Examiner gives thumbs up to South Marston Neighbourhood Plan

Your Parish Council is pleased to announce that The South Marston Neighbourhood Plan has passed one more hurdle with the independent examiner judging it as ‘sound’ in planning terms. Following a very lengthy examination stage, the final report has now been published (South Marston NP Final Report 7.4.17).

The examiner complimented the plan, commenting ‘I can see that the Parish Council and its volunteers have put in a great deal of hard work into the submission of the plan and the supporting documents. The plan is well presented and clear; and seeks to represent the local community’s aspirations, which it does well’.

The examiner recommended that 7 of the original 14 policies in the plan should be adopted without change. A further 4 policies should be adopted in the amended versions agreed by the Borough and the Parish Council in September 2016. The remaining policies have been proposed for amendment in line with wording proposed by the major developers in South Marston. None of these proposed amendments should seriously impact on the integrity of the policies which reflect what villagers said were their priorities during the many consultations that led up to the plan submission in January 2016.

The next stage is for Swindon Borough to agree to the amendments as recommended by the examiner and then the plan will be ready to submit to a referendum of parish residents. If the referendum vote produces a simple majority vote in favour of the plan, it will become a key document in decisions on the raft of planning applications anticipated in the parish over the next few years.

Parish Councillors will be holding another information event in May on the same date as the Annual Parish Meeting. This will provide updates on the current position relating to development in our parish and the contribution of various organisations to village life.

The March 2017 report from the independent examiner is here.

South Marston Craft Company

Come join Craft Company at their meetings, held on the third Wednesday in the month at Mary Cooper’s home in the village.

The group meet regularly to share their interest in all things craf related and enjoy a friendly chat in a relaxed environment. Their next meeting is Wednesday April 19th.

For more details, please contact Mary Cooper on 01793 823530

Proposed weight limit on Supermarine Road

Thanks to the work of the community and the Parish Council, Swindon Borough Council have begun a consultation on a proposed 7.5T HGV restriction on Supermarine Road, Swindon.

The proposed traffic order is designed to resolve the issues of HGV’s that are unaware of the weight restrictions already in place on Highworth Road/Thornhill Road and access the area via Supermarine Road. They are then unable to turn around due to the road layout so are forced to access the village. Placing a weight limit on Supermarine Road itself will hopefully prevent this from happening.

Details of the public consultation and the logic behind the proposed order can be seen below.



Notice is HEREBY GIVEN that Swindon Borough Council proposes to make an Order under the relevant sections of The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 the effect of which will be:

To restrict heavy goods vehicle in excess of 7.5t maximum gross weight with the exception of access to proceed along Supermarine Road, C141 and C142.

 The HGV 7.5t restriction along the C142 (Highworth Road) and C141 (Thornhill and Road and Highworth Road) is an existing restriction to be revoked and re-introduced in this Order.

A copy of the draft Order, plan and reasons for the proposal may be inspected at the One Stop Shop, Wat Tyler House, Euclid Street, Swindon during opening hours for a period of 21 days from 10 March 2017.

Objections to the proposed Order, stating the grounds of the objection, should be made in writing to reach the undersigned, quoting reference (ZA/TRO/Supermarine Road) by no later than 30 March 2017.

Head of Highways and Transport Services, Wat Tyler House West, Beckhampton Street, Swindon SN1 2JH, 

10 March 2017

For further information contact the Traffic Section on (01793) 466401 or online www.swindon.gov.uk/highwayregulation

Supermarine Road SOR


Parish Council response to revised Energy Centre application documents

Last week, South Marston Parsih Council responded to the Borough following consultation on revised application documents for the Energy Centre.

The Parish Council submitted a report on the application. This report can be seen below:

South Marston Parish Council (SMPC) Energy Centre Report March 2017

1. Introduction

This SMPC Report is in response to the Keypoint Swindon Waste Gasification Plant (WGP) Environmental Statement Updated Non-Technical Summary by Rolron Kilbride (RK) October 2016. We have already in December 2016 made comment on the Traffic and Transport report in July 2016 but there have been developments in the issues since then as there have in the predicted Air Quality. These will be addressed below.

2. Technical Expertise

RK has stated that: “Energos will be the technical partner for the project and Energos will, as a minimum, operate the plant for the first two years following commissioning including recruitment and training of the personnel.” Unfortunately, Energos is now in administration and it is not clear who will fulfil this role and have the experience to operate the plant and be available for questions about the technical data in support of the air quality assessment. Furthermore, Energos holds the patent for the gasification process and it is also unclear how this will affect the new development if the new patent holder is not involved.

