About the Preservation Society
|Diamond Jubilee Garden and Wheathampstead Mill
WDPS’s Aims and Objectives
Stated simply, WDPS's objectives are to
and improve the environment and
- oppose inappropriate development
in Wheathampstead and the surrounding area.
However, it is not our intention to “preserve” the village and its environs in their existing state, but rather
to conserve what is best about Wheathampstead. We accept that there has to be change and that some change is inevitable. WDPS’s
aim is to try to ensure that change is managed in the best interests of Wheathampstead as a whole, and that unacceptable developments
are not forced on the village against its wishes.
To this end, we try to work with, rather than against, the appropriate authorities
and organisations - notably the Parish Council and the Countryside Management Service.
Specifically, the aims and objectives as stated in our constitution are:Preserve and enhance the environment of the village and the surrounding areaPromote traditional village enterprises and promote community cohesionPromote employment opportunities within new and existing rural businessesRaise awareness and encourage pride in our village and the surrounding areaOppose inappropriate development within the village and surrounding district.
In practice the activities on which WDPS concentrates can be summarised as:
- opportunities to improve or make better use of the village's many assets
- reviewing planning applications and objecting to any inappropriate development
- reacting to external threats to the village
- taking part, along with other
local organisations, in community-wide initiatives
- encouraging energy conservation.
|Opening of the Diamond Jubilee Garden
1. Improving the village and making better use of its
WDPS seeks to
- to identify opportunities to improve the village or make better use of its many assets
- to undertake whatever is necessary to make that happen
to carry out any necessary maintenance.
|Red Phone Box in the High Street
of the Diamond Jubilee Garden across the River Lea from the Bull
- maintenance of the Diamond Jubilee Garden
of Bury Green Garden at the junction of Bury Green and Old Rectory Gardens
installation of the red phone box in the High Street
- the installation of the Community
Notice Board outside Tesco
- recommendations for tighter standards for signage in
- regular cleaning of traffic and similar signs which would otherwise
be left dirty and difficult to read
- annual bulb planting at key locations to enhance
the appearance of the village.
Reviewing Planning Applications
Opposing inappropriate development in the area means that WDPS gets involved in land-use planning matters when necessary.
We usually react to planning
applications which, in our view, affect Wheathampstead as a whole or have a significant impact on part of it.
Wheathampstead is a large village set in the Metropolitan Green Belt. The central
part of the village is designated as a Conservation Area. We therefore pay particular attention to development proposals:
- which may be regarded as inappropriate in the Green Belt or
- which have a detrimental effect on the Conservation Area or important statutorily
- which, in our view, would significantly damage
the architectural, historical and archaeological inheritance of the area.
We do not get involved in relatively minor planning applications which affect only the immediate neighbours
or which, in our opinion, do not have a significant impact on the village as a whole or an important part of it. It is not
our role to comment on every planning application in the parish of Wheathampstead: that is a matter for the Parish Council.
More information about how the planning process works
3. Reacting to external threats to Wheathampstead
Wheathampstead and the surrounding district may be
under threat not merely from inappropriate development within the area but from external developments that could adversely
affect the village. WDPS seeks to identify these dangers and to oppose them.
Examples in recent years have been:
to increase the capacity of Luton Airport, which could cause more aircraft noise and would almost certainly increase the volume
of road traffic in Wheathampstead
- proposals to change air traffic routes which
would result in increased aircraft noise in Wheathampstead
- road traffic issues
affecting Wheathampstead (and in particular Lower Luton Road)
- suggestions that
the area covered by the Green Belt should be altered
- the St Albans’ Strategic Local
- proposals to develop a new village at Simonshyde.
|Launch of Wheathampstead Heritage Trail
4. Involvement in community initiatives
WDPS frequently partners other local organisations.
These include Wheathampstead
Parish Council, Wheathampstead Business Group (WEB), Countryside Management Services and Wheathampstead History Society.
Examples of joint ventures and of taking part in community initiatives are:
- Wheathampstead Heritage Trail (with the Parish Council and WEB)
War' evening (with the History Society)
- Village Day, when each year WDPS has
its own stall.
5. Encouraging energy
- monitoring energy consumption statistics for the four local census areas within Wheathampstead
- in association with Transition St Albans, introducing the “Transition” movement to Wheathampstead to address how the village, along with the rest of the world,
will react to
- the fact that in future there will be less
oil, and we shall have to cut back on how much we use
- introducing Transition Streets
to Wheathampstead: a way to bring neighbours together to cut their household bills and their
carbon footprint by taking practical action.
The Members of the Committee
The Committee is responsible for determining the strategic
direction that WDPS takes. The current members of the Committee are:
Treasurer and Membership Secretary
|Church Street from St Helen's Churchyard
Wheathampstead and District Preservation Society was formed in 1995 with the immediate
objective of opposing the proposal by Sainsbury’s to build a superstore and petrol
station on the former Murphy’s Chemicals site on the edge of the village.
WDPS took the
view that the proposed store was too big (22,000 square feet) for a village the size of Wheathampstead, and was effectively
an ‘out of town’ superstore that would have attracted custom and traffic from a much wider area. It would also
have affected the viability of existing shops and businesses in the village centre. Following a public planning inquiry in
1996, the application was refused by the Secretary of State. The site has since been redeveloped for housing.
The next major campaign for the Society was to fight the proposal by Redlands (now Lafarge Aggregates)
in association with Hertfordshire County Council and the Groundwork Trust (now Groundwork Hertfordshire) to re-open Blackbridge
Tip, on the outskirts of the village.
Click here to read more about the Blackbridge Tip campaign.
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