Parish Council Meeting News
Phil Jefferson reports from Chapmanslade Parish Council
A Happy New Year to all Chapmanslade residents from your parish council.
The council met once last month, on 11th December.
Planning. We looked at two applications, concerning Thoulstone Park and Barters Farm (45 High Street).
The owners of Thoulstone Park have applied for temporary permission (ref 14/10453/FUL) to store 8 touring caravans and residential occupation of a further 5 caravans to be housed in the area of the former golf driving range. We decided to object to the proposal as we considered the application to be contrary to planning policy, and the applicants did not make a case that shows an overwhelming case for the policy to be ignored. We were also concerned about the potential adverse impact on the amenity of the nearby residents, including increased noise and traffic. We have asked Fleur, our Wiltshire Councillor, to call in the application so that the Western Area Planning Committee can consider it if the planning officers recommend approval.
Barters Farm, 45 High Street. (ref 14/09261/LBC) The owners of the property have requested permission to convert a bedroom into a bathroom and the existing bathroom into a shower room. The property is a listed building. We raised no objection.
Previous planning applications.
Thoulstone Wind Turbine (ref 14/08778/FUL) We understand that a decision on this controversial application is not likely until February.
Sienna’s Valley (ref 14/09500/FUL) The Western Area Planning Committee was due to consider the retrospective application for a static caravan at its meeting on 17th December.
The Western Area Planning Committee was also due to consider the order published recently concerning the diversion of footpath 12 (Dye House Farm) at its December meeting. See next month’s Bridge for an update on these two issues.
Thoulstone Park Hotel. (ref 14/09146/OUT) The planning authority has given outline consent concerning the application to build a 54 bed hotel, subject to a number of conditions. One of these states that “no development shall take place until details of the refurbishment of the golf course and all associated golf related development at the site have been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority”. The reason for this is ”to ensure that the refurbishment of the golf course takes place and will harmonise with the proposed building on the site”.
2015-16 Precept. The Parish Council’s income from the council tax you pay and from a small government grant is currently around £4,100. At our meeting we agreed to a small increase for next year to help us ensure that our reserves are not depleted too much. I will provide further details next month.
Defibrillator. Following meetings with a representative of The Friends of Frome Hospital and with Toby Brett, owner of The Three Horseshoes, we reported to the parish council that the Friends are willing to donate a defibrillator to the Chapmanslade community (one of 20 that they have purchased). Toby has very kindly agreed that the device can be positioned on the front wall of the pub so that it is clearly visible and accessible to everyone. The parish council has agreed to support the project and to co-ordinate the necessary fundraising towards the cost of maintaining it. Toby has already given the fundraising a kick start by making a generous donation as well as offering the profits from the sale of mulled wine and mince pies at the pub on the Friday before Christmas. Could you spare a little time in the coming months to act as co-ordinator to check from time to time that the machine is working correctly and to liaise with the ambulance service? It would only take a couple of minutes once a fortnight. If you are interested to help in this way, please contact me.
Highways. Wessex Water changed its mind about repairing the damaged manhole cover in Huntenhull Lane on December 2nd. Instead, following a temporary repair, they will carry out this work on 26th February. There will also be a road closure on 19th January in Huntenhull Lane (the road closure notice says three days but I understand the work will only take one day). The road will be closed from Brimhill Rise as far as Divers Bridge to enable Wessex Water to carry out works to replace a washout. See the public notice published elsewhere in The Bridge. At our meeting we noted with some concern that the repair to the hole in the road outside Clearwood View lasted no more than a week before the surface broke up again. We have reported this to the Highways Authority.
Youth Service Provision. Over the past year Wiltshire has radically reduced the support it gives to young people. Under arrangements introduced in the autumn, that support is limited to the 13-19 age group. There are certain funds available which can be used to allow people in this age group to attend appropriate events and activities. Sandra Samuel is the co-ordinator for our area and can give further details. Her contact details are
January meeting. Our next scheduled meeting will be on Thursday 15h January, 7.30 pm at the school. Representatives of Loch Ailort, the company working with Barters Farm on their housing project, will be present to tell us more about their plans. All our meetings are open to the public so do come along to listen or to speak.
And Finally. The History group is making good progress in its explorations of our parish’s heritage. They meet at 10 30 each Tuesday morning at The Three Horseshoes to look at documents or to visit places of interest in the parish or elsewhere. New members of the group are always welcome to come along.
Last month they visited Victoria Bridge in Bath, which has just been restored and reopened to the public. This suspension bridge was designed by one of our more famous former residents, James Dredge, and was built in 1836. James went on to design many more bridges for construction in this country and abroad and, for a time, rivalled Isambard Brunel as a leader in the design of bridges. The History group hope to be able to put on a display about the bridge in the new year. They will publish their findings as a book at some time in the future.
Chapmanslade parish council met on 27th October and again on13th November.
The October 27th meeting dealt with two planning applications. About 50 village residents and some visitors from other parishes attended.
