Parish Council News – Oct 2012

Allotments

The Parish Council currently has a short waiting list for allotments. If you wish to be added to the waiting list, please contact the Parish Clerk.

2 Parish Councillor Vacancies

South Marston Parish Council currently has vacancies for two positions on the Parish Council.

If you would like to know more about becoming a Parish Councillor and would be interested in joining the team, please contact the Parish Clerk on 01793 820529 or email: clerksmpc@aol.com.

Please note that Parish Council meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

Community Grants

There are small grants available for community projects and there are not enough people applying for them. Pam Gough, the North-East Locality Lead for Swindon Borough Council, joined us at the September Parish Council meeting and has given us all the details.

If you are interested in accessing this funding please contact our Parish Clerk, Gemma who is happy to help you fill out the application forms. The deadline for applications is 5th January 2013.

Village Expansion Update

Of biggest concern to the Parish Council (PC) at the moment is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The CIL controls how much money the developers have to pay to Swindon Borough Council (SBC) for infrastructure costs such as roads, drainage and facility improvements such as the school. There is a concern that this levy could be spent in other areas of Swindon to meet wider SBC priorities rather than supporting the South Marston development.

On the 12th June 2012 the PC together with the Village Expansion working party, Officers of SBC together with representatives of the Developers Consortium, presented a number of stands giving information and ideas on what was known at the time about the potential housing development within South Marston village and the wider Eastern Villages development area.

The PC has been working with SBC on documents so that we will have a degree of control on how this potential development is shaped, and the planning and location of necessary infrastructure, such as Road Layout, School, Village Centre etc. This critical work is known as a Supplementary Planning Document (dSPD) and will be in draft form as, once written, it then has to go through a series of public consultative stages.

However, the village SPD has to reflect the overall policies that SBC has for the future of the Borough to 2026; this is contained in the Swindon Core Strategy. A delay by SBC has now meant that the Core Strategy will not be adopted until well into next year, after it has gone through its pubic consultation stages.

This means that the dSPD will also be delayed. We are currently in discussion with SBC to determine if the dSPD can be moved forward as an interim document.

Once we have a clear view of the way forward on these issues, the Parish Council intends to hold further consultations with village residents.

To add an additional layer of complexity to the above, the Government have also introduced new policies. The two that affect us the most are the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Parish Council is currently responding to SBC on the public consultation on CIL. This is a highly complex issue requiring a high degree of understanding and time spent on the response. Sylvia Brown and Colin McEwen continue to spend a significant amount of time and energy weekly assessing the full implications of these new policies on our village.

On a final note we have been made aware that the developers’ consortium for the housing south of the A420 has broken up. The impact of this is not, as yet, clear, but our priority is to make sure that all developers share the cost of providing appropriate infrastructure.

We will keep you informed when we know more. If you would like further information on the above or would like to become more involved with these issues, then please contact the Parish Clerk, Gemma Cheal.

Parish Council Meetings

Members of the public are welcome to attend Parish Council meetings which are held on the third Tuesday of the month, at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. There is an “Open 10 Minutes” section at the start of the meeting where you are invited to ask questions or discuss an agenda item. It would be helpful if you could inform the Chairman at the start of the meeting of any items that you wish to raise or discuss. All agendas are published on the village website and on the village notice boards, prior to the meetings.

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