice Centre is a local charity supported by churches across Harpenden. All advisers are volunteers who freely give their time and are trained to the CMA Level 3 Award in Generalist Debt Advice, which has been "Money Advice Service" accredited at Advice Level.

Photo above of the HMAC team (Richard Payne is in the centre with the purple jumper)

Feb 9. 2022 Half of the shared ownership homes already sold off plan. The remaining 5 are still available. Register your interest here...shared ownership homes

Being delivered in partnership with appointed contractor Taylor French Developments Ltd, Roan Place will bring twelve homes for social rent, two for affordable rent and ten for shared ownership set in a quiet, landscaped cul-de-sac.


The homes include one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom houses for shared ownership helping local people get on the housing ladder, and two- and three-bedroom houses for those on the housing register helping local families stay in the area. All homes have access to outdoor space with a garden or balcony along with parking for residents, visitors and for the neighboring allotments.


Councillor Lisa Scriven, Deputy Mayor of Harpenden, said:

‘I very much enjoyed the tour of Roan Place and it is really exciting to see this project nearing completion after many years of planning. My thanks go to Town Council staff, Councillors, Catalyst and Taylor French for their collaboration and hard work to reach this



Catalyst and Harpenden Local History Society name new road in tribute to local WWI fallen soldier

Working with Harpenden & District Local History Society and Harpenden Town Council, Catalyst has named a new road ‘Rolt Close’ after a local man who lost his life in the First World War.

Herbert Robert Rolt was born in Harpenden in 1898 and lived in the town with his parents. He went on to serve as a private in the 2nd Battalion Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment and was wounded in battle in Italy and was repatriated but sadly died of his wounds at the tender age of 20. He is buried in St Nicholas churchyard in the town.

Scroll down to see how the development has progressed and learn more about Herbert Robert Rolt.


Catalyst and Harpenden Local History Society name new road in tribute to local WWI fallen soldier

Working with Harpenden & District Local History Society and Harpenden Town Council, Catalyst has named a new road ‘Rolt Close’ after a local man who lost his life in the First World War.

Rolt Close will be the residential road on housing association Catalyst’s development of 24 affordable new homes at Roan Place, next to Westfield Recreation Ground in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, which is due to complete in December.

Herbert Robert Rolt was born in Harpenden in 1898 and lived in the town with his parents. He went on to serve as a private in the 2nd Battalion Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment and was wounded in battle in Italy and was repatriated but sadly died of his wounds at the tender age of 20. He is buried in St Nicholas churchyard in the town.

Also reflecting the town’s history, Catalyst has named the development Roan Place after the town’s link with horseracing. The 24 new homes at Roan Place will provide much-needed affordable high-quality new homes for social and affordable rent and shared ownership. The new homes will help local families on the housing register, and help people get on the housing ladder. The development will also provide allocated parking and an attractive landscaped environment.

Joe Marshall, Catalyst’s Managing Director for New Homes (Counties), said:

‘Reflecting an area’s history and people in the names of our developments is something that’s particularly important to us, and we’re honoured to be able to pay tribute to local hero Herbert Rolt through naming Rolt Close after him. As custodians of the new communities we build, incorporating and promoting local heritage into these plans is our responsibility and privilege, and provides a legacy for future generations.’

Autumn 2021.The Harpenden Society celebrates

the successful completion of the

Red House redevelopment.

Harpenden residents will be pleased  to know that the

Society efforts to save the Red House as a medical centre

in Harpenden have proved successful.

Ron Taylor was invited by Central London Community

Healthcare NHS Trust to see how this has been achieved.

The visit took place on Tuesday August 10th 2021.

The team who showed me round were:

Glenda Esmond - Clinical Adviser, CLCH.

