Tag Archives: Sylvia Brown

Parish Council News – Oct 2012


The Parish Council currently has a short waiting list for allotments. If you wish to be added to the waiting list, please contact the Parish Clerk.

2 Parish Councillor Vacancies

South Marston Parish Council currently has vacancies for two positions on the Parish Council.

If you would like to know more about becoming a Parish Councillor and would be interested in joining the team, please contact the Parish Clerk on 01793 820529 or email: clerksmpc@aol.com.

Please note that Parish Council meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

Community Grants

There are small grants available for community projects and there are not enough people applying for them. Pam Gough, the North-East Locality Lead for Swindon Borough Council, joined us at the September Parish Council meeting and has given us all the details.

If you are interested in accessing this funding please contact our Parish Clerk, Gemma who is happy to help you fill out the application forms. The deadline for applications is 5th January 2013.

Village Expansion Update

Of biggest concern to the Parish Council (PC) at the moment is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The CIL controls how much money the developers have to pay to Swindon Borough Council (SBC) for infrastructure costs such as roads, drainage and facility improvements such as the school. There is a concern that this levy could be spent in other areas of Swindon to meet wider SBC priorities rather than supporting the South Marston development.

On the 12th June 2012 the PC together with the Village Expansion working party, Officers of SBC together with representatives of the Developers Consortium, presented a number of stands giving information and ideas on what was known at the time about the potential housing development within South Marston village and the wider Eastern Villages development area.

The PC has been working with SBC on documents so that we will have a degree of control on how this potential development is shaped, and the planning and location of necessary infrastructure, such as Road Layout, School, Village Centre etc. This critical work is known as a Supplementary Planning Document (dSPD) and will be in draft form as, once written, it then has to go through a series of public consultative stages.

However, the village SPD has to reflect the overall policies that SBC has for the future of the Borough to 2026; this is contained in the Swindon Core Strategy. A delay by SBC has now meant that the Core Strategy will not be adopted until well into next year, after it has gone through its pubic consultation stages.

This means that the dSPD will also be delayed. We are currently in discussion with SBC to determine if the dSPD can be moved forward as an interim document.

Once we have a clear view of the way forward on these issues, the Parish Council intends to hold further consultations with village residents.

To add an additional layer of complexity to the above, the Government have also introduced new policies. The two that affect us the most are the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Parish Council is currently responding to SBC on the public consultation on CIL. This is a highly complex issue requiring a high degree of understanding and time spent on the response. Sylvia Brown and Colin McEwen continue to spend a significant amount of time and energy weekly assessing the full implications of these new policies on our village.

On a final note we have been made aware that the developers’ consortium for the housing south of the A420 has broken up. The impact of this is not, as yet, clear, but our priority is to make sure that all developers share the cost of providing appropriate infrastructure.

We will keep you informed when we know more. If you would like further information on the above or would like to become more involved with these issues, then please contact the Parish Clerk, Gemma Cheal.

Parish Council Meetings

Members of the public are welcome to attend Parish Council meetings which are held on the third Tuesday of the month, at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. There is an “Open 10 Minutes” section at the start of the meeting where you are invited to ask questions or discuss an agenda item. It would be helpful if you could inform the Chairman at the start of the meeting of any items that you wish to raise or discuss. All agendas are published on the village website and on the village notice boards, prior to the meetings.

Parish Council News – June 2011

New Chairman

At the Parish Council AGM on 17th May, Mr Neil Burchell was elected as Chairman of South Marston Parish Council, with Mr Stuart Young remaining as Vice Chairman. The Parish Council thanked Mr Colin McEwen for all of his work and dedication as the previous Chairman for the last five years.

The following Working Parties and representatives on Outside Bodies were also elected:

Parish Council Working Parties

Strategic Planning, Property & Finance: Chairman – Neil Burchell. Sylvia Brown, Ken Millard, Malcolm Phillips and Barry Thunder

Operational Planning: Ken Millard, Brian McGlone, Stuart Young

Environment: Barry Thunder, Neil Burchell, Brian McGlone, Robbie Taylor

Emergency Planning: Ken Millard with SBC

Allotment Liaison: Barry Thunder

Village Expansion Working Party: Chairman – Neil Burchell. At least three Parish Councillors and local residents.

Representatives on Outside Bodies

Highworth United Charities: Brian McGlone

Friendly Club: Brian McGlone

Swindon Area Committee: Sylvia Brown, Ken Millard and Colin McEwen

Tower & Tap/Website: Clerk – Gemma Cheal

Transport & Police: Robbie Taylor

South Marston Recreation Association: Stuart Young

Swindon Community Planning Forum: Stuart Young and Colin McEwen

Allotment Update

The Clerk and the Parish Council Allotment Liaison have recently carried out an inspection of the allotments in South Marston. We are pleased to report that generally, the allotments are being maintained to a very good standard.

Conservative Party Proposals for a Reformed Planning System

The Tories have put out their Planning Green Paper.  I thought you’d be interested in what they are saying about transition arrangements which they plan to take effect between abolition of regional planning targets (as early as possible in their term of office) and implementation of their ‘Open Source’ Planning system which allows local planning authorities the freedom to decide on their own local plans:

While we are confident that the combination of collaborative democracy and our council tax, business rates and local tariff incentives will be sufficiently persuasive to encourage local authorities to embrace development, we will also legislate to ensure that the production of new local plans will be achieved within a reasonable timescale.

Specifically, we will legislate that if new local plans have not been completed within a prescribed period, then the presumption in favour of sustainable development will automatically apply. In other words, if a local planning authority does not get its local plan finalised in reasonable time, it will be deemed to have an entirely permissive planning approach, so all planning applications will be accepted automatically if they conform with national planning guidance. We will also put in place transitional arrangements to cover the implementation of our new planning system.

On the question of projected housing numbers, local planning authorities have already projected the number of houses they (as opposed to the regional authorities) believed would be necessary by 2026 for local needs – the so-called Option1 numbers – and where they might most sustainably be developed.

Unfortunately the present Government refused to believe that local authorities were capable of accurately gauging future local housing demand and, in many cases, interposed to impose significantly higher housing targets. We believe that the original, locally generated estimates are a reasonable assessment of housing need, including affordable housing. We therefore expect that these Option 1 numbers will be used by local authorities as the base-line for the projections that they provide to neighbourhoods at the start of the collaborative planning process, and will be used as provisional housing numbers in their Local  Development Frameworks until their new local plans are completed.

If I read all of this correctly, it means that the developers have free rein if Swindon’s local plan is not completed in ‘reasonable time’.  Furthermore, the original figures agreed by Swindon for the period to 2026 (which I believe are 5,000 or so short of what was eventually imposed on them by the region) will stand as the projections on which they must build their local plan.

NB. The Tory collaborative democracy model for bottom-up planning is absolutely in line with what South Marston is doing, but at the moment, it does not mean local people can veto decisions that will make it impossible for the local planning authority to deliver the target numbers that they, themselves, have determined are necessary.  See above (my underlining)

Sylvia Brown