Swindon Advertiser – Ill Wind slam Honda’s compromise plans

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Swindon Advertiser today ran an article regarding the upcoming planning meeting regarding Honda’s planning application for Wind Turbines on their site.

WIND turbine campaigners have slammed Honda’s formal offer to compromise over its plans – days ahead of a meeting to decide whether the controversial project can go ahead.

The car firm says it still wants to build three 120-metre turbines at its plant, in South Marston, but it is now offering Swindon Council the option to grant approval for only two turbines.

To support the alternative, Honda and green energy firm Ecotricity have submitted an additional environmental impact assessment document for just two turbines.

However, members of the Ill Wind campaign group say that removing the turbine – the one closest to Highworth Road – still means that two turbines will be too near to houses and could cause negative health effects.

A special meeting of the planning committee to determine the application will take place at the Wyvern Theatre on October 13 at 6pm, with doors opening at 5pm.

Des Fitzpatrick, 64, of South Marston, who is chairman of Ill Wind and will speak at the meeting, said: “They’re still applying for three, but even were they to apply for two, we wouldn’t be happy with that. What we’ve asked for is to see a minimum separation between turbines and houses of 2km and we’ve backed this up by saying this is a standard recommendation in Scotland and also on two bills in Parliament at the moment. So even with the two turbines option, they would be within 590 metres of residential housing so we wouldn’t be happy with that. “

“People typically think that the visual impact is the main concern, and of course that’s a concern: these turbines are half as big again as the David Murray John building. But also of great concern is the noise. There’s a lot of evidence that the closer you live to turbines, the more downsides there are. We have submitted evidence to the council that the turbines this close cause noise which will be detrimental to health and wellbeing.”

Andy West, 45, of Stratton, who is also a member of Ill Wind, said there was little difference in noise levels for many residents from the removal of the turbine – and claimed the only way to mitigate this would be to move the turbines further away.

He said: “It’s scant difference. The basic problem is no one should be living next to those turbines and people will be. You cannot play with people’s health like this.”

He added: “It’s critical that people go to the meeting to defend their homes and families.”

Colin McEwen, the former chairman of South Marston PC, said the two-turbine option would not really help South Marston.

He said: “It’s the turbine that’s closer to Stratton that may be removed so it doesn’t affect South Marston so much. The turbines closest to South Marston would remain even if that compromise was agreed. And those are just too big and too close to the village.

The turbines project is part of a bid by HUM to reduce its carbon emissions by a minimum of 30 per cent by 2020 to meet both environmental and financial pressures.

Mike Godfrey, the divisional manager and chief engineer at Honda UK Manufacturing (HUM), told the Adver this week, : “Either by design or through technical mitigations we have put in, the issues of flicker and vibration will not be an issue for our local residents.

“And that’s been verified by third party consultants, Halcrow, and approved by Swindon Borough Council’s planning officers.

To register to speak at the planning meeting, email Iain Tucker, the committee officer, at itucker@swindon.gov.uk or call 01793 463605 . The deadline to register is noon on October 12.


Friendly Club Update – Oct 2011

Recent Events

Tues 23 August – although raining hard when we left South Marston, we were blessed with sunshine on our Day Trip to Abergavenny and Tintern. The indoor and outdoor markets were in full swing on our arrival and not a superstore in sight but plenty of individual shops and good home cooked food. Leaving Abergavenny we drove through Monmouth and the Wye Valley, which was looking its best. Then afternoon tea at Tintern Abbey Mill and home by 6.30 pm.

A good time had by all.

Tues 13 September – a demonstration was given by Debbie Williams on making sweets. We had hands on participation using fruit, nuts, marzipan, icing sugar and chocolate. We could then take home our creations.

Future Events

Tues 11 October – Village Hall, 2pm. Musical entertainment by Ian and Diane Woods, with popular songs.

Tues 18 October – 12 noon for 12.15. Harvest Lunch at Blunsdon House Hotel.

Tues 8 November – Village Hall, 2pm. Social event to chat, have a quiz, play a few games of bingo, a raffle, all helped along with tea/coffee and cakes.

New members are welcome to any of the above events without obligation. We have over 70 members and would be pleased to see you.

Church News – Oct 2011

St. Mary Magdalene Church, South Marston.
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High Five

The High Five service for children up to 5 years is changing days and we will keep you informed of the dates we meet. Unfortunately a separate service in October won’t be possible because of Vicky Vicar’s other commitments which makes Snowy and her friends very sad. See you in November!

