Welcome to the website of Farnham Parish Council. The Parish of Farnham is situated in the Uttlesford District of Essex County Council. More detailed information on Parish Council business may be found as follows:
Latest Information - On this page;
Information regarding the Parish Council [Minutes of Parish Council meetings, meeting agendas, finance, planning issues & published documents such as policies and statements] see 'Our Files'.
Photographs of a variety of events and scenes around the village see 'Photo Album.' We are happy to receive any interesting photographs from around the village for inclusion.
ROAD CLOSURES - UPDATE 17th January 2020
I have just heard that Farnham Road is passable for cars and small vans but certainly not larger vehicles.
Obviously, the road is not technically open and any accidents on this section will not be covered by insurance. You drive at your own risk as the warning signs are still in place.
There are no workmen present today and I would think there will be no work over the weekend. Hopefully the road will be properly surfaced on Monday and then opened..
As usual it is with a little hesitation that road closures are printed as in the past information from Highways has not always been reliable. However, at present the news we have concerns the following:
- Upwick Road (Herts section) & Albury Road: the Upwick Road is now open but further closures are expected in April/May 2020. There are some minor and major roadworks taking place in this vicinity over the next few months, all related to work on the new bypass.
- Walnut Tree corner (explained below) - Road now OPEN. Will be closed again April/May (to be confirmed).
- Farnham Road (by Animal Rescue Centre - Lime Pit) closed 13th - 27th January (Affinity Water works);
- Farnham Road (by new school) due to be closed on 10th January (but possiblity of just traffic lights.)
- Rectory Lane patching by Gigaclear 6th - 8th January.
Residents of Farnham may be aware that sometime ago Essex Highways stated that they would be installing a grill on the stream that flows under Walnut Tree Lane and joins the Bourne Brook along Farnham Road (Watery Lane). This has been a major cause of flooding in Farnham Road. In addition the drainage pipes which are under Farnham Road have an elbow bend which is constantly being blocked due to the lack of a grill at Walnut Tree corner. It seems that at last it is back on the agenda of Essex Highways and work is due to be completed in the next year. There are two stages to the work which, in summary, are:
* Existing system has been jetted/cleansed and a CCTV survey undertaken (it's effectively a giant pressure washer on the back of a lorry).
* Sub-contractor will remove existing vegetation and install the trash screen to the culvert (this will likely involve some concrete work in the base of the watercourse, but will not impede the flow of surface water). This is also likely to require a road closure and is unlikely to be completed at the same time as the previous closure. The trash screen installation likely to be early next financial year.
There is a problem with Gigaclear at present as they are recruiting new teams for cable laying. Gigaclear inform me that they have now been able to recruit teams and are initially examining areas that have been completed to see if work has been completed as required. They will then proceed to continue the cabling that had previously been started. They will provide dates before work commences. More details when available.
If you wish your name to be added to the Parish Council circulation list for local significant information you can do so by contacting Peter Jarman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01279 771443. – the Parish Council is registered with the Information Commission and as such will not pass on personal information such as email addresses to anybody.
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An introduction to FARNHAM
Location: 2 miles west of Stansted Mountfitchet and 4 miles north of Bishop’s Stortford. Ordnance Survey grid square: TL4724. Postcode: CM23 1HT. Access: northwest off B1004. There is a private subsidised Community Bus operated by Uttlesford Community Travel on Thursdays. Depart Farnham Green 11am via Farnham, Levels Green and Bishops Stortford. Return journey 1.45pm. This service is reviewed every year. The fare for this route is £4 currently single or return journey. As it is a private service the National Bus Pass cannot be accepted on this route. Population: 358 in 2016.
he Parish of Farnham consists of several small hamlets; FarnhamVillage, Farnham Green, Hazel End, Levels Green and Chatter End. Most of the Parish consists of the old Hassobury Estate. The ParishChurch was demolished and rebuilt on its present site in 1859.
Farnham - originally Fearnham - ‘The place where fern and bracken grow’ - has a recorded history dating back many hundreds of years and Hazel End, Farnham is in fact, mentioned in the DomesdayBook. The name Hassobury means ‘Hart’s Ridge’. Walker’s farm and Earlsbury are probably the oldest settlements in the village and were formerly part of the possessions of the Earl of Sussex.
Farnham has predominantly been a farming village with one land owner but as time passes, properties change hands and circumstances alter with young families moving in.