Thoulstone Wind Turbine. (ref 14/08778/FUL) After many months of discussion it was time for the parish council to decide on what grounds it would object to the planning application. These had to be chosen carefully, taking into account national and local planning guidelines. Accordingly, our objection was based on our concern that the location for the proposed turbine is too close to a number of dwellings in the parish, in one case within 500 metres. We considered that the impact on these dwellings would be greater than Wiltshire Council would promote and would be unacceptable to our community.
We also objected on the grounds of the possible impact on health; particularly concerning noise, flicker and flashing light (we understand the MOD would require a red flashing navigation light to be positioned at the top of the turbine).
Next, we objected on the grounds of visual impact. With the proposed location being so near Cley Hill, a scheduled ancient monument adjacent to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we stated that the turbine would harm the visual amenity of Cley Hill and the surrounding landscape: it would adversely affect views towards Cley Hill and from the top of the hill itself.
We had noted that one of our public footapths (chap13/uscu14) passes through the proposed location of the turbine. We considered this to be a valid ground for objection. We also expressed concern that the turbine would be seen, and cast shadow on, the extensive number of well-walked footpaths in Chapmanslade and neighbouring parishes, which would be to the detriment of walkers’ enjoyment of this aspect of our environment.
Finally, we objected on the grounds of the adverse effect the turbine would have on important parts of our parish’s historical and natural heritage and the consequent effect this would have on our local economy, particularly tourism.
So now the matter is in the hands of Wiltshire’s planners. A decision is possible before Christmas. If, and this appears to be likely, the application goes to committee, we will be there to state our objections. We will keep you informed.
Sienna’s Valley. (ref 14/09500/FUL) This was a retrospective application for the siting of a static caravan at Sienna’s Valley in Huntenhull Lane. The application is for a “rural worker’s dwelling” in connection with the owner’s stated intention to farm breed alpacas and to keep chickens and a number of pigs. The caravan has been in position since August.
We decided to object to the application on the grounds that we did not believe enough evidence had been given to support residential accommodation being essential to the level that “ a key worker needing to be available at the site at most times”. We were concerned that more evidence was needed to confirm that the proposed enterprise has a long-term future and that the application is not being used simply as a device to eventually secure permanent residential accommodation on the site.
We also objected on the grounds that the siting of the caravan would cause harm to residents living in the immediate vicinity and also to a sensitive and cherished part of the parish’s rural heritage.
Planning. Thoulstone Park Hotel. The new owners of Thoulstone Park have submitted an application for outline permission to build a 54 bedroomed hotel on the site, particularly in respect of access to the proposed building. Planning permission has been given in the past for a hotel to be constructed on the site of the old golf course, and on that occasion we welcomed the application because of the employment opportunities it offered. But the earlier planning consent had a condition imposed on it stating that the 18 hole golf course should be reinstated. We decided to object to the new application on the basis that the current owner has planted trees over much of the site and therefore an 18 hole golf course is no longer a feasible proposition. Our main concern is that we are unhappy about being asked to consider the hotel application in isolation from the owner’s other plans for the site, which have not yet materialised. We would prefer to see the whole picture first. We have asked Fleur de Rhe Philipe to call the application in so that if the planning officers recommend approval it can be considered by the elected members.
Community Speedwatch. We now have 15 members in our community speedwatch team and we believe we are making a real impact on the issue of speeding vehicles. We still have room for a few more members so please contact Jill Willmot, 832464 or
, for more details or if you would like to join us.
Highways. It was reported that road closures in and around Westbury will continue and will cause disruption for a little longer. Please see the road closure notice in The Bridge concerning Huntenhull Lane, which is due to be closed for repairs on 2nd December between 9.30 and 3.30. Contact Keith Muston, 832755 or
if you wish to report any highways problems.
Public Footpaths. Adam reported that he has been given permission to relocate a redundant kissing gate elsewhere in the parish. He is looking for volunteers to help him with this work. Please contact him if you can spare an hour or two in the next few weeks. Please remember to let him know if you need to report any problems concerning our extensive network of public footpaths. Adam’s contact details are 832437 or
Mains Gas. We now have 50 people who have shown an interest in signing up. We only need 9 more before mains gas becomes a real possibility. Kerry Jones will be distributing a flyer to households in the village containing useful information within the next few days. Contact him on 0773 326 0512 or at knsgasand
for further advice.
Village Hall floor. We noted with sadness that the long awaited new floor has been seriously damaged by a flood from the ladies’ loo and will need to be completely replaced. After years of planning and fundraising this has come as a bitter blow. However, we hope the floor can shortly be relaid as an insurance job. Inevitably, the hall will be out of use for a while whilst the work is carried out.
Annual Grants. We agreed a donation of £120 to the British Legion as part of the poppy appeal. Each remembrance Sunday we lay a wreath at our war memorial to commemorate the men from our parish who lost their lives in the two world wars. We also agreed a donation of £3,250 to the Village Hall Committee. This is our main item of expenditure each year but we do feel it is important that we should support the hall in this way.