Tim Pullen - Estates, CLCH

Sarah Camplin - Herts Valley CCG


I have been involved with the development concepts of the

Red House for many years. The Harpenden Society together

with County Councillor Teresa Heritage formed a ‘ginger’ group known as the Red House Forum to lobby for rejuvenation of the local services on the site then owned by the NHS. Ownership was transferred to Hertfordshire NHS Community Trust  (HCT) on April 1st 2015.

Over the next 4 years  a number of initiatives were developed with positive progress likely.  Optimism waned with the change of ownership on Oct 1st 2019 when CLCH took charge.

Andrew Ridley, CEO at CLCH said: "It’s an opportunity to deliver an integrated model of care that builds on our experience as an established healthcare provider in Hertfordshire , where we already provide  both  sexual health and respiratory  services  and adds to our significant expertise in delivering community services across eleven London Boroughs.

Kathryn Magson CEO at Herts Valley CCG said “CLCH are a well-established NHS organisation and already familiar with West Hertfordshire, as providers of integrated community respiratory care.

The Tour

So moving forward almost 2 years I wondered whether there would be another false dawn.

It was with some trepidation that I made my way along Carlton Road.

Arriving outside the imposing doorway I was greeted by Glenda Esmond who took me up the steps and into the entrance hall.

It was an amazing transformation, much more than I had expected. New flooring and lighting, freshly painted walls all leading to the reception area behind which was the outstanding stained glass window and at the side the original wooded staircase leading to the first floor. The architects had managed to maintain and integrate many of the classical features of the building with the new high tech design creating a satisfying balance between old and new.

The Stewarts unit  (on the right hand side of the site) previously owned by the HCT is now owned by a NHS Mental Trust, so that will be another story to unfold.

I was more than impressed by the scale and quality of the redevelopment which will give Harpenden more medical facilities and services than those proposed by HCT with the Health and Wellbeing Centre. Plus the Red House building and it’s grounds have been protected from a housing development programme.

All in all a win win situation. Thank you CLCH

The essential work

New roof to extension; New fire alarm system; New boiler installed; New electrics

Development of Outpatients

Upgraded & increased number of clinic rooms in Red House & Hally Stewart Building from 4 to10

Red House - Podiatry, Heart Failure, Bladder & Bowel, Parkinson's Disease, Speech & Language, Frailty, Diabetes, Retinal screening, Acupuncture

Hally Stewart - ENT, Phlebotomy

Upgraded Friends Room to support clinical group activities

Cardiac Rehabilitation, Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Alcoholics Anonymous

New affordable Homes in Harpenden adjacent to Westfield Recreation Ground. Work started in 2021.

Exhibition at EMC Sept 21 by Legal & General

550 new homes planned for North West Harpenden in new approach by land owners. (LEGAL&GENERAL)

The Proposals

•  Up to 550 new homes of which 168 affordable, and 130 integrated retirement living

• Community hub including restaurant, gym, and an early years setting all overlooking a public square with opportunities for work hub, community meetings etc.

• Over 11ha of new public open space including additional play areas to meet local need

  1. New junior sports pitches and pavilion +Targeting over 40% biodiversity net gain

The Exhibition

The Eric Morecambe Centre was the venue on Wed Sept 21 for the Exhibition about the North West Harpenden development by Legal & General. It attracted a large audience between 3pm - 7pm who viewed the display panels and questioned staff.

Despite some realistic criticisms the position from the representatives present seemed to be “we will let events following this consultation take its course” > Attendees could complete a Feedback Form on the day or go online.

The comments below reflect a broad consensus of views.

Harpenden Green Belt Association. L&G should wait for your District Council to complete its 'Local Plan' which will take into account, in a coordinated and considered way, inter alia, new house building across the District.

A senior L&G official confirmed at the Exhibition that L&G has simply lost patience with our District Council and L&G is not willing to wait until our 'Local Plan' is completed.

The Local Plan process is supposed to enable an evidence-led, holistic assessment as to what development is required in the District, where it is best located and what infrastructure is required to support it.

