The Trust recognizes that national and local targets to generate cleaner, greener electricity will lead, in some part, to solar power.

The Hilfield Solar Farm proposals raise serious questions and concerns. These include:

  1. Scale. It is proposed convert the use of 123 hectares (over 300 acres) of agricultural land to solar power generation. This will radically change the nature of the local countryside. Given that this single installation will triple the borough’s green energy generation, the loss of so much agricultural land in one area is excessive.
  2. Greenbelt. The local area will be dominated by solar panels. England’s green and pleasant land will be lost for generations – probably forever. Lost farming land could lead to increased building and construction on greenbelt fields.
  3. Visual Impact. Solar panels 3 metres in height can not be described as attractive. They will be a blight on the landscape. It is essential that if built, that these are kept a minimum distance (20 metres) from roads and established pathways.
  4. Temporary Development. This label is misleading. A 35 year change of use from agricultural to solar generation will never be reversed. It is greenbelt land lost forever.
  5. Solar Farm. To describe this proposal as a solar “farm” is a misnomer. This is land being used not for farming but for industrial power generation.
  6. History. Although working with partners, Enso Energy is a new company who may be unable to deal with operational and other issues that will arise.
  7. Footpaths and Wildlife. There are assurances that footpaths will be maintained and wildlife protected and even enhanced. There is profound skepticism concerning these guarantees.
  8. Construction. The building and construction programme will be chaotic and disruptive on already busy country lanes. Thousands of movements of heavy lorries could cause misery, danger and delay.

Planning authorities and villagers should consider the points above when coming to decision. This is a massive development whose scale will disrupt and change local countryside in perpetuity. Solar development does not have to be on this scale. 

Letchmore Heath Village Trust.

October 2020.

Aldenham War Memorial Hall and Cross (A short history of their beginnings 1919 to 1923)

Aldenham War Memorial Hall and Cross (A short history of their beginnings 1919 to 1923)

Both the War Memorial and the Aldenham War Memorial Hall were built using funding raised in the parish of Aldenham and included the residents of Letchmore Heath – Battlers Green – High Cross – Kemps Row – Roundbush _ Otterspool – Wall Hall – Patchetts Green – Delrow – Grove Place – Hillfield – Aldenham School – Aldenham House.

Lord Aldenham offered land on Letchmore Heath Farm Paddock, between the Post office and the pond in the Spinney, for the construction of the Hall and in July 1919 Lord Rendlesham gave Permission for the Cross to be erected on the Letchmore Heath Village Green after draining the Village Green pond.

The hall committee resolved that funds should be raised for both hall and cross on 30th June 1920..

A Mr G Turner was appointed Architect.

A sub-committee was set comprising Major Edgcombe, Mr Kent and Mr Tudor to liaise with the Architect, with Mr Worby being appointed to organise voluntary labour and oversee the building work associated with the hall under the Architects instructions.

The Hall was built using “clay blocks” and the block expert was a Mr Batevas from Norfolk The moulds for the blocks were ordered via Mr Batevus and the Clay for the blocks came from Aldenham House Estate, the clay being dug and the blocks made by local volunteer labour.

The Cross was manufactured by Bromsgrove Guild and was in place by 10 November 1920, with the ceremony being performed on Sunday 6th December 1920.

By December 1920 the cost of the Hall was standing at £3260 and a further £1500 was likely to be needed to complete. The final figure to build and equip the Hall was £3972 and the Cross was £667.

The hall officially opened on Thursday 27th Jan 1921 at 8pm.

In December 1920 it was agreed to erect rails around the green (with small gaps for people) to prevent cattle damaging the cross.

On 24th May 1921 an agreement was made between the Parish Council and the Vicar & Church Wardens of Aldenham Church, in that the church would be the custodian of the Memorial Cross, the cross up to this date had been maintained jointly by the Village Hall and the local Woman’s Institute.