3. Page 3 Introduction

The plant does not produce renewable energy and the term ‘Renewable Energy Centre’ is misleading as it suggests the plant is carbon neutral and produces no emissions. This is patently not the case – the term ‘Renewable Energy Centre’ implies that the plant is more environmentally friendly than it actually is. We request that the more accurate title of ‘Waste Gasification Plant’ is used.

4. Page 16 Proposed Development

What protocols are proposed to prevent the acceptance of hazardous or clinical waste?

5. Page 18 Fire Water Tank

With respect to the Fire Water Tank, the use of the word “would” is not understood as it implies an associated condition. Please confirm that a Fire Water Tank is to be installed and change “would” to “will”.

6. Page 20 Operating Hours

It is stated that HGV movements will be spread evenly throughout the day. We had requested that movements be minimised during peak traffic flows in the early morning, mid day and evening rush hours for existing HGV traffic, particularly that delivering to Honda. This request has not been addressed. We therefore request restrictions on HGV movements during peak times.

7. Page 23 Air Quality

Paragraph 5.2.8 of the RK Air Quality Report July 2016 states:

“The proposed plant is not operating and as such its performance with regard to pollutant releases is unknown. However, there is some guidance from a similar plant operating elsewhere. A similar sized system to that proposed for this development, with two lines, has been operating in Sarpsborg in Norway for some time.” The Air Quality data recorded at the Norwegian plant is then read across to the proposed plant as Paragraph 5.2.152 states:

“When the air quality assessment has indicated the requirements for a more detailed investigation of a release, reference is made to the measured releases from the Sarpsborg plant.”

However, the proposed plant has three lines, not two, and there is no comparison made of the feedstock planned here compared with Norway. The pre-processing at both plants appears to be the same but the website of the Energos plant in Norway states that the plant uses “residual, non-recyclable waste” whereas the proposed plant
will use “Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) together with other pretreated wastes”. There is no definition of any differences in these feedstocks which casts doubt on the validity of the readacross of the data.

Page 30 Traffic and Transportation

We had made comments in our previous response about the inconsistencies in the predicted traffic flows resulting from comparing the impact of the WGP contribution with the movements that were predicted to occur if the Warehouse that was approved in 2011 on the same site had actually been built, thereby hiding the actual WGP increase on existing HGV movements of 99 HGVs arriving and departing. These have not been addressed in this updated report. Please could our concerns be properly addressed and revised figures provided?
Furthermore, since the RK traffic flow analysis in July 2016, we have experienced queues of HGVs, at the peak times quoted above, blocking the narrow railway bridge on Thornhill Road, between the Gablecross roundabout and Keypoint roundabout, in both directions effectively closing the Thornhill Road access and exit from South Marston Village. We had this email extract from Honda on 7 October 2016:

“As you are aware, the volume of deliveries to our Key Point facility has increased due to the changes to our daily production volumes. We appreciate that this has an impact on the local road network and would like to assure you that we are continually monitoring the situation and taking action to limit congestion.” This increase post dates the data collected for the RK Report.

If an additional 99 HGV movements were to be added to the existing level of traffic, which does not include the HGV traffic to the Thornhill Industrial Estate, or the increase in Honda “Just-in-Time” deliveries, or the threefold increase from the expansion of South Marston village, the short length of road between the Gablecross roundabout and Keypoint would not have the capacity to allow such an increase without causing unacceptable blockages and dangerous deterioration in road safety. The blockages would probably cause grid lock back to the A420 at the roundabout. Also, it is also very unlikely against this background traffic that the new plant will be able to receive up to 50 arrivals and send up to 50 departures in a 12 hour period, every quarter of an hour, because of the traffic jams that will not allow it, even if the Honda peak times are avoided. Surprisingly, the RK report makes no attempt to model this problem which we believe to be essential.

8. Conclusion

We conclude that the supply route for the proposed plant between the Gablecross roundabout and the Keypoint roundabout does not have the capacity for the increase in HGV traffic delivering to the proposed plant. Furthermore, the validity of the readacross from the air quality data from the Energos plant in Norway is doubtful at best until it can be demonstrated that any differences in the feedstock and number of lines has no effect on the air quality of the exhaust from the stack. Finally, the recent administration of Energos, which held the patent for the gasification process, leaves a gap in our confidence that the operators will have the right experience and there will still be technical experts to support the data on which this development proposal is based.

7 Mar 2017