L&G's profit driven decision to 'plough ahead' regardless is a recipe for disaster for our District's already crowded road network but in many other respects too, like schooling and medical services.


A spokesperson for the new Stop L&G local campaign group told us: “It is already clear that L&G’s plan is hugely unpopular with local residents . We did not find a single attendee who supported the proposal. On the contrary most of them asked to join our fast-growing campaign group. They all thought that L&G are trying to whitewash over the many issues with their plan and create the impression it is a ‘done deal’. However we believe that the fact they are rushing this through before a new Local Plan shows how worried they are that it will not stand up to proper scrutiny and we will ensure that Harpenden residents fight this all the way.”

The Harpenden Society have expressed their total opposition to the project and have submitted a response via the official consultation. Key points raised:

Excess traffic would be generated on an already crowed A1081

The alternative options of travelling into town via bus, walking & cycling would be impractical

There would be a loss of valuable green belt land

There was a lack of infrastructure development to support this growing population.

The Society's response to the consultation by L&G can be downloaded by clicking here.

A local resident with professional experience in big build projects made several insightful criticisms. One in particular concerned the proposed cycle routes: The enhancement of the two cycle routes is welcomed but more detail is required on how these are to be delivered as the majority of the route is outside the site boundary.

NB. This phase of the consultation closed on Sept 28th. Responses to the consultation will be assessed and further actions announced in due course.

July 2022. The building has now halted. Their website now states….Taylor French Developments Ltd are subject to a Moratorium pursuant to Part A1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 is in force in relation to the company.

Other plots are being sold with no building work being started


Improvements planned at Harpenden’s Station, Harding Parade and Station Road.

Herts County Council in conjunction with Rail Industry partners are planning significant improvements to this area. A full consultation will be issued for feed back on the proposals.

What improvement worksare proposed?

The main interventions proposed are:

• A redesigned station forecourt providing a

new pedestrianised square with trees and

space for resting

• A new bike hub with increased number of

cycle storage spaces

• Relocated taxi rank with dedicated pick-up/

drop-off area with sheltered waiting space.

• Redesigned public realm at Harding Parade

Figure 1 Introduction

with flush planters, mature trees, benches and bike


• Relocated bus stops on Station Road, closer to the

railway station

• Two redesigned junctions on raised table, first

between Station Approach and Station road with four

pedestrian crossings, the second between Station Road and Arden Grove.

Sept 20. Timetable for St Albans District’s Local Plan announced.

The Local Plan (LP) will identify land for future housing, commercial and infrastructure developments over the next 15 years.

It will also be used to safeguard the environment, enable adaptation to climate change and secure high-quality and accessible design.

St Albans City and District Council has set out a schedule that gives a provisional date of December 2025 for the adoption of a new LP.

Councillor Chris White, the Council Leader and the Advisory Group’s Chair, said afterwards: “The production of a Local Plan is one of the most challenging, complex and important tasks that a local authority has to undertake.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes to recruit the extra specialist staff that we require and can now move on to the next steps.

“The timetable with its ambitious adoption deadline of December 2025 will give us a schedule that we will seek to follow. It demonstrates to our residents that we are committed to working at pace to getting a Local Plan in place.”

Three planners have been recruited for new LP roles and all should be in post next month to carry out preparatory work, much of which is already underway.

This will involve gathering data and compiling reports on key issues such as housing, employment, sustainability and the environment.

In July next year, the Council will undertake what is known as the Regulation 18 Consultation which is due to run across three months.

During this phase, the views and proposals of residents, community groups, businesses, landowners, property developers and other stakeholders will be sought.

After considering all representations, the Council will produce a proposed draft LP which will then be published and open to consultation from July to September 2024.


After all feedback is considered, the Council is scheduled to submit its LP in December 2024 to the Secretary of State who will appoint an independent Planning Inspector.

The Inspector will hold a public examination to assess if it is sound and that should happen at some point between December 2024 and November the following year.