Farnham can be approached from one of three directions, all of which can be difficult in prolonged wet conditions, adding to its isolation! It can be approached from the west via Hertfordshire passing through Little Hadham and Albury before taking the narrow lane linking the Albury road with Upwick and eventually Levels Green where the lane can be followed to the left passing some very interesting properties such as Earlsbury and Walkers. This lane then joins Rectory Lane by the well maintained village hall. Bearing to the right at the village hall leads to FarnhamPrimary School. This approach is the last to flood should there be heavy rain!
The second approach is via the Manuden to Bishops Stortford road (Hazel End Road) when a very narrow and winding lane can be taken from Hazel End which starts near to a charming pond and small green. The lane passes a few houses in the hamlet of Hazel End and then approaches woodland where the road drops steeply to a ford which can rise rapidly in prolonged wet weather. It is Bourne Brook which crosses the road and can rise to depths of 1.5 metres and is situated in the middle of a z-bend which means that drivers can come across it without warning. After negotiating the ford there is a steep climb away which leads to the centre of the village. On this latter section of the road there are some pleasant views of St Mary’s Church, Farnham to the right and Hassobury in the distance. At the end of the lane the main Farnham Road is joined and soon after FarnhamPrimary School comes into sight.
The third lane to Farnham is the most commonly used and starts at the junction of St Michaels Road and Rye Street, Bishops Stortford near to the Mountbatten Restaurant (until recently known as the Red, White and Blue public house). This approach is not without its element of surprise as it climbs over the A120 bypass north of Bishops Stortford and then drops down to a z-bend which marks the Hertfordshire and Essex border. Coming out of the z-bend is a straight stretch of road which runs alongside Bourne Brook. The brook is a main tributary of the River Stort and, again, in wet weather runs very high, often overflowing and making progress along the road very difficult if not impossible. This road then leads to FarnhamPrimary School. Life in a small, isolated village can be both exciting and daunting!
Turning left into Rectory Lane at FarnhamPrimary School leads to the main village of Farnham. Continuing along Farnham Road from the school leads eventually to the far reaches of the village passing by a lodge house of Hassobury at Saven End and passing the raised cottages of Chatter End. Passing Thrifts Farm the lane then leads to Farnham Green with the green itself on the right surrounded in a very attractive setting by some delightful thatched cottages and houses. Continuing straight into Shaw Wood Lane visitors will pass a telephone kiosk which has long been converted as an exchange book library. This not only contains books but has some maps and copies of the Farnham Circular Walks booklet. Surprisingly the books in this kiosk usually change completely within a six month period. The rules are simple – take a book and leave another book in its place. Further along this road, passing Farnham Hall on your left, there are just four more houses, the last being situated almost on the Herts and Essex border with Shaw Wood in sight from where there are views across Hertfordshire towards Albury and the Patmore Health nature reserve.
Farnham has a small but active community. There are numerous social activities that take place in the village including the popular Safari Supper where participants have one course of a three course meal somewhere in Farnham and move onto different houses for the remaining two courses. Nobody knows where they are going until the last moment with the hosts being the last to know until visitors arrive! Another successful activity was started recently: a coffee morning in the village hall on the last Wednesday of each month. The attraction is the variety of home made cakes and good quality coffee. Just a simple charge of £1 per slice of cake and £1 for a cup of coffee – no raffles or other forms of fund-raising, just a quiet cup of coffee, cake and conversation with friends. A must for any visitor on the last Wednesday of the month.
A most recent addition to the village has been the completely refurbished Recreation Area situated between 10 and 12 Rectory Lane. This has apparatus for all ages including a cross trainer for adults over 18 years and a zip wire for the more adventurous. Another recent addition to the village were three defibrillators - one at Thrifts Farm, Farnham Green; one at The Three Horseshoes, Hazel End; one outside the Village Hall in Rectory Lane
The Three Horseshoes, Hazel End Road. Bar and restaurant. 01279 813429;
Coffee Morning last Wednesday every month in Village Hall, Rectory Lane, 1030-1200;
Farnham Circular Walks Ten walks in the parish with maps can be found in a booklet (£5 from the Clerk or free from website).
Adjacent Parishes: Albury, Manuden, Stansted Mountfitchet, Birchanger.
