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Community Carol Service – Tuesday 15th Dec

School carols
This year we are holding a ‘Community Carol Service’ on Tuesday 15th December @ 10.30-11.15am in St Mary’s church, South Marston. This is for people who live or work in the wider South Marston Community including the Business Park. We really appreciate the sponsorship and donations that we receive from lots of local companies during the year and would like to give something back to the community by putting on this event. Hopefully we’ll see you there! Best wishes, Mr Luke Maddison Headteacher South Marston CofE Primary School

Remembrance Service – 11th Nov 2015

Crochet PoppyOn Wednesday 11th November @ 10.40am – 11.05am we will be holding a short Remembrance service led by Rev Helen Baber around the War Memorial across the road from school. Parents, carers and the wider community are very welcome to attend. If the weather is poor, like last year, we hold the service in the school hall. Visitors should enter by the rear red door.

This is Wiltshire: South Marston Pupils named as junior good citizens

Copyright by Stacy WoolhouseThe following article was run in ‘This is Wiltshire’ here:

PUPILS at South Marston were named this year’s winners of the Swindon Junior Good Citizen Scheme after joining more than 2,000 kids two thousand children in the programme last month.

The multi-agency partnership scheme is designed to educate children about situations which can end up causing injuries or accidents, and encourages them to respond appropriately to emergency situations and highlights the contribution that they can make to creating safer communities by being good citizens.

Last week South Marston was handed the trophy for being the winning school, while each participating pupil received a certificate from PCSO Mandi Coles, who has been heavily involved in the programme since 2003.

It’s been really successful once again this year,” she said. “This is the most number of children we have had come along in one year, so the groups have been slightly bigger than usual. But at the end of each day, I sit down with all the children and ask them if they’ve learnt anything and every single one of them puts their hand up. They fill out a before and after questionnaire, which is really useful to find out what has been most beneficial.”

The scheme ran at the Punjabi Community Centre in Gorse Hill and has been taking place successfully for more than 25 years alongside partnership agencies including Swindon Borough Council.

During the two-week period, nearly 2,050 Year 6 pupils from 46 different primary schools took part, accompanied by teachers and helpers.

Each day, the children were put in to groups and spent around 15 minutes learning about staying safe online, healthy relationships, railway safety, K9 awareness (being safe around dogs), fire safety, personal safety, and road safety. There was also a tent for the children to take part in activities and word searches.

Advertiser: Homes plan on firms’ land backed by South Marston parish councillors

Please note Sylvia Brown is the Vice-Chair of South Marston Parish Council

Swindon Advertiser today ran the following article:

SOUTH Marston Parish Council has backed plans for more than 160 homes in the village, but wants Swindon Council to be more involved with affected businesses.

Fallen Oak Properties and Crown Timbers have applied for outline planning permission to tear down industrial buildings at two sites straddling Thornhill Road in the village.

A variety of flats and houses would be built across the sites, but whereas the northerly Crown Timber site is derelict, a number of businesses would need to be relocated for progress at Thornhill Industrial Estate.

In recent weeks, both TransXL and Dennis’s Removals have spoken out about their concerns and lack of interest in relocation without substantial financial gains.

At a meeting of the parish council on Tuesday night, the plans were supported, but parish council chairman Sylvia Brown said the members want strict conditions in place and further investigation into relocation options for the businesses.

Sylvia said the parish council had had conversations going back several years with the applicants about these plans.

Fallen Oak and Crown Timbers have included a footpath, linking the estates with the village and Gablecross roundabout, within the plans, which was a major plus for Sylvia and colleagues.

They have been very good in responding to our draft supplementary planning document. They have taken on board our comments about the continuity of footpaths,” she said. “We have to make sure, when it’s finally built, those conditions are retained because they’re needed to make the development acceptable.

“It’s important for a site the size of Crown Timber to have a continuous footpath and links to the bridleway to reach Sainsbury’s and Gablecross.

“Thornhill is clearly more complex because we think that’s going to take some time to assemble the parcels of land, which is why we want the conditions on the Crown Timber site right, because that will come quickly.

