Tag Archives: BBC

BBC – Honda’s wind turbine plans rejected – updated

The BBC ran the following article today regarding the Wind Turbine planning meeting last night:

Plans by Honda to build Wiltshire’s first wind turbines have been rejected.

The car company had proposed three wind turbines to power its plant near South Marston in partnership with energy supplier Ecotricity.

Planning officers had recommended Swindon borough councillors approved the plans.

However, councillors voted against the application by nine votes to three abstentions. Honda said it would now consider whether to appeal.

Residents said the 394ft (120m) high turbines would be be too large and noisy.

South Marston-based protest group Ill Wind said even though Honda had suggested scaling back the plans to two turbines they remained too close to homes at a distance of 1,935ft (590m).

Andy West, from the group, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. We don’t want these turbines in Swindon because they’re totally unsuitable.”

Councillor Dale Heenan said the committee had been “between a rock and a hard place” when making the decision.

“On the one side, as councillors, we’re here to represent residents and on the other side of the argument the applicant is one of the biggest employers in the town.

“On balance the committee decided the application for the three wind turbines was inappropriate at this time.”

Honda had argued it was essential to keep its Swindon car and engine manufacturing site one of the world’s most efficient while also meeting internal targets to reduce its carbon footprint.

In a statement it said: “We are obviously very disappointed with the decision, however, we will be discussing our options with Ecotricity over the next few days.”


BBC – UK’s first hydrogen filling station to open in Swindon

Honda FCX Clarity
Image via Wikipedia

The BBC today reported the UK’s first commercial hydrogen filling station to be opened in Swindon.

The fuel cell station will open at car manufacturer Honda’s South Marston plant in September.

Honda manufactures the FCX Clarity, the world’s first commercially available hydrogen-powered vehicle.

The station is being seen as an important step in a UK-wide scheme to make hydrogen vehicles a viable alternative to petrol-driven cars.

Swindon Borough Council’s regeneration body, Forward Swindon, was awarded a £250,000 grant from the South West England Regional Development Agency in order to build the fuel station at Honda in Swindon.

Forward Swindon Chief Executive Ian Piper said: “It’s absolutely ground-breaking stuff. It is the first one in the UK and we think it’s great that Swindon is at the forefront of this.

“The automative and car-making sector is very important to Swindon, and it’s important for Swindon to be at the leading edge in this way.”

Although there are currently few hydrogen-powered cars on the road in the UK, evironmentally-friendly, low-carbon emission vehicles are seen by many as the future of motoring.

The Hydrogen Highway initiative has been set up to promote the viability of new, alternative fuel technologies and build a number of hydrogen-fuelling stations across the south west.

The project also aims to encourage Honda to research and develop new hydrogen-powered cars at its Swindon plant. Currently they are only being manufactured in Japan.

Domesday Reloaded – South Marston

If you are of a certain age then you may remember the Domesday Project. Modelled on the Domesday book from 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror, it was a project commissioned in 1986 by the BBC. The intent was to provide a snapshot of our communities and everyday life, and it achieved this by inviting over 1 million individuals to contribute articles about their home area. This information was compiled onto Laserdiscs and was intended to be navigated around using a trackball, which was cutting edge technology at the time, which could be read by BBC Master Computers.

The intent was this equipment could be used in schools. However due to the cost of the equipment it never took off, and very few people got to see the fruits of the work.

Now 25 years later in our age of the world wide web, digital photography, email and social networking, its time to have a look at those entries again, to bring the project up to date, and perhaps to lay down another layer of local history.

The BBC have now made all of the original content from the Domesday Project available online, on a website called Domesday Reloaded.

You can rediscover and explore images and articles from the original project to find out how life in Britain has changed… and how some things have stayed the same.

In addition, you will be able to update the project by re-photographing the images today and updating text entries.

To see the Domesday Reloaded information for South Marston, and potentially update it for future generations visit here.

BBC: “world’s most sustainable data centre” has opened at South Marston Business Park

The BBC has run the following article:

The “world’s most sustainable data centre” has opened on the outskirts of Swindon.

The new facility, said to be the first of its kind in the world, was built by IT service provider Capgemini on an industrial estate in South Marston.

Using a fresh air cooling system, the new ‘Merlin’ data centre is designed to half the facility’s energy consumption and quarter its maintenance costs.

The firm said the centre would benefit from Swindon’s “perfect” weather.

Programme director Paul Anderson said: “Swindon has the perfect ambient air conditions to host a data centre of this kind. We spent a lot of time looking at weather patterns across the UK. We put a weather map up of Britain and colour coded it with too damp, too cold and too hot, and Swindon sits in an area that’s perfect.

But it’s not just the town’s ‘Goldilocks’ temperature range that has made it the “best place in the world” to site the 90,000 square foot facility.

This particular site is not on any air flight paths,” adds Paul, “and it’s not affected by any natural disasters.

The full article is available here.

The original press release is available here.

Guardian: Bodleian Library sets up in Swindon

The Guardian today ran an article regarding the new Bodleian Library facility at South Marston.

Today Professor Andrew Hamilton and Dr Sarah Thomas, respectively vice chancellor of Oxford University and head of one of the oldest and most famous libraries in the world, will hold a little ceremony in the unlikely surroundings of a very large tin shed in Swindon. Continue reading Guardian: Bodleian Library sets up in Swindon