A memorial tablet was fitted on the West Wall of the hall in November 1923, and is inscribed “This hall was erected as a tribute to all those of this Parish who served their King and Country in the Great War 1914-1918 47 men and boys (one only 16yrs old) left the Parish to fight for King and Country, only to die on the battle fields in a foreign land – “Lest we forget”

M Pickford 12/08/2013

Perhaps a time for reflection


11th November 2018 – Letchmore Heath

With the 100th anniversary of the cessation of the First World War, perhaps we should take time to reflect on a former resident of Letchmore Heath, Arthur Hawkins, who was killed in action on the 19th April 1916.

Arthur was the eldest son of Hannah and Henry William Hawkins who lived at 3 Letchmore Cottages, (Henry was the son of “Old Henry” and Mary Hawkins). When Henry and Hannah married in 1890 they moved into number 3 Hill Cottages where Arthur was born in the same year. But tragedy struck the family somewhere between April and June 1897 when Arthurs father a domestic gardener died at the age of 31, Arthur would have only been 7 years old at the time.

After his death Hannah moved into number 2 Letchmore Cottages with Arthur and his two younger brothers, Edward aged 14 and Edmund aged 6. Hannah became a laundress working from home and took in a paying lodger, Fredrick Crossley a domestic coachman.

Shortly after the outbreak of war on 28th July 1914 Arthur enlisted with the 8th Battalion of the Bedford Regiment at their recruitment drive in Watford, as Private 14344 A Hawkins He later left the village in September 1914 to fight for “King and Country” not realising he would never see his home or family again. His battalion suffered heavy losses during a German massed bombardment and raids on their lines during April 1916 (see below for full battle details). Arthur has no known grave but he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, West-Viaanderen, Belgium, his name is on memorial panels 31 and 33. There is also a stone memorial plaque set into the wall of his old home at number 2 Letchmore Cottages.

Arthur would have been awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

There are 4 further plaques in Letchmore Heath commemorating the men from the village who gave their lives in the “Great War” these are set into the walls of their old homes

Arthur Burnell Bernadine, The Green
Ted Camp Landor cottages, Back Lane
Stanley Beal Camp Landor Cottages, Back lane
Harry Walton Keene The Old Bakery, Grange Lane

Details of the battle
On the 9th April 1916 the Germans launched the Lys offensive which continued until 30th April 1916. But by the 16th April 1916 the 8th Bedfordshire Regiment had moved in to support the trenches on the Yser Canal to the East of Ypres. On the nights of the 19th and 20th April there was a heavy German bombardment on the British lines and they broke through to the South of Ypres near the town of St Elai and gained a footing in trenches D20 (Willow walk) and S18a. Trenches D21, B16 &B17 held the battalion line. By 21st April the trenches had been retaken and consolidated by the British.

Over these two nights 3 officers were killed, 3 were wounded and 1 listed as missing, of the other ranks 32 were killed, 65 were wounded and 97 were listed as missing. Whilst there is no actual documentary evidence there is a very high probability that Arthur was one of the 97 listed as missing.

The Bedford Regiment were subsequently relieved by the 2nd Yorkshire and Lancaster Regiment.

Responding to HBC local plan

Dear Letchmore Heathens,

Should anyone wish to respond to HBC’s Local Plan along the same lines as LHVT, please feel free to cut and paste extracts from our responses.

Please ensure that you change some of the wording so that your views are expressed in your own way.

If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact any member of the Trust.

LHVT response to HBC local plan

H 3
Land west of Aldenham School, Letchmore Heath

The Letchmore Heath Village Trust (LHVT) strongly supports HBC’s comments that this site is “not suitable for development” and agrees with the Council view that the site should be categorised as one of the “sites not currently acceptable”. The principle drivers for this position are the impact on character and function of a small village and the issues of access and traffic.

Letchmore Heath is one of the smallest villages in Hertsmere – about a hundred houses and a population just over three hundred. It has no local facilities bar an excellent pub, a village hall and a duck pond. The village has been referred to as “the jewel in (Hertsmere’s) crown”. It is served by three lanes, two of which are single track with high banks – traffic congestion and grid locks are current and frequent events.

Any significant housing development in Letchmore Heath will fracture and possibly destroy the character and function of the village which has been built up over decades – indeed centuries. Building up to five hundred (five times the current size of the village) new homes on this land will effectively wipe out the village as it currently exists.

