The Hills Group to sponsor CPRE Wiltshire ‘Best Kept Village’ award
The Hills Group has announced its sponsorship of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Wiltshire ‘Best Kept Village’ competition for 2013.
The announcement was made as competition information and entry forms are about to be posted to all 234 villages in Wiltshire inviting them to take part.
Mike Hill, chief executive of The Hills Group, said: “Ours is very much a Wiltshire business and through our support we are able to give back to the areas in which we operate. The competition encourages villages to work together and it’s a good opportunity to build a stronger community.”
John Blake, secretary of CPRE Wiltshire said: “CPRE Wiltshire is delighted that Hills Group are sponsoring the Hills Group Wiltshire CPRE Best Kept Village Competition, now in its 55th year. Hills, through their county-wide waste management help to keep Wiltshire clean and tidy. All villages are invited to enter and in doing so they foster pride and caring for their village and its people. This they can demonstrate at the winners’ ceremony on 6th October when they collect their prizes awarded by Wiltshire’s Lord Lieutenant, President of CPRE Wiltshire”.
HISTORY OF THE COMPETITION
CPRE Wiltshire organised and ran the first Best Kept Village competition in 1959. In 1955 the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald approached John Betjeman to ask him to support the idea of a Best Kept Village Competition in the County. He, however, preferred to support the scheme through CPRE. The newspaper also suggested that the District Councils should become involved in the first round of judging – a suggestion that CPRE agreed to willingly. The District Councils continued in this role until they were disbanded in 2009.
Other ideas put forward included the possibility of demonstrations of folk dancing and singing taking part at the award ceremonies. In fact, many times a winning village has arranged for its local band to perform at their ceremony. In 2011 the Ramsbury Town Crier played a part in their ceremony, adding a welcome festive air to the proceedings.
Villages were put into three classes for the competition 1979 as Small Villages with population of 1-300; Medium Villages 301–800; Large Villages 801–3000 .and then changed in 2000 to 1001– 3,500.
For the first fifty years of the Competition the Branch was fortunate to have the active participation of all four District Councils in Wiltshire together with Swindon Borough Council both throughout the competition and at the Presentation Ceremonies. In 2009 Wiltshire Council became a Unitary Council which resulted in the loss of some of the prizes awarded to winning villages. However, CPRE Wiltshire has continued to award prizes of £150.00, £75.00 and £50.00 for the First, Second and Third village in each category together with certificates for every village in the Second Round of the competition, while Wiltshire County presents a permanent plaque to the winning village in each category
Sarah Troughton, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire and President of CPRE Wiltshire branch unveils Great Hinton's award for the Best Kept Village competition for 2012 (small village category)
The closing date for entries into the competition is Friday 26th April 2013.
If your village hasn't yet decided to enter, contact the secretary, John Blake at CPRE Wiltshire 01380 722157 OR email firstname.lastname@example.org
CPRE WILTSHIRE OPEN DAY AT MALMESBURY TOWN HALL
27th MAY 2011 - 12 noon until 6.30pm
ADVANCE INFORMATION - ALL WELCOME
Speakers include Helen Browning OBE (Director of the Soil Association and an Organic meat farmer) and Dr Richard Pagett on Population, Resources and Planning for Wiltshire www.RichardPagett.com
Latest position on Swindon Borough Council's proposed changes to Junction 16 of the M4 November 2010
The Judicial Review that was launched by CPRE Wiltshire in 2008, heard in 2009 and appealed in 2010 is over.
The outcome is that the discharge of Condition 99 by Swindon Borough Council on 7 April 2008 is upheld. Both His Honour Judge Hickinbottom for the judicial review and Lord Justice Pill for the appeal found there are two stages to the process: Condition 99 relates to the occupation of houses and the S278 agreement relates to the construction of improvements to M4 Junction 16. The details of the designs for the improvements to M4 Junction 16 will be decided at the S278 stage.
Both Ove Arup, consultants to the developers and the Highways Agency have stated in writing that details will be considered at the detailed design stage; the S278 agreement.
CPRE Wiltshire's case remains that there are concerns about the adequacy of the lane widths and the safety of the right to turn crossover arrangement at the Junction. Indeed, Transport Consultants Scott Wilson, acting on behalf of CPRE Wiltshire, said that whenever council authorities propose changes to motorway junctions, or indeed to any major road, they have to have all the details worked out before they apply for planning permission. In this case, the details have not been required at the planning application stage or for the Condition, but are left to the final S278 agreement.
Lord Justice Pill makes the point in paragraph 8 of his Judgement that:
"There is no evidence to rebut what the claimants say in relation to lane widths and right turn crossovers arrangements, including the lack of room to remedy the problems which will arise in the arrangement."
In paragraph 13, Lord Justice Pill considered the developers' statement that the improvements would be correctly designed to current standards at the detailed design stage. He was advised that the proposal of lane widths and connective slip roads do comply with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges although he noted:
"that the plan supplied (282) seems to contradict this."
