All posts by colinmcewen

Hotel Demolition

Following reports that the Old Vicarage building was being demolished and the attendance of Parish Councillors, residents and the Police on Sunday the operatives on site have said that they are stripping the roof materials prior to re-roofing.

The point was made to them that Sunday working is prohibited under the Demolition Notice and that this work should not have started until the 24th. The operatives countered by saying that they are not the demolition contractors. Demolition of the buildings has not yet started. They are currently only doing preliminary works that are not covered by the Demolition Notice itself.

We are informing the Borough.

Colin McEwen


Following information from the the Parish Council and residents to Streetsmart about the smoking fires lit by the contractors demolishing the Hotel, Environmental Officers have visited the site and have had ‘strong words’ with both the contractors and the owner. Further action may follow.

It is hoped that this will prevent any repeat problems, but if residents have further issues please report them immediately to Streetsmart on the Swindon Borough website and to the Clerk.

Major Development Plan Published

The Amended Planning Application for 2,350 houses in South Marston and at the new village of Rowborough  by Development consortium HHT is now out for public consultation

Swindon Borough have the documents put onto the Borough’s web site   reference  S/OUT/13/1555.  The official closing date for comments is the 3rd June. Not long!

Most of the documents are only described as ” Background Documents” and then an appendix number (this is a long standing issue that we have with SBC). The subjects are listed in the “Content – Appendices” document.
The most accessible documents are the “Revised Design and Access Statement” and the “Illustrative Masterplan”

The Parish Council is holding a display  of the main Plans at the Village Hall on the 24th May between 3pm and 7pm, prior to the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.30. THIS IS NOW CONFIRMED.  

The amended plans have accepted a number of features in the village Neighbourhood Plan, but there are still elements of concern such as the southern road to Keypoint and the link road to take pressure off Pound Corner, although both of these have been modified to an extent.

This is the last chance to influence these plans. As and when they are passed, development is likely to follow fairly rapidly. Villagers are encouraged to put in their own comments to the Borough.

Colin McEwen 23.05.2016

What will Come Out of the Chimney?UPDATE

Engineers Rolton Group have teamed up with project managers Kilbride Infrastructure have formed a joint venture to deliver “Renewable Energy Centres”. They are proposing to build a 14.5 megawatt plant on the vacant plot on the Keypoint industrial estate.

The fuel is domestic and industrial refuse net of recyclable content. The output is electricity and hot water.

This will be sold at wholesale price to a “Community Interest Company” (CIC) who will sell it on to local businesses.

The CIC will keep the profit made, which will be used in the “local community” as decided by its Directors. RK have already been in talks with Swindon Borough Council about the advantages of the scheme.

It is clear that neither company have technical knowledge of the operation of these facilities and were unable to tell the Parish Council what will come out of the chimney. They will be entering into a partnership with a specialist company to provide this technical expertise.

We are told that “ Energos is currently the preferred supplier of the technology and the planning application will be based around its technology.”

The Energos website is informative, and in particular at ?  This includes a table of emissions data.

It is noteworthy that the proposed plant would be their biggest yet.


Friends of the Earth in Northampton have expressed concerns, particularly over the risks posed by dioxin levels. See

Whilst it is undoubtedly the case that dioxins are bad, it is hard to determine from the FOE article whether there is evidence of a real risk from this kind of facility. I see that the Energos website suggests that their proposed dioxin emission will be in the region of 1% of EU limits.

In any event, villagers may wish to attend the public exhibition at the South Marston Hotel between 3.00 and 8.00 on Thursday 3rd March and ask appropriate questions.

Colin McEwen Chair SMPC 03.03.2016


South Marston Recreation Association
Chair: Angela Newton
Secretary: Julie Hatherall – Tel: 826028

The SMRA is a local charity that provides recreation facilities for South Marston villagers.

In particular the voluntary committee administers the Recreation Field on behalf of the Parish Council and is responsible for providing the toddlers’ play area, children’s play equipment, pavilion and football facilities.

The grass is mown by a rota of volunteers.

The village hall is owned and managed by the South Marston Village Hall charity. This has the same committee as SMRA.