December meeting. Our next scheduled meeting will be on Thursday 11h December, 7.30 pm at the school. All our meetings are open to the public so do come along to listen or to speak.
And Finally. I’ve heard that Father Christmas will be arriving in Chapmanslade a week earlier than in the rest of England! On the evening of 19th December members of Frome Rotary Club will be accompanying Santa around the village as they collect funds for local worthy causes. I believe this will be the first time in 40 years that he has visited is in this way. So, watch out for the float as it passes your front door and please be generous in supporting Rotary’s work in the community.
Chapmanslade Parish Council has met twice since my last report, on 22nd August and 11th September.
At our meeting on 22nd August we considered an application to demolish a bungalow at 158 High Street and replace it with 2 four-bedroomed semis. We listened carefully to the concerns of local residents and resolved to object to the application, on the grounds that the proposed parking arrangements were inadequate and that the development was out of proportion to the size of the plot. The application has now been withdrawn and it has been replaced by an application to build a single 5/6 bedroomed dwelling. We will consider this application shortly.
Our 11th September meeting was well attended and it was good to see several residents who have recently moved into the village joining us.
Barters Farm. Legh Walker, from Barters Farm, came to update us on the proposed housing development. He told us that Aster Homes are no longer his business partner and he is now working with a new sponsor. He has retained the same architect and planning consultant. The original plans for the proposed development are currently being revised but no major changes are expected, with about 40 dwellings being planned. Legh promised to keep us in close touch with progress and he will make arrangements for one to one contact with immediate neighbours over the coming weeks.
Settlement Boundaries Consultation. In planning terms, a settlement boundary is the dividing line, or boundary, between areas of built/urban development (the settlement) and non-urban or rural development (the open countryside). Wiltshire Council is currently reviewing each community’s settlement boundary, and as a first step it is consulting on the criteria for defining them. We expressed concern about some of these criteria, feeling that the inclusion of religious buildings, schools and community halls, and particularly site allocations for community and employment uses, would not necessarily be in the best interests of communities. It could end up with more housing development taking place than communities might feel was desirable.
Two new bungalows? Back in July, Wiltshire Council asked us to agree in principle two two-bedroomed bungalows being constructed at the plot of land at the eastern end of Clearwood View, the idea being that this would free up three bedroomed social housing currently being occupied by retired couples (not necessarily living in Chapmanslade). We looked at this again in September and resolved that we couldn’t support the proposal. Wiltshire Council is to be commended on its efforts to free up social housing but we felt that this was not a suitable location for retirement homes. We were concerned that the site is isolated from the rest of the village, there is no footpath and vehicular access from the High Street would be hazardous. We also decided to decline the offer of a housing needs survey in the parish at the present time.
Road Safety in the vicinity of Chapmanslade School. We were pleased to welcome Berkeley Basinger-Adams, Chapmanslade School’s head teacher, to the meeting. Road safety outside the school continues to be a major issue and he encouraged us to restart the debate in the community about possible solutions. As a first step, Keith Muston and I are due to meet highway engineers from Wiltshire Council on 7th October at the Warminster Area Traffic Group and we will seek further advice from them.
Community Speedwatch. Part of the solution to this problem is to slow traffic down and as you know, the aim of community speedwatch is to educate drivers to the fact that speeding in villages such as ours is both dangerous and anti-social. Our team is one of over 100 operating throughout Wiltshire. We have recently been able to put on a number of sessions in the late afternoon rather than simply at the beginning and end of the school day. One afternoon last month over 500 cars passed through the village in the hour of our check. The drivers of 14 of them will have received a letter from Wiltshire Police two or three days afterwards giving appropriate advice! With more volunteers we could do a better job. If you could spare an hour or two each month to help make our village a better place please ring Jill Willmot on 832464.
Highways. Be aware of possible disruption later this month whilst the A3098 at Tower Hill is resurfaced (see the road closure notice elsewhere in The Bridge). Major road works in Westbury town centre are also planned to take place shortly, also involving road closures. Southcroft residents are concerned about the increasingly dangerous state of the road surface there. We have been promised that it will be resurfaced but, to date, Wiltshire Council have been unable to tell us when.
Neighbourhood Watch. Jill Willmot reported on a county-wide community messaging initiative that Wiltshire Police has recently introduced. Residents signing up with the service will receive free email, text or phone messages about policing and crime matters in their area. Jill urged residents to check out the website www.wiltshiremessaging.co.uk and sign up for the service.
Defibrillator. As part of its outreach programme, The Friends of Frome Hospital has introduced a pioneering Community Defibrillator Scheme by installing a network of publicly accessible defibrillators (AEDs) at strategic locations across the town. The Friends are now extending the scheme to a number of villages neighbouring Frome and Chapmanslade has been chosen as a possible location for one of them. We are interested in the suggestion but before reaching a decision we will give the matter further thought. We hope that, at our October meeting, we will be given a demonstration on how the defibrillator works. If we go ahead we would be expected to carry out some fundraising to help defray maintenance costs.