Without massive and unwelcome infrastructure and road investment, there is no prospect that Aldenham Road (let alone Grange Lane and Common Lane) could cope with any further significant increase in traffic density. A recent survey indicated that at peak times there are already over 400 cars per hour currently passing through the village, many headed to the adjacent Aldenham School and also to Haberdasher’s.

The H3 site is good quality crop producing green belt agricultural land with a pleasing rural and visual landscape – this should not be lost.

There are no services or shops located in the village. And as there are no public transport facilities, any and all local needs have to be accessed by road in other communities.

Development on this site would directly contradict HBC’s Policy 4: to “Preserve setting and character”.

R 2
Land south of The Ridgeway (Home Farm)

From an LHVT perspective, there are two significant concerns with development of up to 560 dwellings on this site.

The first is that, although not on the R2 designated site, the “Housing Promoted Sites” (in red) shows this scheme going up to Common Lane. Further traffic volumes emerging from this major development site onto Common Lane would be untenable. Anyone that has driven down this lane will be aware that current traffic volumes cause frequent grid locks – more housing and more cars could make Common Lane unusable.

Secondly, development of this major site increases the likelihood of Letchmore Heath becoming merged with greater Radlett (contrary to Policy 2: to “Prevent towns merging”).

The adjacent potential development of Brickfields (198), Rear of Ridgeway (213) and West of Watling Street (367) offer a total potential of 280 new houses. Given existing road and adjacent infrastructure, these would seem to be preferential sites ahead of R2.

R 1
Kemprow Farm, Crown Estate

Apart from the further loss of green belt, and the negative visual impact there would need to be a serious review of impact on local traffic flows and density. Apart from the narrow Oakridge Lane, traffic into and out of Radlett could be severely affected.
Watford Road already struggles to cope with traffic volumes at peak times, and without significant road investment this situation will further deteriorate.

500 New houses in Letchmore Heath


You will probably be aware that the HBC Local Plan process is now at the stage of examining specific sites for development and new house building. Details are available on the HBC website: http://www.hertsmere.gov.uk (New Local Plan), or on their consultation portal: https://tinyurl.com/ycuoaxgv . HBC are inviting views from local residents on the selection and desirability of individual development sites.

The key site option affecting Letchmore Heath is fields to the right of Aldenham Road as you leave the village (Local Plan reference H3 ), and proposes the potential development of 500 new homes. The village currently has about 100 houses.

LHVT has submitted a response to this (and two other sites around Radlett, R2 and R1) proposal, the full details of which are available on our website (address above) and can also be seen if you click “View Comments” against H3 on the HBC Local Plan. A couple of extracts from the Trust’s response are:

“Any significant housing development in Letchmore Heath will fracture and possibly destroy the character and function of the village which has been built up over decades – indeed centuries. Building up to five hundred (five times the current size of the village) new homes on this land will effectively wipe out the village as it currently exists.”

“Without massive and unwelcome infrastructure and road investment, there is no prospect that Aldenham Road (let alone Grange Lane and Common Lane) could cope with any further significant increase in traffic density”.

“There are no services or shops located in the village. And as there are no public transport facilities, any and all local needs have to be accessed by road”

If you have an opinion that you wish to express, you should post this to the HBC Local Plan website (preferred route) or email (local.plan@hertsmere.gov.uk ) or write to HBC. The consultation period ends on 20th DECEMBER.

Your views matter, and will affect the outcome of the sites eventually selected for development. For assistance, LHVT has posted guidance notes on its website (above). If you wish please feel free to follow the Trust’s line of argument – but best in your own words. If required, please contact any member of the Trust for help.

So, if you are concerned about the future of your village, let HBC know. The more submissions from individual households, the more the planners will take note.

Thank You!

2017 – LHVT response to HBC paper

For information, this was the response sent by the Letchmore Heath Village Trust (LHVT) in NOVEMBER LAST YEAR (2017) to Hertsmere Borough Council’s paper entitled Issues and Options which was posted to all households in Autumn 2017.