If it passes the examination, Full Council will be asked to adopt it in December 2025.

Cllr White added: “Throughout the process, we will be consulting intensively with the community to gauge their views.

“It is essential that we produce a Local Plan that truly reflects our residents’ needs and aspirations, so we will want to hear from as many of them as possible when the consultations start.”

The Harpenden Society will be involved going forward to look after the interests of Harpenden residents.

March Affordable Homes site back in development at Roan Place, Harpenden.

The Peabody Group are now in contract with ME Construction Ltd to deliver this much-needed all-affordable scheme of 24 homes. ME Construction have had presence on site since September.  We are currently anticipating handover of the scheme in its entirety in Winter 2022/23. Most of our Rented Homes on this development are allocated to prospective residents, and most of the Shared Ownership homes are reserved as well.

A much needed development in Harpenden

Scroll down to read the background to the development.

Another Harpenden Bank

announces closure.

In July 2023.

HSBC will close its doors on July 18.

Ongoing decline in personal visits with

fewer than 250 visitors to branches

across the country.

Customers will have to travel to St Albans

for the nearest branch.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK's managing director

of UK distribution, said: "People are

changing the way they bank and footfall in many branches is at an all-time low, with no signs of it returning.

"The decision to close a branch is never easy or taken lightly, especially if we are the last branch in an area, so we've invested heavily in our 'post-closure' strategy, including providing free tablet devices to selected branch customers who do not already have a device to bank digitally, alongside one-to-one coaching to help them migrate to digital banking."

Dec. Much needed local homes abandoned in Southdown.    Care Home now planned

Substantial number of objections to original plan by local residents, and local societies probably swayed a change of strategy.

Jarvis have now submitted an application for a 75 bed car home in place of the 39 flat scheme. 

You can see all the details and images on the SADC Planning site. Ref No:22-24 Grove Road - Ref No 5/2022/2735

Artists impressions below

Jan 2023. Citizens Advice is back in Harpenden.

Every Monday from 10am - 1pm at the Salvation Army headquarters in Leyton Green (close to Waitrose)

Free and confidential advice across a wide range of issues.

Contact the web site for more details: www.citizensadvicestalbans.org.uk

Feb 2023. A 63 bed Care

Home owned by Porthaven

Properties is now taking

shape in Coldharbour Lane.

The land sale and initial application was handled by local firm Jarvis who sold it on to Porthaven. We await details & timing.

The old Pan Autos site in Southdown now demolished, awaiting planning approval for a 75 bed care home from SADC. See story below.

March 10. Legal & General’s plans

for 550 new homes in North West

Harpenden is back on the

planning agenda.

Ignoring the views of the local

community and the practical

infrastructure problems following

their Sept 29 exhibition.

(Scroll down to see)

An outline planning application had

been made to SADC without any changes.

The Harpenden Society, a long term opponent to this development said:

The September 29 exhibition about Legal & General’s plans for 550 homes in North West Harpenden had 2 key objectives. Firstly to announce their proposals and secondly to listen to issues and  concerns raised by the local community.

Well they certainly didn’t pay any attention to the Harpenden Society’s detailed analysis of the issues.

So the announcement on March 2nd that an outline planning application has been submitted to St Albans City and District Council shows a total lack of understanding of the whole community’s feelings about this subject and ignores the points the Society have raised. These have not changed and are listed below in order of importance.

Excess traffic would be generated on an already crowded A1081, especially at peak times

The alternative options of travelling into town via bus, walking & cycling would be impractical

There would be a loss of valuable green belt land

There was a lack of infrastructure development to support this growing population.

Jeff Phillips. Chair, The Harpenden Society

April 11. STOP LEGAL & GENERAL  GROUP are maximising their campaign in Harpenden

John Galvin, a Harpenden District Councillor, has strongly criticised the proposals by Legal and General (L&G) to develop 550 new homes on North West Harpenden Green Belt.