His Honour Judge Hickinbottom in para 95 of his Judgement found that:
"if and when the junction alterations need planning permission in the future, then if they are likely to have significant effects on the environment, an environmental impact assessment will be required. Indeed, planning permission and the need to have an assessment go hand in hand because, if there is likely to be a significant environmental impact, planning permission will be required that will trigger an assessment: so in relation to this submission, although it fails on this ground, if the proposed alterations to Junction 16 are likely to have a significant environmental impact, that will have to be considered by the relevant planning authority Wiltshire in due course."
As the M4 Junction 16 is in Wiltshire, it will be Wiltshire Council, with the Highways Agency, that takes the decision about the S278 agreement. The key questions remain ones of safety both on account of the lane widths being too narrow for lorries on the bends and the right hand crossover arrangement where traffic will be going the wrong way round the roundabout from the A3102 from Wootton Bassett to Hay Lane. There will be many traffic lights, and how will motorists, coming off the motorway and used to travelling at speed, react at night time when meeting headlights coming towards them and being expected to pass off-side to off-side.
There is still another stage and questions remain over an application that was submitted in 2002 and granted in 2004.
- Will the improvements to M4 Junction 16 to take an extra 9,000 vehicles a day be safe?
- How is a route that tunnels out of Swindon to gain access to the Motorway perceived in these days of essential carbon emission reduction?
- Would the alternative of crossing the railway be more sustainable?
- Communities in Swindon and North Wiltshire have always unanimously opposed the tunnel route. The Government is focused now on community involvement. Hasn't enough money been spent on attempting a route that the communities do not want. Surely it is now time to look at the alternative again?
What you can do:
Make your views known to your Local Councillor
Ask questions at Council Meetings.
Write to the Press with your views.
CPRE Wiltshire promotes information-gathering meeting on solar photovoltaics
The CPRE is probably best known for its resistance to inappropriate development in our towns, villages, and countryside. John Kirkman describes a less-well-known, constructive type of activity — promoting a 'study day' to help people who assess planning applications become better informed about solar technology and the regulations governing the installation of solar photovoltaic arrays.
As part of its campaign to increase the use of renewable energy, the Government is encouraging installation of solar photovoltaic panels not only on the roofs of houses, industrial premises, and barns, but also on open ground in fields.
Domestic-scale installations, usually consisting of tens of panels, can be relatively unobtrusive, though much depends on the sensitivity of the design and the siting of the installation. Most domestic installations do not require planning permission, unless they are in conservation areas or are proposed for listed buildings.
Large-scale installations, some consisting of thousands of panels spreading over large areas, are now appearing, some mounted on the roofs of large buildings, and some ‘growing’ in our fields. A large field, or sometimes a group of fields, full of panels is a new phenomenon in our countryside. Such arrays require planning permission. That raises a question: what should planners — what should we all —consider when we assess an application for permission to instal several thousand solar panels in the Wiltshire countryside?
To help provide answers to that question, CPRE Wiltshire Kennet District Group, with the co-operation of Wiltshire Council Planning Department and the North Wessex Downs AONB (including a generous grant from the AONB's Sustainable Development Fund), recently promoted a ‘study day’ considering solar installations.
Solar panels, especially large ground-mounted installations, inevitably have a visual impact on the surrounding landscape or townscape. It is important to stress, however, that our objective was not to make a case for or against solar installations in general or any type of installation in particular; we wanted simply to assemble a store of factual information about the types of equipment available, and the possibilities for integrating them sensitively into landscape and townscape.
The morning was spent at The National Self-Build and Renovation Centre, Lydiard Fields, Swindon, for a series of presentations; in the afternoon, the participants visited existing large-scale solar photovoltaic installations at Roves Farm Sevenhampton and Westmill Farm Watchfield.
The presenters described the conditions necessary for successful roof-mounted or ground-mounted installations, and emphasised that, to enable an installation to fit as unobtrusively as possible into its surroundings, there is a choice of panels and tiles available, and construction features can be varied.
Discussion ranged over the comparative efficiency and acceptability of solar photovoltaic installations and wind turbines; availability of alternatives to solar (for example solar tiles and tubes); the relative value of keeping land for producing food and for mounting solar arrays; the acceptability of solar arrays in Conservation Areas and protected landscapes (AONBs etc.); the life-span of panels and what happens to land when panels reach the end of their useful life; the planning rules that govern photovoltaic installations, especially large-scale installations; and the National Association for AONBs’ position on photovoltaic installations.
Part of our objective in arranging this study day was to show the local CPRE working constructively with the main organisations involved in planning in Wiltshire. The invited audience were all involved in assessing planning applications: elected local-authority councillors from Wiltshire, Swindon, and Basingstoke and Deane; local parish councillors; planning officers from surrounding local authorities; AONB representatives; and CPRE members. We were delighted that, of the 96 people who registered for this information-gathering day, 31 were professional planning officers — pleasing recognition of the CPRE’s wish to play a constructive part in the planning process.
