Another Sheep Killed 9th February 2021

I have just been told that 3 sheep have been killed in the fields above the Mill, and some wounded.

In the last few days a woman who apparently came from Layer did not have her dog on a lead, and her dog killed one of the sheep and left some others wounded.

This is not only cruel to the sheep, which will have been frightened, but a massive loss to the farmer.

Did you realise this is a criminal offence ?

Once a dog has killed a sheep, it might have started as a game, but in no time the excitement of the chase proves too much for the dog.

Why wasn’t the dog on a lead?

The Countryside code says “All dogs on a foot path should be on a lead, or under effective control.”

I find this really upsetting, as we are also owners of some sheep, and having had a sheep killed by some dogs last summer, I know how traumatic it is for all concerned, and especially for the sheep, which will take some time to get over the experience.

Anne Hughes


Parish Council Update 17th December

Happy Christmas to everyone.

Like you all, I just hope that next year is better than this and we can get back to some normality. The latest Government guidance is to be very careful about mixing with people this Christmas, but I do hope some of you will feel able to enjoy yourselves safely with a few of your family members. However, I am afraid there are many who will be on their own this year. Layer residents have shown themselves to be kind and helpful to their neighbours, so if you know anyone in need over Christmas, ring me or better still offer some help.

The County Council has some money available to help those who are struggling with day to day expenses. Get in touch with anyone on the Parish Council – my phone number is 734168. Of course this will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

  • Have you been made redundant?
  • Have you started your own business, and it’s not going quite as well as planned?
  • Have you missed out on Government Grants?

Get in touch.

The planning application for the Solar Panel Farm has now gone to the Borough for approval. If you wish to see it, look at the Planning section on the Colchester Borough Council web site:

The number for the application is 202695.

Best wishes to you all for 2021.

Anne Hughes


Parish Council Update 27th November

After the gloom of being locked up again, at least next week things should be a little better.

Bradley Ives will be working in the woods at Heatherfields from Monday 30th November, cutting rotten branches and making paths safer. Please keep away from where he is working.

Just to remind you, the Parish Council rents Heatherfields for the benefit of the Village. A stipulation of the lease is there should no wood cut or taken away. The whole wood is covered by a TPO.

Also there should be no fires and no cycling.

The Folley is closed from November 30 for three days for work being done by BT.

I hope you have all seen how smart the Cross is with its new fence and flower bed. Thank you to all who had a hand in this project. Something to be proud of.

Anne Hughes

Remembrance Day Service Reinstated

Dear Everyone

I wrote to you all on Monday to say that all Remembrance Sunday Services had been cancelled.     The Government has now said Remembrance Services may be held in a shortened form.

We will be holding a very pared down Service at the Cross on Sunday, at 10.50 am. I am so glad that we will be honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

If you feel safe enough to come, please keep your distance from each other, wear a mask, and comply with instructions from the Marshalls. It is vitally important that we do this, as we don’t want to put any one needlessly at risk.

I am so sorry that you have had conflicting advice.


On a totally different subject, I have been told that the workmen will be back on the 18 November and will repair any damage that has been caused.

Please let me know any area which needs looking at, and then I can forward the list to them.

Anne Hughes                    734168

Remembrance Day Service – Cancelled

Dear Everyone in Layer de la Haye,

With a feeling of great sadness, I have had to cancel the service at the Cross on Sunday when we remember our Parishioners that were killed in WW1 and WW2.

I wonder if this has ever happened before?

How lucky we have been that the Cross was decorated, to remind us of the sacrifice that so few made for so many.

There is a suggestion that at 11am on Sunday morning you stand for two minutes in your front door for the two-minute silence.

Best wishes, and stay safe,

Anne Hughes


Parish Council Update 1 November 2020

I don’t know about you, but life feels pretty grim to me – just as there appeared to be a little normality in our lives, we are now in Tier 2 and this has so many ramifications on our life. Please look out for your neighbours, particularly those who are alone, elderly, and unwell. The Village Volunteers are still active, so if there is anyone in need or lonely, ring me on 734168.

The Cross

Good news: the Parish Council has been awarded a grant for repairing the posts and chains around the Cross Green. Maggie Holmes filled in numerous forms, and answered very patiently many questions, and with the help of your supportive letters we have been awarded £1,606. The project can now be completed.

The flower bed in the corner has been started. Sleepers have been put round, earth barrowed in, pansies have been planted and shrubs will be put at the back of the bed.

There was a near disaster the other night when a blue car drove into two post in front of the Cross. Luckily the Cross and display was not damaged. The posts have had to be removed, a terrible job and one so far is back in. It would be nice if whoever it was came and apologised and at least asked how much damage there was. Luckily for our Village, Ian Moore has taken on the job of making good the damage.

Remembrance Sunday 8th November.  10.50am

This years’ service will be taken by The Vicar Lydia Smith.

There will be a pared down service at the Cross, no singing.

Please remember to wear a mask, respond to the Marshalls, and social distance.


At last the pole at Malting Green has been removed. County Broadband are still due to come back and make repairs on the estate. If there is any area which you think should be repaired please let me know.


