Conservation Site News – Sept 2011

South Marston Conservation AreaThe next working date is Saturday the 10th Sept.

We will be there from 2pm to 5pm.

The pond is now in place and needs final landscaping and filling with water. It would also be good if we can start to lay out the foundation for the open air teaching area, dig out the soil and lay the gravel that is now on the site.

Ray and Brian are working on the bridge plans and may be able to start building the foundation piers.

Verity and Barry moved some bog Iris plant to the site this week ready to go into the ditch when that is ready.

I plan to get some of the site sprayed with weed killer over the next week, approved with Verity as to locations.

Any other work ideas are most welcome.

If you can bring your own tools it will be a big help

If you are interested in helping please contact:

Barry Thunder on 826697
or Brian McGlone on 826243
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This is Wiltshire – Honda has a rethink on Wind Turbines

Logo for 'This is Wiltshire'ThisisWiltshire.co.uk ran the following article following Honda’s alternative proposal for a two wind turbine installation at their South Marston site.

THE widely panned plan for three giant wind turbines at Honda’s car plant has been scaled down.

Honda and Ecotricity say they are now prepared to settle for just two turbines in response to public pressure – with the one closest to residents’ homes being removed.

But it comes only a fortnight before a council planning meeting was expected to take place, which would have decided whether to allow them to be built.

Now the meeting is likely to be moved to November to discuss the proposal.

Under the new proposal, the size and shape of the two remaining turbines remains the same.

The only difference is the one nearest Highworth Road being rubbed off the blueprints.

Campaigners are claiming it as a victory for public opinion.

Des Fitzpatrick, 64, of South Marston, chairman of lobby group Ill Wind, said: “The expression of massive public opinion in opposition to siting wind turbines so close to homes and schools has forced Honda to think again. It is great to see local democracy having an effect.

“It is clear now that Honda and Ecotricity realised their planning application would fail to meet acceptable standards on noise, flicker and visual impact and that the planning committee would reject it.

“As to the future, we will have to see the revised proposals but if this just amounts to moving the deck chairs on the titanic, we will continue to fight against building giant turbines in inappropriate places.”

And Gina Banks, 44, of Highworth Road, said: “It’s good news – that one was far too close to us. But I’ll be interested to see what happens. It’s positive that Honda seem to be listening to the reaction of people.

“We would still be able to see turbines two and three from our properties regardless. It’s less of an impact of course, but for the guys in South Marston, they’re still 600 metres away.”

Coun Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Nythe), chairman of the planning committee, said: “It’s very unusual to come at the last minute like this. But it shows the company has been very responsible and receptive to change.”

The new proposal was put in jointly with Honda and Ecotricity, the company which will build and install the turbines.

An Ecotricity spokesman said the move does not represent a new planning application, but was only additional information which will be set before the planning committee.

In a joint statement, the companies said: “Taking into account the strength of local opinion at the two previous planning committee meetings, this offers a pragmatic workable solution that addresses the concerns of the local community, whilst enabling Honda to remain competitive in a global market and reduce its environmental impact.

“Honda and Ecotricity still firmly believe that all three turbines originally proposed are viable, and this is reflected in the fact that they have been previously recommended for approval by Swindon Borough Council.

“If this was not the situation, Honda would not have presented three turbines to Swindon Borough Council for consideration.”

Ecotricity has sent 700 letters to residents to explain the change.

Letter from Honda / Ecotricity – 23/8/2011

The following letter was sent on 23rd August 2011, by Honda and Ecotricity.

Ecotricity Logo

 

 

23rd August 2011

Dear Sir or Madam,

Reviewing all the information and comments we have received from Swindon Borough Council and the local communities, Honda and Ecotricity have put forward an alternative proposal for two wind turbines only. The wind turbine originally proposed towards the north side of the site, which was closest to residents, will not be included in the alternative option. We believe this alternative option for two turbines will still make a valuable contribution towards the ambitious business efficiency and environmental targets Honda has set itself, both globally as a company and locally as a site.

Taking into account the strength of local opinion at the two previous Planning Committee meetings, this offers a pragmatic workable solution that addresses the concerns of the local community, whilst enabling Honda to remain competitive in a global market and reduce its environmental impact.

Honda and Ecotricity still firmly believe that all three turbines originally proposed are viable, and this is reflected in the fact that they have been previously recommended for approval by Swindon Borough Council. If this was not the situation Honda would not have presented three turbines to Swindon Borough Council for consideration.

The plan on the reverse of this letter shows the alternative option and which turbine would not be progressed if the Council approved only two turbines on the Honda site. Swindon Borough Council will now consider this alternative option and we hope they will be able to make a decision on the application by early October 2011.

Honda and Ecotricity maintain an open communication approach with our local community. Further information can be found on Swindon Borough Council’s website and Ecotricity’s own website at www.ecotricity.co.uk/honda

Document Number: 4530_T0348_01

Friendly Club -recent activities

The Friendly Club – Recent Events.

Tuesday 12th July

We were entertained by Gillian Monk, an optician, on the topic ‘A room with a view’ which was a comical talk on exploring the eye. Details of common conditions of the eye were explored. The solutions available with the outcomes to deal with were explained.

Tuesday 19th July – Outing

Our visit to Kew Gardens went well. Late in the afternoon was the only rain we had which did not distract from the visit. Photographs of items in the gardens are shown in the following slide show.

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The Friendly Club – Future Events.

Tuesday 13th September – in the Village Hall at 2.00pm.

A demonstration will be given by Debbie Williams on the making of sweets. Member participation will be expected, to have hands on experience.

Tuesday 20th September – Mystery Tour

The coach will leave from outside the school at 10.00am. Return to South Marston will be about 5.00pm

Monday 3rd to7th October (inclusive) – Holiday to Torquay

Our 5 days holiday to Torquay staying at the Kistor Hotel has some double rooms still available. All single rooms have been allocated. If you would like to join us on this holiday, call Josie on 828080. It is available to senior citizen non members. The cost is £249 per person for a double/twin room for members and non members.

South Marston photographer is Swindon’s Best!

Village Photographer, Stacy Woolhouse, this week won the Best Photographer  in the animal category in a competition held as part of  Visual Arts Festival, part of the Swindon Cultural Festival.

Here is the winning photograph (click for more detail).

Copyright Stacy Woolhouse Photography
Fox Cub on a log near South Marston

Stacy has provided the village photographs for the Landmarks, and Wildlife galleries on this website, which show our village and its environment at its best.

For further examples of Stacy’s work see his website.

Village Expansion Update (revised) – August 2011

Following the village consultation exercise in May, which generally endorsed the principles for development proposed by the Parish Council Expansion Working Group, there have been further meetings with Swindon Borough Council and an initial meeting with the developers.
The timetable for the South Marston supplementary planning document has been put back three months due to the number of responses received by Swindon Borough Council to the draft Core Strategy and we hope to consult further with the village by November.
We are discussing options, locations and costings with SBC’s Education Department for the school and with the Highways Department regarding the proposed development at Rowborough, access onto the A420, Pound Corner and minimising through-traffic.
The developers say that their vision for the expansion of the village is not far apart from ours and we are to have more detailed discussions with them.
We are also meeting again with the Environment Agency to address flooding issues.

The Working Party will consult with villagers on options for expansion before the village SPD is drawn up by SBC.  The government’s localism agenda may support our influence, but its policy of promoting economic growth by building more houses supports the developers.

We will continue to keep everyone informed on future developments.
South Marston Parish Council