John Kirkman is Chairman of CPRE Wiltshire Kennet District Group
Great Western Wine
Great Western Wine are supporting CPRE Wiltshire with an exclusive 10% discount on member's wine purchases.Simply log into their website: (www.greatwesternwine.co.uk or click the logo below)
- select your wine, and add WILTSCPRE promotional code when checking out. Delivery is free on 12 or more bottles, and a 10% donation will be made to CPRE Wiltshire by Great Western Wine on any purchase made! Wiltshire CPRE is grateful to Great Western Wines for donating the wines at our AGM and at the recent Wilts CPRE visit with supper to Great Chalfield Manor
CPRE WILTSHIRE was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status on 15th January, 2010.
The Executive Committee Members of the original Wiltshire Branch are now Directors of the new company and, therefore, have Limited Liability in respect of CPRE Wiltshire's affairs. The assets and liabilities were transferred from the old to new company on 28th February, 2010. CPRE Wiltshire's new charity number is 1134677.
Membership will be transferred to the new organisation on 31st March, 2010 unless members inform the office otherwise. The Memorandum and Articles of Association of the new company are available in the office and Members are most welcome to view them if they wish.
-John Blake (Branch Secretary)
CPRE ELECTRONIC FORUM
CPRE National Office now has an on-line Members forum where Members can discuss topics or issues and share ideas - go to www.cpreonline.org.uk
Food, Inc. premiered on Monday, 8th February and is now showing nationwide. Reviews for this Oscar nominated documentary lifting the lid on industrial agriculture can be seen on www.foodinamovie.com/film-reviews.php
LDF SALISBURY HOUSING MARKET AREA
Salisbury District Council’s Local Plan is about to run out of time and the Council, who will become extinct when Wiltshire goes unitary next year, has started the process of producing an LDF. They are required to produce a Core Strategy with suggested preferred options to be put out for consultation. The figures for housing starts and potential growth of employment opportunities are guided by the Regional Spatial Strategy, which is in draft form, and awaiting signing off by the Secretary of State.
The RSS has indicated that it would like to see 12,400 houses built in the Salisbury HMA by 2026, (6,000 in Salisbury itself, and 6,400 in Salisbury District) to accommodate the 13,900 new employment opportunities that are forecast to grow in this period. The Core Strategy accepts these figures and has indicated some options for their location, guided by a draft Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, which is also out for consultation.
Public meetings have been held throughout the district to explain these papers, and there have been numerous local meetings called to protest at the suggested preferred options, to which local councillors and our MP, Robert Key, have attended. There is considerable local disquiet at the proposals, and at the way the issues are being handled by the local officers, who have been forced to give a longer period for the public to respond.
Responses have to be made to Forward Planning and Conservation, Salisbury District Council, 61 Wyndham Road, Salisbury, SP1 3AH by April 25, using the proforma supplied with the booklets. Electronic responses are preferred, and all information is available on SDC’s website at
The SHLAA is also to be found on their website.
The South Wilts Group CPRE will be making a detailed response to these proposals, in particular questioning the methodology that the RSS has used to support the figures, and will be challenging the draft RSS when it is put out to consultation later this year.
On Monday, 23rd October 2006 CPRE launched a national campaign to protect tranquillity – one of the countryside’s most valued attributes and an important indicatory of countryside quality. When launching the campaign National Office said: ‘We all need to ‘get away from it all’ and visit areas that are largely free from intrusive manmade noise and structures. The tranquillity we experience in such places is good for our hearts, minds and bodies’.
Sadly, ‘getting away from it all’ is becoming harder and hard to do. Tranquillity is under threat from the spread of major roads, airports, houses and other buildings, wind turbines, quarries and, crucially, the new traffic movement and noise such development generates, on the ground and in the air.
CPRE has developed an accurate way to measure tranquillity and from that measurement have produced a detailed map revealing the likelihood someone would experience tranquillity in any locality. This map offers an important new way to keep track of our priceless, increasingly threatened tranquil places – and so help to conserve and enhance them. It is hoped decision-makers at all levels will use the maps to do this.
If you think you can help, or wish to know more about the campaign, visit [www.cpre.org.uk]
For those who wish to contribute to the Wiltshire Landscape Character Assessment (LCA), the draft is available from WCC on the following [link]
|CPRE, Wiltshire Branch,
Lansdowne House, Long Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1NJ
Tel: 01380 722157 | Fax: 0870 831 0066 | Email: email@example.com
Web: www.cprewiltshire.org.uk National site: www.cpre.org.uk
The Campaign to Protect Rural England exists to promote the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural England by encouraging the sustainable use of land and other natural resources in town and country.
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