LHVT will shortly be responding to the latest specific site proposals in HBC’s Local Plan. This will be posted on this website together with encouragement and advice to respond to HBC’s proposals. Watch this space!




This response to the recently published “Issues and Options” paper is submitted on behalf of the Letchmore Heath Village Trust. Due to tight timescales it has not been possible to consult and receive feedback from all local villagers, but the Trust is keen to make this response before the 30th November deadline.


The HBC paper is a well argued and logical document. As we are not in a position to challenge presented facts and most assumptions, the proposed vision and way forward seems justified.

If the Borough is to address the number of new houses required, then the option of building a Garden Village / Town is an attractive – probably essential – piece of the plan. This will clearly need to be supplemented by some of the other significant development proposals identified in your paper.


Use and expansion of rail capacity will be an essential part of any development plan. Apart from the many national pieces of this challenge, the Borough must make better use of rail hubs – both within and outside its boundaries (e.g. Stanmore tube station) – rail users take no notice of Borough boundaries. This will require regular bus services to and from rail hubs, and investment in increased (double decker?) car parking capacity at stations such as Radlett.


We would strongly endorse two principles within the Vision statement:

“Making sure our towns and villages retain their own distinct and separate identities” – p 11.

“Ensuring all new homes are built in places where there are or will be, roads, schools, cycle routes, shops and other services and facilities nearby” – p 12.

In this context, we would like to comment on small villages, and specifically Letchmore Heath.


There may be some small, individual house building opportunities in and round Letchmore Heath.

However any significant development and building opportunities in and around the village are likely to be severely constrained.

The principal reasons for this are:

    1. Roads

The village is accessed by three roads – Common Lane, Grange Lane and Aldenham Road. All have severely limited capacity, with the first two being narrow winding single track lanes with high banks.

    2. Services and Facilities

The village has two community assets – the pub and the village hall. There are however no local services, shops, schools or facilities of any sort that would meet the needs of an enlarged village. Current residents access these services by road in other towns, villages and communities.

    3. Character

The character and nature of Letchmore Heath is well established and recognised. The village green, duck pond, war memorial, Victorian / Edwardian (or older) housing stock and local pub create a unique atmosphere and environment – indeed, the village has been referred to as “the jewel in the (Hertsmere’s) crown”.

This long established character and attraction needs to be preserved, protected and enhanced for future generations.

Letchmore Heath Village Trust

November 2017



HB Planning for Growth

For all those that might have missed the flyer in the post, this is the pdf of the newsletter:


The following website link explains the process and shows the timeline:

Planning for Growth – a new Local Plan for Hertsmere

Thursday 22 November
Radlett Centre, Aldenham Avenue, WD7 8DH

This will provide a good opportunity to see what is being proposed and ask questions.


Annual Village Meeting of the Letchmore Heath Village Trust 
Wednesday 19th September 2018 at 20.00
Aldenham War Memorial Hall

You are warmly invited to attend the Annual Village Meeting of the LHVT. The main objective of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to recognise and discuss issues of local concern.


  • Apologies for Absence
  • Chairman’s Introduction
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Election of LHVT members
  • FASTER BROADBAND – Jane Darley (Community Fire Partnership Manager – Openreach) will attend the AGM and answer questions.
  • Brief reports on LHVT 2017/18 progress.
  • Open forum

Link to flyer: AGM_2018_Flyer


Dog owners in Letchmore Heath enjoy the opportunity to walk their dogs in the fields owned by Aldenham School. This facility is offered as a gesture of goodwill from the School to villagers.

Recent reports confirm a steady increase in dog mess left uncollected. This creates unacceptable health and safety issues to school pupils, staff and other users.


  2. Dogs walked on or near Top Field, the Chapel or Button           Field (small field behind the Prep School), are kept on a     lead.
  3. Dogs walked on Cooke’s Field may be taken off the lead, but must be kept under control.

The School wishes to maintain unlocked gate access to Cooke’s (and other) Fields. HOWEVER……..if the amount of dog mess left uncollected does not reduce significantly in the immediate future, the School will be duty bound to consider locking the gate and removing access to all their playing fields.