Richard Playle has now cut all the Parish Council hedges and I’m sure you’ll agree they look smart for winter.

Anne Hughes


Proposed solar farm development

Many of you will have heard of the proposed solar farm development which would be behind Waterworks Close and either side of Birch Road.

We have received information about it from the company that wants to develop the site.

Residents should soon be receiving a letter from “Low Carbon” (the company concerned) and they are running a consultation from 2nd October until 30th October.  Please have a good look and make your comments. You can also pass comments on to The Parish Council by contacting Anne Hughes, tel 734168 or email

Update on Affordable Housing for local people

The Parish Council would like to thank everyone who responded to the Housing Needs Survey in early 2020.

This information has allowed RCCE’s Rural Housing Enabler (RHE) to provide a recommendation of the need for a small affordable housing scheme which will be coming to the parish. This small Rural Exception Site scheme is different to a larger more strategic development as these homes will be prioritised in perpetuity for those with a local connection to the parish. Rural Exception Sites (RES) are only available to parishes of less than 3,000 population and are brought forward on the evidence of need.

These schemes really do assist local households to be able to stay where their support networks are, as house prices and rents in rural areas continue to rise. The properties built on such a rural scheme cannot be sold into private ownership and would remain in perpetuity for people with a strong local connection to the parish, either through family or work.

If you, or your family member, are interested in the forthcoming scheme and have a need for alternative accommodation within the parish, we would urge you to please complete this short additional survey by the end of Friday 16th October so that we can further refine the scheme to ensure the properties meet the local need;

If you are unable to access the online survey, please contact the Parish Council for a hard copy. With the previous survey, we had 11 households who stated they had a need for alternative accommodation but did not provide enough financial information for an assessment to be made. If you previously responded to the survey but did not answer all the questions we would be grateful if you could re-submit your information via this online survey so you can be included. If you fully completed the survey the first time, you do not need to resubmit. All information is treated as highly confidential and individual responses will only be seen by the RHE.

To be eligible for these properties when they are developed, you will also need to be on the Colchester Borough Housing Register. We would like to encourage all those interested to join this Housing Register as a first step – please visit; or phone the council on 01206 282569 for further advice.

Thank you very much for your support! If you have any questions regarding this scheme or would like to submit your interest, please complete the survey or contact the Parish Council Clerk on

Proposed New Development : September 2020.

I am sorry so many of you have had a letter from Strutt and Parker about the proposed new development before I was able to warn you. My understanding was that the letters were not going to be delivered until next week.

Some of you may remember that this has been in the offing since 2015 when we first held a public meeting about it, but of course it is still a horrid shock that finally the proposed plans for the third phase of the estate are now being talked about. I say “third phase” because ever since the estate was built it had always been envisaged that this might eventually happen.

Please read all the information carefully before you make your comments. The Parish Council will be listening to what you say and will represent your views. Yes, we have met with the developers and Colchester Borough Council to make sure that there is some benefit to the Village in the event of planning permission being given. We have discussed the Village’s Social Housing needs and other benefits.

If you look at the Borough website I believe you can see that the field in question has been put in the proposed Local Plan, though that has not yet been adopted.

This planning application is not something we like any more than you do, but with all the house building that is going on, we have fought to ensure that the density is kept as low as possible.

Please be assured that the Parish Council will of course be representing the views of the Village.

Anne Hughes, Chairman


Parish Council Update 18th July 2020

This month we had another Zoom meeting and at long last I think we have all got the hang of it.

Richard Marriage is filling in as the Financial Officer and he was able to report that our accounts had been accepted by the auditor. It has been quite a task gathering all the information together.

As you can imagine there was much discussion about the speeding cars down Church Road. We are liaising with the Police and thank goodness it looks as if we might have a peaceful weekend at last.

Does anyone know who knocked into the post and upended the signs on Malting Green? Just another expense as we have to get the NO PARKING sign put back.

As promised in the newsletter this year, we are trying to tidy up the Cross area. There are many rotting posts and loose chains. At the moment we are applying for a grant from the Essex Association of Local Councils, which involves answering many questions. It would be enormously helpful if some of you could email or drop us a line to say how nice it would be to clean up this area and that you support the PC in their endeavours to tidy up what is becoming unsightly. Maggie Holmes is applying for the grant and her email address is

Hurrah to Linda Barrett-West who has been making face masks with some able helpers, and raised  £3,000 for the Zoo and hospice. It’s a wonderful effort, and a huge feat of organisation. Thank you.

VJ day, 75 years ago, will be remembered in a very low-key way at the Cross. I do feel we have a duty to remember those who consider themselves the forgotten army, who did so much and suffered so much for us.

 On the 15th August at 11.00 am the Last Post will be played at the Cross with a two minute silence.  “A Cry for Peace” will be read at 11.10 am.

 With Government guidelines about social distancing we have to very careful about numbers, spacing and crowd control. Please move, if asked to do so, and face coverings will need to be worn.

As you are probably aware, we have no Clerk for the Parish Council, so if anyone is interested, please get in touch with me. It is approximately 40 hours a month and paid. Please reply ASAP.

Anne Hughes