And Finally. The school is keen to work with the community to provide and maintain planters at one or more points in the village. They are asking for volunteers to help them. If you would like to help brighten up the village in this way please get in touch with the school on 832367
October meeting. Our next meeting will be on Thursday 9th October, 7.30 pm at the school. All our meetings are open to the public so do come along to listen or to speak.
August is normally a quiet month for the parish council but there has been plenty to keep us busy this year.
Planning. We met on 22nd August to consider an application to demolish a bungalow at 158 High Street and replace it with 2 four-bedroomed houses. See next month’s Bridge for details of the advice we gave Wiltshire Council.
Wiltshire has granted retrospective planning permission to the owners of Thoulstone Park for a campsite for a maximum of 40 tents and 4 yurts. The permission lasts until 2019 and camping will be permitted between 1st April and 30th September each year. Wiltshire Council is monitoring noise levels at the site, especially on those weekends when events are taking place.
Early in August, to the consternation of local neighbours, a huge static caravan arrived at Sienna’s Valley in Huntenhull Lane. Wiltshire Council’s enforcement officer is dealing with the planning implications. The owner has been instructed to remove a number of metal storage huts which were placed there without permission some years ago and we await news of their removal.
Mains Gas. The possibility of mains gas being installed in Chapmanslade made a giant leap forward last month. Wales and West Utilities has sent a letter to 212 households asking again for people to register an interest. It is important to reply to this letter even if you have already replied to previous surveys. Please note you will not be committed to anything at this stage by putting your name down if you are interested. Once enough households have registered an interest then firm quotations will be sent out. When enough quotations have been accepted the Gas main connections will go ahead.
If you have not received a letter you can contact Wales and West at
Remember: to make sure it happens you must reply now!
Community Speedwatch. During August, as the school was on holiday, we varied the times we carried out our checks. One evening, between 6 pm and 7, over 500 vehicles passed through the village. 14 of them were reported for speeding.Their drivers will have received a letter from Wiltshire police two or three days later and hopefully next time they drive through the village they will remember to stick to the speed limit. You may have noticed, too, that the speed indicator device (SID) was in position for a couple of weeks in August. Our team of volunteers is growing in number but we still have room for a few more members. If you can spare an hour or two a month and would like to do your bit for the community, please contact Jill Willmot on 832464.
August Newsletter. Last month’s piece was omitted from The Bridge. As soon as we learned this we put together a newsletter, together with advertisements for village hall events, and within 24 hours it was distributed to everyone in the parish. A great community achievement! You can check out the newsletter at www.chapmanslade.org.uk
September meeting. Our next meeting will be on Thursday 11th September, 7.30 pm at the school. Legh Walker has promised to come along and provide an update on the plans for the development of Barters Farm. Our meeting is a public meeting. Do come along to listen or to speak.
Phil Jefferson reports on the July meeting of Chapmanslade Parish Council and on other parish matters
Planning. Our July meeting had a much lighter agenda than in recent months. The main item for consideration was an approach from Wiltshire Council for our views on whether we agree in principle to one or two bungalows being built on the plot of land at the eastern end of Clearwood View. We were also asked whether we would like a housing needs survey to be conducted in the parish. The purpose of building the bungalows would be to free up three bedroomed social houses currently being occupied by retired couples (not necessarily living in Chapmanslade).
We had a number of concerns about the proposal – the plot is outside the village policy limit and access, especially on foot, is far from satisfactory. We also felt a cautious approach to a housing needs survey would be appropriate at the present time. We decided to defer any decision on these matters until September.
Proposed Wind Turbine. We noted that we had not had a response from Seren Energy following the letter we sent in May. We await further developments.
Green Bins. Wiltshire Council is currently consulting on whether changes to the kerbside garden waste collection arrangements should be made as a means of saving money. Three options have been suggested:-
A three month suspension of the kerbside non-chargeable garden waste service with no collections in December, January and February
A five month suspension, with no collections in November, December, January, February and March
To introduce a charge for kerbside garden waste collections instead of the current non-chargeable service.
We helped pioneer kerbside waste collection in Wiltshire – and became the model for the county – as a result of our Chapcap initiative ten or so years ago so it’s important that we help Wiltshire Council get it right this time, too. The period of consultation closes on 1st September. You may have received a leaflet as part of this procedure. If so, please complete it and return it to Trowbridge before the end of the month. If you didn’t, please look for the questionnaire on the council’s website www.wiltshire.gov,uk or phone 0300 456 0102.
Highways. After months of badgering, Wiltshire Council has finally painted a white line along the kerb at the junction of Wood Lane and the High Street. This was at the request of Wood Lane residents who now have a much safer view of the traffic flow as they turn into the High Street. No news of the 18 tonne weight limit yet, though!