“The destruction of a very large area of farmed Green Belt will change the character of the town forever and could result in the approval of many more speculative and profit-driven developments on the Green Belt that surrounds Harpenden.”

“In our opinion this huge development will cause immense harm to local residents, as it will:

•result in significant levels of increased traffic on already over-congested major roads;

•lead to major traffic surges on ill-equipped residential roads with consequential risks to pedestrian safety;

•affect the quality of education provision at local primary and secondary schools;

•overwhelm inadequate local sewerage infrastructure;

•cause permanent and significant adverse effects to local listed buildings;

•put more pressure on local health services; and

•cause major levels of construction-related disruption for six years at a minimum.”

“While the harmful effects of this development are clear and real, the benefits to local residents are not. L&G claims that without it, Harpenden is at risk of "stagnation" and will not remain viable, but they do not provide any meaningful evidence to substantiate this claim. We are asking St Albans District Council to reject this proposal and we hope local residents will do the same by the deadline of April 22nd.”

Local residents can find out more at stoplandg.com, where they can also learn how to submit their views to our District Council.

Harpenden’s Green Belt Association views:

L&G and the Future of Harpenden

    The  attached leaflet has recently been distributed in Harpenden by Legal and General (L&G).The text is simply breathtaking in its selective coverage.
It completely fails to deal with the impact that building 550 houses alongside the A1081 just north of Harpenden will have on the whole of our town and wider afield. For some detail on the impact of what L&G are going to do to Harpenden:
See Legal & General puts Harpenden on the rack. (mailchi.mp) and the link to ‘Cramming a quart into a pint pot’.
The Harpenden Green Belt Association is working with the ‘Stop L&G ‘ group and I am enclosing below their latest newsletter which we have contributed to and agree with.
See  https://mailchi.mp/89abe5c0f0fe/lg-public-exhibition-damning-verdict-6263823
  Please circulate this email to residents in Harpenden whom you know and who may want to join with us in mounting a challenge to L&G’s planning application.
David Rankin, Chairman, The Harpenden Green Belt Association


June 1. Town Council gives a resounding NO to the L&G 550 homes in North West Harpenden

May 30th. 2023/ Harpenden Town Council EXTRAORDINARY MEETING to review


Within the Harpenden Neighbourhood Plan the North-West Infrastructure Zone states that significant development proposals in the North-West must:

Demonstrate how impact of new development on the A1081 and local roads will be mitigated.

Demonstrate provision for appropriate education facilities in close proximity to new development to meet the need for school places arising from the proposed development.

Demonstrate sufficient convenience shopping within a close proximity to new development.

Demonstrate sufficient open space, including recreational space in line with local community needs, within a close proximity to new development.
Having reviewed the applicant’s evidence it appears that these requirements have not been met in full.

A1081 and local roads - The development is likely to have an additional significant negative impact on the local road network. The A1081 adjacent to the development is already heavily congested and the neighbouring residential streets are tight and already subject to much ‘rat running’. The constraints in that area make it very difficult for any effective mitigating measures to be put in place therefore there is little surprise that the applicant appears to have not been able to demonstrate realistic mitigations.

Education facilities - The previous draft Local Plan required the site to provide a primary school. A primary school is no longer proposed by the applicant as the modelling suggests that it is not needed. However, having reviewed contributions to the consultation from Hertfordshire County Council it appears that they suggest that a primary school provision may still be needed.

Convenience shopping - The proposal appears to rely upon the existing parade of shops along the A1081. It is not clear if this is sufficient to support the needs of the new development.

Open Space - There is a sufficient level of recreation and open space included within the proposals. The proposals could be strengthened by replacing one of the grass sports pitches to an all-weather facility. There remains additional demand for this type of facility in the area.

Proposals Affecting the A1081, B653 and B652

The Application does set out highways improvements measures however; these are based upon the inaccuracies of the transport assessment mentioned above. Therefore, it appears that the measures will not ease traffic congestion on the A1081, nor will they minimise the disruption to traffic flow both of which are key requirements of this Policy.

