Welcome to Helpston


Helpston Village Sign

Peterborough Local Plan


The Peterborough Local Plan (2016 to 2036) Examination

The Submission Version of the Peterborough Local Plan has been going through the first of its Examination Stages at the Town Hall this last week (7th, 8th, 9th August). The aim of the Plan is to make provision for the housing, infrastructure and other growth targets and needs of Peterborough for the period 2016 to 2036.

As publicised previously on our web site, Helpston Parish Council has made its objections to the Plan known to the City Council.

To begin their new Plan, Peterborough City Council firstly invited landowners to suggest and offer land for development. In Helpston’s case, several landowners offered up seven different sites. Your Parish Council objected to them all, but eventually the City Council chose one site for inclusion in the Plan for new housing.

In later iterations of the Plan landowners offered a further site and the City chose to incorporate part of this alongside the original chosen site into the new Plan. It is numbered LP41.5 in the submission plan and involves a major change to the Village Envelope. This site, stretching between Broadwheel Road and West Street has the capacity for 82 new houses.

Helpston Parish Council has objected to this site in the strongest possible way both verbally and in writing to the City Planning Department.

An Inspector appointed by the Government is now examining the Final Version of the Plan.

She can make recommendations to the Secretary of State for either further review of the Plan or for its adoption as policy. Parish Council Chairman Joe Dobson and myself have attended the Day 1 and Day 2 Stage 1 Hearings at this Inspection and have, where appropriate, voiced our objections to policies that we feel are detrimental to Helpston.

At this stage in the process, the Day 1 and Day 2 hearings have been about the overarching Policies contained within the Plan. They have not gone into the detail of specific site allocations.

As an example of Policy matters, there has been much discussion about the “categorisation” of the Villages.

Helpston is in the “Settlement Hierarchy” as a Medium Village because it has a School and a Shop, whereas many villages, without even these limited facilities are described as “Small Villages” and attract no development at all. Villages like Eye and Thorney with more facilities are classed as “Large Villages” and get allocated huge numbers of new houses. And Wansford, by comparison, which has lots of shops and other facilities has been designated as a Small Village just because it has no school!

Councillor Dobson and I have argued that an “82 house allocation” for Helpston is far too high for a Medium Village and have made comparisons with the other medium villages (Barnack, Castor, Ailsworth , Glinton, Newborough, Northborough) which have not been allocated anywhere near as many new houses.

But the City has argued back that because two landowners in Helpston have offered such a large combined site, then 82 houses is the appropriate number for that site and this has become our allocation. We have argued that our Village facilities are already overstretched, e.g. the School, and our infrastructure cannot support this level of development.

And so on….

Apart from Helpston Parish Council objecting to this site allocation in the plan, we understand that another 41 people objected as individuals to the site proposals for our village.

The Plan examination process does ensure that all objectors are notified of the hearings and have an opportunity to make their own case, but Cllr Dobson and myself were the only objectors from Helpston present at the hearings so far.

When the Stage 1 Hearings and the Policies examination process is completed the examination will adjourn (in terms of public participation) until October. It is at that time that the Stage 2 Hearings will begin, which is when the individual sites will be scrutinised.

We look forward to making the case for our village again at that time,

Syd Smith, Clerk to Helpston Parish Council


A real welcome to Helpston, a delightful village with a wonderful rural and historic heritage.  Be part of it !

Welcome to the Helpston Parish Council website. If you are new to the village or to this website its intention is to help residents and visitors find out about the amazing range of things that happen in this fantastic village. If you have events to publicise or suggestions to improve the website or just want to know more please contact us.  Telephone numbers for the Clerk and Chairman of the Parish Council can be found on the Parish Council page under the “village organisations”  drop down menu.

Helpston is a flourishing village between Peterborough and Stamford with a real sense of community. It was home to John Clare, the countryside poet, and his name and work are a proud part of our heritage. We have a primary school, numerous clubs and societies, and many local businesses. This web site is provided by the Parish Council to share information about the village and its community.

You can also find a library of photos of the village past and present and information about the wildlife and countryside around the village.

There are some suggested walks and of course plenty of links to information about John Clare – you can even listen to readings of his poems and sounds of the natural world.

If you have any suggestions to improve this site or would like to add information please contact us

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Roy Hinchliff April 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Dear Mike,
Sorry for the delay in responding. I have been away.
The Stables is within the Helpston Conservation Area. I would suggest you contact Peterborough City Council’s Conservation Officer, Jim Daley, on 01733 453522. He should be able to advise on what kind of windows would be acceptable.
Kind regards,
Roy Hinchliff, website administrator


Marie Wray April 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Dear Mr Hinchcliffe, I am a member of a U3A poetry group and I will be reading some of John Clare`s poems on Mpnday.
I know I am going to be asked about the meanings of two words and wonder if you can help.On the internet it states that they are not known and I wonder if they could be dialect words. I know that here in North Yorks there are many words which are dialect words. In John Clare`s poem about turkeys he mentions the words `nauntles` and `nauntling`. Can you help please?
Kind regards and thanks in anticipation of your reply. Marie Wray.


Roy Hinchliff April 19, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Dear Marie,
Thank you for contacting Helpston.net. What a challenge! Like you, I turned to the interweb after checking the few books on Clare that I have, and “A Bibliography of English Etymology” by Anatoly Liberman, Ari Hoptman & Nathan E. Carlson defines ‘Nauntle’ as ‘to toss up the head in scorn’ (Celtic origin) and quotes their source as D IV 11 but as I was looking at a Google Books search result I could not see further into that particular book without paying for it! If the source turns out to be Clare I guess you will just have to settle for that. It doesn’t mean that Clare was just making words up because he liked the sound of them, though he would have been perfectly entitled to do so. Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, in ‘The Meaning of Liff’ invented an entire lexicon of names for nameless but universally known things, using obscure but suggestive British place names, and what a joy it is to make up your own! Anyway, you are probably right about Nauntle being a Northamptonshire dialect word. I have never heard it used, but now that I know about it I will try hard to use it whenever I can. Unfortunately that means going round annoying people just to provoke a reaction so I can say “Don’t you nauntle at me, young lady/man/person”. Good luck with your U3A group! Maybe the John Clare Society can give you a more sensible answer.
Roy Hinchliff


Leave a Comment