Community Speedwatch. Last month police officers worked with speedwatch volunteers in the High Street over a period of five days, with cameras being used at each end of the village. This was a highly effective way of educating motorists to respect the speed limit in our High Street.
A quick update on our June meeting.
Daniel Hurring, from Thoulstone Park, attended to give us an update on his plans to develop the site. A number of activities are planned for the summer months. Details are available on Thoulstone Park’s website - www.thoulstonepark.co.uk
Planning. We considered various applications:-
School. We raised no objections to a proposal to make interior modifications.
82/84 High Street. An application has been made to divide the property into two dwellings. We expressed concerns about parking facilities but did not oppose.
Thoulstone Park. An application to construct a number of yurts has been made. We expressed concerns about inadequate toilet facilities, the continuous access to the site for traffic and the possible disruption to neighbouring properties and the lack of clarification about the use of the temporary accommodation. However, we did not oppose the application.
We noted that Wiltshire Council had turned down the application to extend the barn at Sienna’s Valley in Huntenhull Lane. Three parish councillors had spoken at the planning committee meeting in Trowbridge.
The next scheduled meeting of the parish council is on Thursday 11th September, 7.30 pm at the school. Our meetings are public meetings and everyone is invited to attend – to speak or to listen.
Phil Jefferson reports on the May meeting of Chapmanslade Parish Council and on other parish matters
In fact we had two meetings in May, the first on the 13th and then again on the 15th: the earlier meeting was necessary because we had to meet a planning deadline.
Proposed Wind Turbine. At our April meeting we invited parishioners to let us know their views on the proposed wind turbine after they had visited the consultation event held in the village at the end of the month. As a result, we received between 30 and 40 emails and letters, about three quarters of them from parish residents, almost all of them opposing the proposed development. Over 60 members of the public, about two thirds of them Chapmanslade residents, turned up at our 15th May meeting to tell us their views. The great majority of those who attended were opposed to the development. A small number were in favour.
So, first of all, a word of thanks to those of you who took the trouble to contact us or to come to our meeting. You have told us loudly and clearly that you do not wish to see a wind turbine at Thoulstone (a reminder, by the way, that the proposed site is in Upton Scudamore parish). Wiltshire Council has assured us that the parish council will be consulted if and when a planning application is made and we are well aware of the responsibility we have to represent your views. I am sure that the wind turbine issue will be on the agenda for parish council meetings for the foreseeable future. When the final plans are published we will need to consider whether we need to come back to you for your views on the actual plans – possibly they will be different from those we have seen so far. We will keep you in touch.
Planning. On 13th May we considered an application to extend the barn, currently under construction, at Sienna’s Valley in Huntenhull Lane. We resolved to object to the application, as we were concerned about the harm the extension would cause to the amenity of the immediate neighbours. We also questioned the need for a barn of the proposed size. We have asked Fleur de Rhe Philipe to “call in” the application should the planning officer at Wiltshire Council recommend consent, in which case, if Fleur agrees, the application will be considered by elected councillors.
The pre-planning application to build two houses in Southcroft has been turned down by Wiltshire Council. The planners were concerned that “the development would give rise to an unacceptable lack of privacy harmful to the amenity of existing occupants and any future occupants of the proposed dwellings”. A second reason was that insufficient information had been given by the developers relating to access, specifically in relation to land differentials, to the proposed gradient and to visibility splays. And third, the use of the proposed access to the development “ would be likely to increase the conflict of traffic movements close to an existing junction resulting in additional hazard and inconvenience to all users of the road”.
Highways matters. Wiltshire Council has been very busy clearing out the gullies at Dead Maids. The work took several days to complete. We are reminding Wiltshire of the need to carry out this type of work elsewhere in the parish, especially Huntenhull Lane as far as the old Rectory. We have also reminded them of their promise to paint a white line in the High Street near to the exit from Wood Lane so that visibility can be improved for motorists joining the High Street at that point. We have been assured that the work will be carried out soon. However, the good news is that we have been told that Southcroft is to be resurfaced in the current financial year and repairing the section of the A3098 towards Westbury is also one of the highway authority’s priorities. Wiltshire Council plans to spend £21 million a year on road maintenance over the next few years, a considerable investment. Please report any problems concerning road maintenance to Keith Muston at
or on 832755.
Mains Gas. The possibility of having mains gas in the village seems to be getting closer to becoming a reality. We now have 51 interested parishioners and we are rapidly reaching the total of 59 that we need. If you are interested and haven’t been in touch yet, there’s still time to contact Kerry Jones at
or on 07733 260512 or John Lewis, who is our lead councillor on this issue, at
or on 832875.