Travel Plans

This focuses on the requirement for applicants to maximise the use of sustainable travel modes. The proposal sets out a number of suggestions relating to sustainable travel modes and we would make the following observations:

The proposed cycle path infrastructure measures appear entirely inappropriate and ineffective.

The on-road cycle route is unsafe and does nothing to address the most challenging aspect of the route which is when it reaches the Nickey Line bridge. The ‘quietway’ route encompasses narrow country lanes and residential streets with significant on-street parking. The applicant refers to the need for additional surveys to be undertaken and so it appears that the feasibility and deliverability of these proposals is unclear.


June 2. Barclays Bank to close on Sept 6th.

But are planning for a Barclays Local.

A Barclays spokesperson said:

 “Our customers’ behaviour has changed significantly in recent years, with the majority now choosing online banking.  This is reflected at the Harpenden branch and as we adapt, we are finding new ways to support our customers by maintaining our community presence with options for customers who still require in-person support.”


“In Harpenden we plan to open a Barclays Local – a pop-up cashless banking site where customers can meet a colleague face-to-face for banking support, as they would in a branch and without the need to travel. We are currently working with the local community to identify a suitable location and will announce details once confirmed.”


Background points

·         For customers who want support in person, we are rolling out the largest network of community banking sites in the UK, providing customers with access to a colleague in settings such as libraries, community centres and shopping centres. Over 200 are already open, and we believe this supports customers in a much more flexible and sustainable model, in places where branch use has declined.

The Harpenden branch located at 16 High Street, Harpenden, AL5 2TD is closing on 6 September 2023.

·         Customers have a wide range of options to complete their banking including the Barclays app, Telephone Banking, Online Banking and Video Banking.

·         We do not intend to make anyone redundant as a direct result of this closure.

Everyday transactions can be completed at any Post Office with the closest located at 29 High Street, Harpenden, AL5 2RU.

The nearest free-to-use ATMs are located nearby at located at Nationwide, 20 High Street, Harpenden, AL5 2SX.

The closest Barclays branch is located at Lockey House, St Peters Street, St Albans, AL1 3LP.

Less than 10 regular customers use this branch exclusively for their banking and do not interact with us in other ways.

The role of the physical branch is evolving, with fewer than 10% of transactions now taking place inside a branch.

We are committed to adhering to the UK Access to Banking Standard. All of our regular customers will receive a letter, our decision to close document and posters will be displayed in branch, and colleagues will be on hand to assist customers with any concerns they may have.

We will be proactively engaging with local businesses and the wider community to discuss the alternative ways customers will be able to undertake their banking locally.

We will be offering virtual ‘tea and teach’ sessions for customers wishing to explore digital banking and other alternatives to branch based banking.

June 6. Bim Afolami MP takes action following Barclays Bank closure due in Sept.

I was informed by Barclays that they will be closing their bank branch on Harpenden High Street from 6th September 2023. With the imminent closure of HSBC, this will be Harpenden’s last bank branch. I wanted to update you on the actions I’ve been taking to protect in-person banking services in Harpenden.

Firstly some good news. On Friday morning, I was in touch with LINK, who can recommend shared banking services when a town loses bank branches. They have informed me that Cash Access UK will begin the process of setting up a deposit service to allow businesses and residents to deposit cash in Harpenden. This is a promising update, but I will be pushing to upgrade this to a full Banking Hub.

On Thursday afternoon I wrote to the Chief Executive of Barclays to seek clarification on a number of points. In their initial confirmation of the closure to me, Barclays told me that they would provide additional access to face-to-face banking services through a new community location. I have asked them to confirm what services this would include and where this would be located.

I have also asked them whether they would be willing to join a Banking Hub on Harpenden High Street to enable the continued provision of in-person banking services alongside other banks.