The minority of offending dog owners are known. They are threatening access to School fields for all local dog walkers. So please, for everyone’s benefit, RESPECT THE RULES.

Janmashtami festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor – 2018

The annual Janmashtami festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor will be held Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd September 2018.

Letchmore Heath Village Trust and the Temple are continuing to work together to ensure there will be no festival vehicle access through Patchetts Green, Round Bush and Letchmore Heath. Except of course for residents, friends/relatives/guests, carers, business traffic/employees, emergency vehicles etc.

Staffed road closures will be put in place from 10.00 until 22:00 hours on both the Sunday and Monday. Please see janmashtami_festival_2018.pdf for more details.

For additional passes: radha.moha@krishnatemple.com 01923 851003 / 07818815978 (leave a message)

Updated Traffic Information: 07497 696 346 (festival days only)

Faster Broadband – update 16/08/18

LHVT has now received a proposal and quote from Openreach for the supply of high speed broadband to residents and businesses in the village. The scheme would provide Ultrafast Fibre connectivity to anyone who takes it up – this would deliver speeds of up to 1gbs (although no suppliers currently offer this!). It is understood that Openreach will supply a new Fibre connection to a suitable location in the Village and then connect to each property using overhead cables with no need to dig up roads to lay new underground cables.

The total cost of this scheme is £32,893 – so the big question is, how could this sum be funded?

Grants are available via the Department of Culture and Media, called the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS).  These grants are £3000 for a small business and £500 for a resident.  There are conditions attached, and the key points are;

  1. All grant applicants must take out a 100mbs contract with one of the approved supplies within 1 year of the installation.  As a general rule the 100mbs plan will cost about £55 per month which is about £20 per month more than current high speed broadband, such as BT Infinity. (Sky and Talk Talk do not currently offer a Fibre to the Premises product so some grant applicants may need to change broadband service supplier).
  2. The number of business grants must exceed the number of residential grants. For example if 5 businesses in the Village applied for grants, there could only be 4 residential grants – a total grant of £17k. Should 2 businesses apply there could be only 1 residential grant – amounting to £6.5k.

Therefore the first question is: How many businesses in the Village would commit to a 100mbs plan – and how many residents would make the same commitment?

The GBVS is available to all Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) – defined as those that employ fewer than 250 people with an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million. This includes sole traders. Businesses must not have received more than the permitted amount of de minimis aid in the last 3 years. More guidance on this can be found in the terms and conditions document. https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/GBVS-Beneficiary-Terms-and-Conditions-3.0.pdf

If sufficient funding can not be raised through the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, alternative options may be considered. If GBVS is not used then there will not be the commitment for the 100mbs package, but we should get the true high speed connection many of us are already paying for and not receiving. To date LHVT has received positive responses from about 60 residents. A mix of grant and modest individual funding (maybe hands in pockets time!) could make this project work.

Please confirm to fastbroadband@letchmoreheath.org.uk if you would commit to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (above) and whether this would be as a business or a resident. Please also confirm if you do not wish to commit to this scheme but would be prepared to contribute to overall costs.

The objectives of this FASTER BROADBAND UPDATE are to provide further information to those who expressed interest, and to gauge level of responses. You are not making any financial commitment at this stage – and none has been made by LHVT.  Further information and proposals for funding will be made in due course once responses and comments have been received.

Further information can be found at the Trust’s web site at:  www.letchmoreheath.org.uk and at:


The Letchmore Heath Annual Village Meeting (and LHVT AGM) will be held in the Village Hall at 20.00 on Wednesday 19th September  (more details later) – Faster Broadband Service is on the agenda. Come along!!

New planning

There is a new planning application lodged for Letchmore Heath

The location and application No are    16/0355/FUL   The Grocery Institute (Aldenham Cottage)  Grange Lane

To view the application in full on the Hertsmere website please click here and type the above planning application number into the search box.