Thoulstone Park. As mentioned previously, a number of events are planned to take place at Thoulstone Park over the coming months. The immediate neighbours have some concerns and Wiltshire Council is providing sound-monitoring support. So far, however, nothing has happened to cause a great deal of concern. You can check out what is planned at Thoulstone Park on their website, www.thoulstonepark.co.uk
Footpaths. Adam Oakley reports that he now has some volunteers from the parish who are helping with minor footpath maintenance tasks. If you have some time to spare and would like to help, please contact Adam at
Neighbourhood Watch and Community Speedwatch. We understand that a vacant post in the Warminster Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) has now been filled. This means we can expect to see more of the team in the village supporting the community, for example helping with the inevitable traffic problems we experience at the beginning and end of the school day. Please contact
or on 832464 for information for advice about Neighbourhood Watch or Community Speedwatch.
Annual General Meeting. Our 15th May meeting was our AGM. I seem to have passed my probationary year and was elected chairman for a second year. Dennis Barnard was elected vice-chairman. Jill Willmot was confirmed as Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator and Speedwatch co-ordinator. Keith Muston was confirmed as our link with Wiltshire Council’s highway maintenance officers. Finally, Adam Oakley was confirmed as our representative on the Village Hall committee and as our link with Wiltshire Council’s public footpath officers
At the meeting we agreed payments of £3,100 to the village hall, £150 to the Parochial Church Council towards the cost of grass cutting, and £105 to the Earl Haig Fund. Our annual expenditure also includes the cost of insurance (approximately £150) and membership of the Wiltshire Association of Local Councils (£235). In addition, we recently agreed to make a grant of £120 to The Bridge to help defray expenditure. And that’s about the sum total of our expenditure for the year.
And finally. The Parish Council has agreed to give its support to a request from Mr Basinger-Adams, Head Teacher at Chapmanslade School, for the community to work with pupils from the school to enhance the entry to our village by the provision and maintenance of planters – or possibly a “Chapmanslade in Bloom” area or perhaps even a shared herb garden area. This is part of the school’s Global Green Fingers Gardening project. We’ll tell you more about how you can help in future newsletters.
The next scheduled meeting of the parish council is on Thursday 12th June, 7.30 pm at the school. Our meetings are public meetings and everyone is invited to attend – to speak or to listen.
Phil Jefferson reports on the April meeting of Chapmanslade Parish Council, the Chapmanslade Annual Parish Meeting, and on other parish matters
We had an excellent attendance at our April parish council meeting and at the parish annual meeting that followed it. Many thanks to everyone who came along. We were pleased that Fleur de Rhe Philipe, our Wiltshire Councillor, was able to be with us for the two meetings.
Planning. One application had been received since the last meeting, concerning plans to alter and extend The Old Mill in Mill Lane, and to build a garage. Councillors raised no objection to this application. At the time of writing we are waiting to learn whether the Southcroft application considered at our last meeting has been turned down by the planning officers. If they recommend approval Fleur has confirmed that the application will be considered at a planning sub-committee meeting, which will give the parish council and residents the opportunity to make representations to elected members before a decision is reached.
Footpaths. Wiltshire Council has published proposals to divert the footpath that passes through the garden of Dye House Farm. We had looked at the proposed route at an earlier meeting and raised no objections.
Highways matters. Fleur confirmed that Wiltshire Council intends to introduce an 18 tonne weight limit through the village, replacing the currently unenforceable 17 tonne limit. In the longer term a 7.5 tonne limit will be adopted, but this depends on improvements being made to the A350/A303 junction in South Wiltshire. We urged Fleur to persuade Wiltshire to liaise with Somerset Highways and the Highways Agency when the 18 tonne limit comes into force so that the limit can be adequately signed – and, hopefully, enforced.
Proposed Wind Turbine. The wind turbine proposal, which we had first looked at in March, was discussed briefly. Again, like last month, councillors and members of the public raised differing points of view. By the time you read this you will have had the opportunity to find out for yourself about the proposal by visiting the consultation event in the village. The parish council has purposefully kept a neutral stance until it finds out what your views are. So, we invite you to come along to our May meeting, Thursday 15th May, 7.30 pm at the school, to tell us your views and we will then make up our minds about whether or not we are in favour of the proposal. This is one of the biggest issues we have had to deal with for a number of years and we need to get it right on your behalf. Please contact me, or Minnie our clerk (at
), if you are unable to attend the meeting but wish to share your views with us.
Annual Parish Meeting:-
Thoulstone Park. James Hughes-Hallett, the owner of Thoulstone Park, gave a progress report on his plans for an “eco-sustainable development”, which he described as being “a catalyst for changing the way we live by developing a sustainable place which is in harmony with its environment”. He added that his vision is “to link together economic, social and environmental sustainability values in the form of a mixed-use, holistically integrated, live-work community that is a culturally enriching location”. He listed some of the features he hopes to introduce, including woodlands (large numbers of trees have already been planted) parklands, organic market gardening, gastronomy, commerce, buildings of art and architectural significance, leisure facilities and recreational activities. A ten-hole golf course is also being planned.