Further reading: 'Farnham, Essex: Past and Present’ written by Canon J. J. Geare
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There is no regular timetabled public transport in Farnham but a bus will serve Farnham if pre-booked. This is provided by DaRT Travel (Archers Taxis) and route DaRT1 covers west Uttlesford. The bus will visit Farnham on Mondays & Thursdays. It will start at Thrifts Farm (Chatter End, Farnham Green) at 10.20am, picking up at Globe Crescent/Rectory Lane at 10.25am. The return journey will depart from Bishops Stortford (by EHD Council Offices in Bridge Street) at 12.30pm on Mondays & 1.15pm on Thursdays.
These times do vary according to the number of pick ups that the bus makes prior to arriving in Farnham. The bus driver will notify passengers of any signficant changes in advance and times will be confirmed when seats are booked.
The bus will accept senior citizen bus passes which will enable free travel.
This bus often picks up passengers from other villages as part of its route prior to arriving in Farnham. Any person can use the bus - just be at either Thrifts Farm or Globe Crescent by 10.20am on Thursdays. Normal cost is likely to be around £5 but those who have concessionary bus passes will travel free. It is advisable to book a seat (whether for a one-off journey or for a regular pick up).on the bus by telephoning 01621 874411. Times will then be confirmed.
This bus also operates on other days as a book a ride service and can be booked as requested by contacting the same number. It could be used for hospital appointments, visit friends, shopping etc.
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Parish Council Meetings for 2020
27th January 2020
16th March (Annual Meeting of the Parish)
All meetings take place in Farnham Village Hall, Rectory Lane, Farnham at 8pm (unless otherwise stated).
The Council has been advised that nationally, Freedom of Information requests from some enquirers are being blocked as spam. Normally, this should not happen to us, but to prevent your message being blocked, we would ask you to add 'FPCFOIA' to the title line and we can be sure of receiving it.
The village is served by Farnham Primary School, Rectory Lane, Farnham (www.farnham.essex.sch.uk).
The Parish Council actively monitors the local footpaths and bridleways which are clearly marked around the village. It is the responbility of Essex Highways to maintain them. A booklet of suggested circular walks in Farnham may be obtained from the Clerk of the Parish Council (price £5). It can also be downloaded from this website free of charge (see 'Our Files').
Farnham Parish Councillors:
Chris Barrett (vice-Chair; Village Hall Chair); 01279 771508
Ian Delvallé (Chair; Finance; Village Hall); 07971 145225
Petronella Humphreys; (Gosling Feast Chair); 01279 815894
Barbara Jarman (War Memorial; Recreation Ground); 01279 771443
Maureen Lowden; 01279 771313
Rob Navara (Parish footpaths & bridleways); 01279 771071
Chris Smith; (Emergency Plan); 01279 776004
In accordance with the Localism Act 2011, on 9th July 2012 Farnham Parish Council resolved to adopt the Code of Conduct of Uttlesford District Council. The Code may be viewed at: http://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/uttlesford/file/Code%20of%20Conduct%202012.pdf or on this website under 'Our Files'. The Register of Interests may be viewed at the following link: https://uttlesford.cmis.uk.com/uttlesford/ParishCouncilInterests.aspx
Annual Audit: The Parish Council is audited every year as required by government regulations. The last audit took place in August 2018 and the external auditors, PKF Littlejohn LLP,have reported back and a completion statement may be found under 'Our Files'.
Copies of the Parish Council Accounts for current and past years are available on the Parish Council website - see 'Our Files'.
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The Parish Council is aware that BT have updated the Albury exchange by laying fibre cables from the exchange to the green box opposite the Village Hall. It is now possible to order superfast broadband and depending on where you live in the village the speed will vary between 10MB and 75Mb. The nearer to the Village Hall you are then the faster the speed. BT has a website which enables you to get an idea of the potential speed for your house by inputting your post code. They have various offers and price options. It is also possible to use other providers. Although this system is carried by fibre from the exchange to the green cabinet, from there it is carried by copper wire. We are aware that there are up to 7 properties around Levels Green that will not be able to register for Superfast broadband as they are connected directly to the exchange and not from the green box by the village hall. BT are working on changing this currently.
Gigaclear plc is planning to install fibre optic cables throughout the village in the next year and once cable laying commences there will be roads or sections of roads closed to facilitate that procedure. Once information is known it will appear here, on the email circular and up to date listings will be found on the Farnham Facebook page which is being maintained up to date by Penny Tattersall.
