Parish Council News – February 2024

The Parish Councils February meeting will start with a presentation by Mr Paul Miller, General Manager, National Trust Ashridge Estate, who will be talking about the very special and diverse Ashridge Estate, the significant current and future challenges across the estate, and the strategic approach the NT are taking to mitigate these challenges. ‘Protecting our Roots’ is the NT project developing the necessary transformational change, collaboratively with a range of stakeholders.

The Trust’s plans for the Estate include restrictions on parking in Monument Drive and more visitor centres to move visitors away from the Monument. More information can be found on the National Trust website. 


The flooding along Hempstead Lane is clearly causing significant inconvenience to the residents directly affected and to everyone who uses the road. A meeting involving Sir Mike Penning MP, County Cllr Terry Douris, the immediately affected residents and Highways was held on 9th February and there are now proposals for a short-term (as in any day now) and long-term solution. Details will be announced as soon as the plans have been finalised.

The Council will also consider a number of highways-related issues affecting Frithsden, including a proposal to install chevrons at the junction of Nettleden Rd and Frithsden Lane which has been the site of a number of accidents recently.

Open Spaces

Essential tree maintenance on the Old Green has been completed to remove some dangerous trees and allow more light into the area. Further work will be undertaken to reduce the amount of ivy on some of the trees. We are aware that the access to the Old Green from The Front is becoming more uneven and have included a proposal to improve it as one of the projects under consideration for funding from the CIL funds (see below).

The Council will be considering a proposal for a short term extension to the grass cutting contract. In itself this isn’t very contentious but the extension is to allow time to consider a proposal that the council change the grass cutting regime on the Old Green, part of The Green, and possibly the burial ground to improve the ecology of those areas. The Council would be very interested to hear resident’s views on this proposal.

The recent wet weather has further delayed work to cut back the trees overhanging the football pitch on the sports field but we hope that this will be completed as soon as possible. In the meantime we are about to submit a grant application to the Football Foundation to support a six year programme to improve the quality of the football pitch.

Dacorum have launched a consultation exercise on plans to improve cycling and walking routes in the borough. The aim is to identify walking and cycling routes of most importance to the community over the next 10 years and to make them more attractive and viable options than using a car. Funding will be sought from central Government. At first sight their plans appear to be very focused on urban routes so its important that everyone expresses their views.


Since the last meeting the council supported an application for a single storey extension and various other alterations to Crossways on Little Heath Lane (24/00090/FHA). 

At the meeting the council will consider an application at Mollcroft, Hempstead Lane (24/00157/FUL) for a change of use for an existing detached residential annex building to a separate dwellinghouse.

The council has received notification of appeals against the decisions by Dacorum to refuse permission for the new dwelling at Frithsden Vineyard (22/02538/FUL) and the retention of and addition to decking at 7 Olivers Close (23/01330/FUL). The Parish Council objected to both applications.

Finance and admin

At the January council meeting the Council agreed its budget for 2024/25 and the amount of Precept it requires to deliver its plans – the ‘Precept’ is that part of your Council Tax which is collected on behalf of the Parish Council. You can see the presentation given to the January Council Meeting explaining the main factors determining the level of precept here.

The Council has been considering possible areas in which to invest the £72,000 it received from the Valerie Way development in Potten End; the provisional list of projects was presented to the January Council meeting. It’s taken slightly longer to pull together high-level details of the various projects than we’d hoped but the Council will now consider them in early March before consulting with the community on priorities.

Her Majesty, The Queen

1926 – 2022

It is with great sadness that Nettleden with Potten End Parish Council has learned of the death of Her Majesty, The Queen.

The Council and residents of the parish extend their condolences to members of the Royal Family.

Anyone wishing to express their sympathies to the Royal Family may do so in the Book of Condolence at Holy Trinity Church, Potten End from about 8am – 6pm each day or in the online Book of Condolence provided by Buckingham Palace. Floral tributes may be left by the war memorial outside the church.

At At 6pm on Sunday, 18th September, there will be a Service of Commemoration marking the death of her Late Majesty in Holy Trinity Church; everyone is welcome to attend either in person or online.

At 8pm on Sunday, 18th September there will be a national minute’s silence as a moment of reflection on the eve of the Funeral of Her Late Majesty. There will be no formally organised event in the parish but if you wish to hold a local event some guidance has been issued as one possible way in which to manage it.

A copy of the Proclamation of the accession of King Charles III may be downloaded here.

Notice of public rights and publication of unaudited annual governance and accountability return

Each year the Parish Council’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd. The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2022, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to The Clerk, Potten End Village Hall, The Green, Potten End, HP4 2QG. Full details of how to exercise these rights may be downloaded from this website.

Potten End Jubilee Festival

An estimated 4,000 people attended the Jubilee Festival over the weekend of 2nd to 5th June; judging by the social media posts, informal comments, good-humoured but long queues for food and drink, and above all the amount of smiles and laughter it can be judged a success!

There’s a long list of people to thank because these things don’t just happen by themselves:

  • Fine & Country Estate Agents, Cnty Cllr Terry Douris and the National Lottery Community Fund for their financial support
  • Alexander King Smith who at the age of seven and at the very last minute played the National Anthem at the Beacon Lighting
  • Daryll Keen for lighting the beacon
  • Pat McAnulty of Shannon Rail for the loan of a generator and lighting tower
  • Mike Green and Matt Bennett of Leadstone Construction for the loan of a forklift and logistical support
  • Fiona Bridgeman for the graphic design
  • Peter Groome for the use of his hay bales
  • Furnells Transport for the use of the lorry which formed the sound stage
  • Paul Brown for the use of his field as a car park
  • The Cricket Club for the use of their pavilion during the open-air cinema
  • Holy Trinity Church for the use of the Church Room
  • Sam McGrath and Rachel Keen for organising the dog show
  • Dottie about Cake for organising the cake competition
  • Neil Masters for donating and manning the hog roast
  • All the stall holders and musicians who made the day so interesting and entertaining
  • Our fantastic band of volunteers including representatives from Potten End Explorers, Scouts and Beavers who smoothed over any little glitches
  • And the organising committee who worked for over a year to make it happen – Chrissy Casey-King, Lynda Clarke, Andrew Farrow, David Grimsdale, Emma Herman, Sarah Lowther, Simon Nelson, Chris Pocock (a special mention for his endless supply of equipment and operational expertise), Sara Raybould, Danny Richman, Joe Roberts, Hilary Smith, Erica Spanswick and Mike Wallis – all of whom did more than can ever be listed in a short article.