It is intended that the park will host a number of events throughout the year; the first one – for 500 people – is planned for three days in August. Mr Hughes-Hallett’s plans include the creation of a significant number of employment opportunities and the provision of up to 40 houses, which is perhaps the most controversial part of his vision for the site. In due course we will discover whether or not this meets with the planning authority’s approval. We will keep you in touch with developments and you can find out more at www.thoulstonepark.co.uk .
Annual Report. It is the duty of the parish council to report annually to the parish about its work. This year’s report was a long one, after a busy and eventful twelve months. Topics raised included last year’s Sunrise Festival (this year the venue has moved to Wales), the Barter’s Farm housing proposals, the proposals for Thoulstone Park, a number of controversial planning applications, speedwatch, neighbourhood watch, the possibility of mains gas in the village, public footpaths and highways maintenance. You can read the report, which is posted on the village website – www.chapmanslade.org.uk. There’s certainly plenty going on in our parish!
And finally (1) … You may not have noticed that the village shop in Dilton Marsh has recently re-opened and later this month its post office is due to re-open, too. If you are in Dilton Marsh, why not visit the farm shop and café at Fairfield Farm College, where young people with learning disabilities are given training to prepare them to be able to live independent lives? It’s well worth a visit.
And finally (2) … Wiltshire Council is keen to provide each town with a “campus”, with the aim of bringing together a number of services and facilities together to provide fit for purpose, flexible spaces, accessible to everyone in the community. A campus is described as a collection of buildings within a community where the public can access local services, delivered by Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police, together with other public sector, voluntary and community groups. The idea behind campuses is to ensure people have better access to improved services that meet local needs. Wiltshire Council also believes this would also allow them to help reduce the amount of money it spends on property through better use of its buildings. Consultation on whether Warminster should have a campus, and what facilities it might contain, is currently being carried out.
You can participate in the consultation by visiting http://warminster.ourcommunitymatters.org.uk/warminster-campus. The closing date for responses is 16th May.
Phil Jefferson reports on the March meeting of Chapmanslade Parish Council and on other parish matters
Once again we had another packed agenda for our March meeting. About 30 parish residents attended.
Planning. We considered three applications at the meeting. Most of the residents of Southcroft turned up to voice their concerns about an application for outline planning permission to build two houses in the garden of no 26 Southcroft. The residents had concerns about access, overcrowding, drainage and road safety. We agreed with them that the application was ill-conceived and inappropriate for the area in question and we resolved to object to the proposal. We have asked Fleur de Rhé Philipe, our Wiltshire Councillor, to “call in” the application, so that it can be considered by elected members of the council’s planning sub-committee rather than be decided by planning officers under delegated powers.
We also looked at the retrospective planning application concerning the barn at Sienna’s Valley in Huntenhull Lane, which appears to have been constructed in the wrong position. We repeated our concerns about the barn being too large; we also believe that in its present position it is too close to the adjacent property. Our objection has been passed to Wiltshire Council and once again we have asked for the application to be called in.
The third application we considered was for permission to construct a covered swimming pool and new roadside walling and to build an ancillary building for use as carer’s accommodation at Dye House Farm. We agreed to offer no objection to the proposed development.
An application to demolish and replace a conservatory with a new construction at Huntenhull Farm needed to be responded to before the date of our meeting. We raised no objection to the application.
Proposed Wind Turbine. Residents present at the meeting had their first sight of a proposal to build a wind turbine at Thoulstone Farm, just south of the A36, on the edge of the parish. The proposed turbine would be in Upton Scudamore parish (just) and would be 87 metres in height. A variety of views were expressed, both in favour of and against the prospect of a wind turbine being located so close to the village, but no firm conclusions were arrived at. There will be plenty of opportunities for residents to learn more about the proposed scheme and to make known their views about the proposals before any decision is taken. The first of these will be a community event that the proposers aim to stage prior to the submission of a planning application. I understand that this may take place very soon. We will endeavour to let you know the date.
Highways. Keith Muston and I recently attended a seminar on Balfour Beatty’s contract with Wiltshire Council. Balfour Beatty now carry out all Wiltshire Council’s “streetscene” responsibilities, including pothole filling and other road maintenance tasks, grass cutting, and litter collection. We had the opportunity of meeting the council’s co-ordinator for our area and we were assured that there is still a community steward who will make regular visits to the parish to carry out minor maintenance tasks. Please continue to let Keith know of any new road maintenance issues on 832755 or at
Mains Gas. 44 residents have now expressed an interest in being connected to mains gas so there is hope that we might get there. If you are interested and haven’t been in touch yet, please contact Kerry Jones at
or on 07733 260512 or John Lewis, who is our lead councillor on this issue, at
or on 832875.
or on 832464 if you are interested in joining the team.