‘Craft Company’

We meet again at Dryden House, Mary Cooper’s home on Wednesday 12th October at 2pm. if you love crafting then come and join us for inspiration and encouragement as well as good company. More details please contact Vicky Fleming or Mary.

The Rosemary Service

Sunday 30th October at 6.15pm at St. Margaret’s Church, Stratton

A time to remember and give thanks by lighting a candle

for those who have died.

Celebrating Harvest

11am Sunday 2rd October at South Marston Church

A Service for all ages. A warm and happy welcome awaits you.

There is a Stratton Team Ministry Lunch at St. Margaret’s Centre, Stratton following the service—if you would like to come please obtain a ticket from Vicky

 Saturday Scene

Saturday Scene for young families is on 15th October in the Village Hall 4pm to 5.15pm

Contact Donald Page on 825693


When you are thinking about Christmas gifts don’t forget that South Marston Church Tea towels are still for sale £3.50 or 2 for £6—contact Vicky Fleming

SMRA Update – Oct 2011

South Marston Playing Field

For several years, profits from the annual Summer Fete & Christmas Bazaar have been nominated for up-grading the children’s play area, with particular attention towards the older children. During September, another set of swings was installed, made possible with a generous grant from the F&E Harris Memorial Trust. By the end of the year, we would hope to also have the pendulum swing and new roundabout in place. However, the tarmac path around the school perimeter is in need of repair, so there may have to be some juggling with the budget.

SMRA is now looking to our next project. We would like to hear from anyone with ideas for what they would like to see on the field. This would not necessarily have to be orientated towards the village children, who are probably now fairly well catered for. Another major group of villagers who use the field is dogwalkers, and we thank them very much for their continued clearing up after their pets.

If you have any thoughts on future projects on the field, please contact:

Mary Case

  • 01793 826038
  • 41, Greenfields,

Jenny McEwen

  • 01793 825312
  •  South Marston Church Farmhouse, South Marston

You can either give us a ring or put a note through the door of the addresses above, or come to an SMRA meeting.

The F&E Harris Memorial Trust

SMRA is extremely grateful to the Trust for its very generous grant of £1,100, which has paid for a set of swings and safety surface on the village playing field. We are most appreciative of the prompt response from the trustees, which enabled us to take advantage of the offer of a good quality but previously used set of swings, which we obtained at a considerable discount.

Crocodile Packaging

For several years, Crocodile Packaging has been very kindly supporting many of the village organisations, not only with donation money for raffle prizes, but also towards funds for specific projects. The committee members of the various groups are aware of Crocodile Packaging’s support, but possibly not the villagers generally. We thank them for their interest in our community.

SMRA Meetings

SMRA meetings are on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, usually in the Village Hall, but occasionally elsewhere if the hall is already booked.

Please check on the village website to confirm the location if you would like to come to a meeting, or phone either Mary Case on 01793 826038 or Julie Hatherall on 01793 979287.

School Update – Oct 2011

A great big welcome to all our new Reception children and families at our school this term, many of whom are from the village. The new children have settled in well; making friends and learning about their new topic of ‘The Cat in the Hat’ in Class 1.

Also a huge welcome back to all our existing children and families. We are looking forward to many exciting events coming up, including the St Julians opening celebrations and International Day.

We would also like to thank the PTA and preschool committee for their wonderful fundraising last year which funded the brilliant playground markings which the children are really enjoying!

Gardening Club Update – Oct 2011

California State University Northridge Botanic...
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Recent Events

On Saturday 20th August we held our Annual Flower and Produce Show. Even though the number of exhibits were down on the flower side of the show, it proved to be a success ( more flowers next year hopefully).

Here are the results:

  • Challenge Cup for vegetables – Michael New
  • Bill Smith Trophy for best dahlia – Joanne Wright
  • Rose Bowl for flowers – Julie Wright
  • Flower Arrangers Cup – Rita Smith
  • Cookery Trophy – Angela Newton
  • Photographers Cup – June Weller

On Monday 5th September we were given an incite into the history of Park Rangers and their work today in the Swindon area. It’s hard to believe that as far back as the 1800’s rangers looked into how to preserve the countryside and how they are still pursuing their ambitions today. Did you know there are over 150 parks and open spaces in the borough?

Future Events

Our next meeting will be on Monday 3rd October at 7:30pm. We will be hearing about the history of Catsbrain Farm from its owner Eric Barnes. Knowing Eric as we do it’s sure to be full of stories that entertain and amuse.