“In general, the principle is also supported by us, but there’s also the issue about existing occupiers who obviously have perfectly viable businesses there.

“We encourage the borough to talk to them about possible relocation and it’s not going to be terribly good if we still have HGV traffic right next to a residential development.

“Those businesses have invested a lot of their own money in these sites and they obviously need a reason to make it worthwhile moving. I would like to see the borough encourage the moves. Their economic development officer should have looked into relocation sites.”

For more information on the applications, visit Swindon Council’s planning portal and search: S/OUT/14/2058 or S/OUT/14/2059.

Advertiser: South Marston buildings face bulldozer

Swindon Advertiser today ran the following article:

EYESORES at two brownfield sites in South Marston might finally be bulldozed under plans for more than 160 new homes, which would also create a vital village footpath.

Industrial buildings straddling Thornhill Road, at the Thornhill Industrial Estate, some of which are derelict, are the subject of the widely-publicised application by Fallen Oak Properties and Crown Timbers.

The estate is split, with separate applications for the Crown Timber site to the north of the road and the active business park to the south, which would be the subject of a larger redevelopment.

At the bigger plot, there are plans for 115 dwellings, ranging from two to four bedrooms, with a children’s play area at the centre.

There would be 47 dwellings at the Crown Timber site, with a variety of one to four-bedroom flats and houses. This site would be developed first.

Consultations to gauge public reaction to the proposals were staged at Mercure Swindon South Marston Hotel in March last year, where 12 of 41 attendees supported the proposals.

South Marston Parish Council and Swindon Council have been in discussions with both the applicants and agents Walsingham Planning since early 2014.

Barry Thunder, of the parish council, said the application was largely agreeable to the community, but the inclusion of a footpath connecting the new development with the village was crucial.

We have been quite involved in the design and pre-submission material with the architects,” he said. “In essence, it’s a plot that we have really encouraged them to develop. It’s a real visual eyesore at the moment. We suggested it would be very favourable if in building the estate, they put in a connecting pavement access. Their plans seem to allow that to happen and we give that massive encouragement, providing all the bits and pieces fit in.

What is not yet clear with the future of these plans, is what becomes of the businesses currently operating out of the larger southern plot.

In its design and access statement for the proposals, Walsingham Planning said: “These businesses would need to relocate to enable redevelopment of the site.

Nobody was available at the organisation to expand on this statement yesterday, with little else in the planning application to suggest whether any agreements were already in place for such relocations.

My basic understanding is the Thornhill site is owned by multiple landowners, some of whom are very long-standing businesses, all of which would have to agree to move on,” said Barry. “I would suggest, unless there’s a lot of help from Swindon Council to offer brownfield sites with good road access, I can’t see them moving. My personal view is the bigger site has much more work to be done. They’re looking for an indication their application would be successful, should they be able to get people to relocate.”

To view the applications and make comments, visit Swindon Council’s planning portal and search for: S/OUT/14/2058 or S/OUT/14/2059

Merry Christmas from Eneco

Eneco logoDear South Marston community,

During 2014 we successfully constructed Sevor Farm Solar, and we would like to thank you for your patience while this work was carried out. We are delighted to tell you that the solar farm is fully operational, and the energy being produced is feeding directly into Honda of the UK Manufactoring Ltd.

We would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. We look forward to working with you in 2015!

For more information please visit

Chris and Bev Maull – 3rd overall in BBC Unsung Sports Hero of the Year 2014

BBC West Sports Unsung Hero Award winners 2014
BBC West Sports Unsung Hero Award winners 2014

Following their surprise receipt of BBC West Sports Unsung Hero Award 2014 (see here for BBC footage of them at work), Bev and Chris Maull, leaders of Swindon Spitfires ladies football club, went to Glasgow at the weekend to attend the BBC Sport Personality of the Year Award 2014 ceremony.

They eventually came 3rd out of the 15 National Unsung Hero finalists, losing out to Jill Stedever, who has spent over 60 years teaching swimming to children with special needs.