Closures of Roads in the Village. There are some road closures planned in the village over the next few months while Gigaclear is laying fibre optic cable throughout the village. It is clear from the current experience that there is very little warning given to some of the work. The best advice is to keep an eye out for closures, diversion and traffic lights. The Farnham website and Farnham Facebook page will be kept up to date with information and those residents who are on the Parish Council circulation list will be kept up to date via email. (If you would like to be added to this circulation list please email email@example.com or contact Peter Jarman).
Gigaclear will offer superfast broadband by fibre to the door with speeds of 50-1,000 Mbps depending upon which package you choose with no fall off in speed if it is being heavily used. In my view this will be the best option for fast and stable broadband in the long term. However we are all frustrated by delays and it may better to sign up for limited superfast being offered by BT and others now and then switch to Gigaclear as and when they reach Farnham if this better suits your needs. Only time will tell. As a guide, new smart televisions sets with UHD are said to require a minimum speed of 25Mb but this will also depend on your needs - e.g. streaming of UHD films requires a fast speed.
It is still possbile to sign up for Gigaclear broadband. Details can be obtained by contacting Gary Brokenshire (Gary.Brokenshire@gigaclear.com) for more details. Mobile number 07747 273946.
One note of interest - when the cables have been activated, Gigaclear must make them available to other broadband companies after two years. This may well lead to cheaper connections - watch this space!
UTTLESFORD LOCAL PLAN - 2017
This process has now re-started and a draft of the updated Local Plan has been circulated to those who are on the Parish Council contact list. A summary is attached and more details may be seen on the Uttlesford District Council website (see 'Local Plan').
Following a public consultation on the 'preferred options' there will probably be some changes in June this year. The plan will then be placed before the Planning Inspector, in public, for examination. If the Inspector is satisfied it will be adopted as The Uttlesford Local Plan.
The recent PPWG has been cross party - 4 Conservatives, 2 Lib Dems and 2 R4U Councillors.
There has been a multitude of evidence and studies carried out by officers and outside consultants. To name some - The Green belt review, a retail study a transport study, a review of the countryside Protection Zone (related to the airport) and many others resulting in thousands of pages of documents to be read and commented upon.
The latest draft of the plan recommends 3 new settlements known as Garden Communities.
1. North Uttlesford, in Great Chesterford Parish. (1,900)
2. Easton Park, between Little Easton Village and Great Dunmow. (1,800)
3. West Braintree - the name currently given to land east of Stebbing village within Uttlesford District but stretching into Braintree towards Braintree Town. (970)
Provision will be made for about 14,100 net additional dwellings during the local plan period 2011-2033 of this total:
2,468 dwellings have already been built 2011-2016
1,190 dwellings will be provided on small unidentified windfall sites between 2016-2033
4,513 dwellings are already identified in outstanding planning permissions at 1 April 2016
5,926 dwellings will be provided in the following locations between 2016-2033
Saffron Walden. 240
Great Dunmow. 743
Gt. Chesterford. 31
Stansted Mountfitchet. 62
Type A & Type B Villages. 44
Easton Park Garden Community. 1,800
N. Uttlesford Gdn Community. 1,900
W of Braintree Gdn Community. 970
I hope the foregoing has been useful in providing some information on numbers.. The Regulation 18 Local Plan can be seen on the council's website.
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Farnham Parish Plan.
During 2014, a questionnaire was circulated to every household as a way of trying to obtain information on a number of issues that affect life in the village. In March 2014 the results of this were fed back to the village and this plan has now been adopted by Uttlesford District Council (approved in February, 2015) and can be found on the Uttlesford website under 'Community-Led Plans'. It can also be found on this website under the heading of 'Our Files' (see top left for this heading) where it is listed as the Farnham Parish Plan. Penny Tattersall or the Clerk will endeavour to put out progress reports on these at least every six months through the Farnham Monthly News magazine.
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Defibrillators in Farnham
There are now three defibrillators installed in Farnham - outside of 'The Three Horseshoes' at Hazel End, outside of the Village Hall and outside of Thrifts Farm at Farnham Green. They are in working order and are connected to the Ambulance Service. The machines do give full instructions for users to follow. The first action must always be to dial '999' and ask for an ambulance. The abulance service will then give you the code to open the defibrillator case which will give access to the actual defibrillator.
Rob Navara, a Farnham Parish Councillor, has co-ordinated the project and he can be contacted for any further details (771071).
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