If you wish to make a comment on the application this should be sent to Planning Dept of HBC  by 26th April 2016


Letchmore Heath Village Newsletter 1st April

What’s on in April

Friday 1st Village bus
Monday 4th Book club
Thursday 7th Village tidy
Friday 8th Village bus
Friday 8th LH Police surgery
Tuesday 12th Business networking
Wednesday 13th Village social
Friday 15th Village bus
Friday 22nd Village bus
Thursday 28th Radlett police surgery
Friday 29th Village bus

Book club

The April book club meeting will be on Monday 4th April at 8 pm. Come along and join in, even if you haven’t read the current book, so you can find out what the next book will be.


Village Tidy

Please join us for a “Village Tidy” on Thursday 7 April 2016 at 10.00 starting outside The Three Horseshoes.
– litter pick
-tidying up the car park by the pond (please bring a sturdy rake or fork if you have one!)
-removing old notices
-washing signs
Everybody is welcome. Plastic bags will be provided, but please bring your own gloves.

Business Networking event

this will be held in the pub on Tuesday 12th April. A chance to meet up and network with a range of local small business owners, find out what they do and offer your products and services to a new audience.

Village social

the regular village social will be on Wednesday 13th April in the pub. All welcome.


there will be a quiz in the pub in April. Ask at the pub for details. Bring a team along or join one on the night and pit your wits against other locals.

Refuse collections

Due to the difficulty of manoeuvring the refuse lorries down some of our narrow lanes, Hertsmere have decided that there will no longer be door to door rubbish collections in Common Lane, Back Lane and New Road. This will also apply to Grange Lane until the road repairs have been carried out. Instead, the affected residents should take their rubbish down to the car park area by the pond where suitable large rubbish receptacles are going to be placed. The collections will remain on Thursdays. Hertsmere have said that if this scheme works well, they may consider replacing the door to door collection on the other roads in Letchmore Heath, which will save the council both considerable time and money, something they are keen to do in these times of budget cuts.

If you want any more information on this, please email nickyweisfeld@gmail.com.

Village bus

as always, the village bus will leave the pub at 9.45 on a Friday morning and will collect from Watford at 12.15, returning to the village at 12.30. Don’t forget, the pub will be open from 9.30 for bus drivers and passengers to enjoy a cup of coffee before setting out for Watford.

Local Policing report

Hello, my name is Tim Conway and I am a PCSO for Aldenham West. I joined Hertfordshire Constabulary in April 2014 and was covering both East and West Aldenham since that date with support from my colleagues in the Bushey and Radlett Safer Neighbourhood Team.

In September I was joined in Aldenham by PCSO Barry Lovegrove. He has been a PCSO for about 12 years and brings a great deal of experience with him, he has taken over Aldenham East Ward so I can now concentrate on the Aldenham West Ward.

We run beat surgeries in Radlett Library at the end of each month, the next is on 28/04 between 1430-1630 hrs at the end of each month to discuss crime-related concerns with residents. In October I started running those for the rural community as well and although the progress has been slow we are developing an excellent rapport with the Aldenham West Residents. We will be carrying out Beat Surgeries on 08 April at The Three Horseshoes 0915-0945, Parish Church Aldenham, 10.00-1100, Battlers Greens Shops 1115-1215, Newberries School 1230-1315 and Osprey Close Watford 1400-1500 hrs.

We send details about local crimes and related crime prevention advice via our Online Watch Link (OWL). Please visit http://www.owl.co.uk to sign up to this free service.

If you have any local policing issues you would like to raise with us, please contact the Safer Neighbourhood Team by email at sntbusheyandradlett@herts.pnn.police.uk or via the police non-emergency number 101. If a crime is in progress call 999 immediately.

PCSO Tim Conway 6263.


Save the Date

Midsummer’s Night Picnic, Saturday 18th June
The Aldenham War Memorial Hall committee is planning a village picnic on (nearly) midsummer’s night. Please keep the date free. More details will be forthcoming nearer the time.

Battlers Green Post Office

this has now been refurbished and Bala is looking forward to welcoming customers back. As you may know, he can arrange newspaper deliveries to addresses in Letchmore Heath. Please support this local shop.

By the way, Happy April Fool’s Day.

Nicky Weisfeld