Neighbourhood Watch. Jill and Ian Willmot and I attended a recent meeting of the Neighbourhood Tasking Group. This is a forum where Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators in rural Warminster, with other agencies, meet the members of the Neighbourhood Police Team to agree crime-prevention priorities for the coming months. The current priorities are to stamp out hare coursing, which apparently is on the increase, and to target burglaries from cars parked at places such as Heaven’s Gate and Cley Hill car parks. The police will continue to monitor parking outside schools at the beginning and end of the school day and will place “polite” notices on cars parked on the footpaths in our High Street. The police also report that a car parked in our High Street recently had its catalytic converter stolen. A satnav was also stolen from a van parked in the village that was left unsecured. So, be vigilant!
Pantomime. If you weren’t able to get to this year’s pantomime staged by the Chapmanslade Players you missed a real treat. Ken Davies and his talented team of thespians took us back to King Arthur’s time in a highly entertaining and thoroughly professional performance. By common consent this was the best pantomime we’ve seen in Chapmanslade. Congratulations all round to everyone who took part, not forgetting the backstage crew. You are a talented lot!
BT. Is your phone still out of order after the recent storms? One resident tells me hers has been out of action for over a month and BT seems unable to do anything about it. Do let me know if you are in the same position. There’s strength in numbers.
Annual Parish Meeting. We will be giving our annual report to the parish at this meeting, which will be held at the school at 8.00 pm on Thursday 10th April. The owners of Thoulstone Park or their agents will also be present to tell us how their plans to develop the old golf course are progressing. The annual meeting follows our normal parish council meeting, which takes place at 7.00 pm. All our meetings are open to the public, so please do come along if you want to find out what’s going on or you have an issue you wish to raise with us.
Phil Jefferson reports on the February meeting of Chapmanslade Parish Council and on other parish matters
Planning. We are only offered a few days by Wiltshire Council to comment on planning applications and invariably this means we are unable to discuss them at our scheduled monthly meetings. Where we feel a meeting is necessary to look at particular applications, or residents affected by the proposals ask us for their support, we do meet. Otherwise, we inform Wiltshire that we have no objections. Last month an application was submitted concerning a proposal to build a 3 bedroom detached house at the vacant plot at 102A High Street. Although this was for a two-storey building, and an earlier application that had been approved was for a bungalow, we raised no objection so on this occasion a meeting was not necessary.
We understand that the application to extend the barn currently under construction at Sienna’s Valley in Huntenhull Lane has been withdrawn. Apparently the building had been constructed in the wrong position. We await developments.
Highways. Our road surfaces have been badly affected during the past few months because of the appalling weather. Wiltshire Highways are aware of all the faults as we send them a monthly report on highway maintenance issues. Please report any new problems you notice to Keith Muston at
or on 832755.
On one of stormiest days last month a huge tree blew down partially blocking the road at Divers Bridge (it was just on our side of the bridge!) but it was swiftly dealt with by volunteers, particularly Neil Britten, Simon Jasper, Shane Mackean and Ade, the handyman at the Steiner Free School. We extend our thanks to them.
Footpaths. Adam reports that Wiltshire Council is making progress in sorting out the problems with our footpaths discovered in the recent inspection. Adam now has a small group of volunteers who are willing to help with some of the work. If you have some spare time at the weekends, or if you know of any issues or problems with any of the paths, please contact him at
Mains Gas. Chapmanslade residents will receive a flyer with this edition of The Bridge giving further details of the mains gas proposals. If you are interested and haven’t been in touch yet, please contact Kerry Jones at
or on 07733 260512 or John Lewis, who is our lead councillor on this issue, at
or on 01373 832875.
or on 832464.
Many thanks to everyone who is co-operating by not parking their cars on our pavements, which is helping to make our village a safer place, especially for our children. The message has not got across to everyone, however, so persistent offenders can expect a visit from Vicky Howick, our neighbourhood police officer, or a member of her team. Please make a particular point of ensuring that your visitors, or tradesmen working at your property, are aware of our concerns.
Crime. Happily, crime is not a major problem in our village although from time to time incidents do occur. Unfortunately, a motor mower was recently stolen from the shed at a vacant property in the centre of the village so do take care at all times and make sure all outdoor buildings are secure.
Also, a few weeks ago, a rug was stolen from a local stable in Chapmanslade, and it appears that a few similar items have also gone missing in and around the local area. More worrying, some horses have had their manes plaited, which is an indication that they may be targets for theft in the future. We hope there will not be any reoccurrence of these incidents but it is most important that the police are informed whenever something like this occurs. If they are not, they find it very difficult to prevent things from happening and to give advice re security. Also, they are not able to bid for resources for the area if they are not made aware of what is happening. Vicky Howick assures us that she will be sending out a horse watch notification shortly so horse owners please look out for this.
Next meeting. Our next scheduled meeting is on Thursday 13th March, 7.30 pm at the school. Our annual meeting will be in April, provisionally the 10th, when the parish council will give its annual report. All our meetings are open to the public so please do come along if you want to find out what’s going on or you have an issue you wish to raise with us.
Phil Jefferson reports on the January meeting of Chapmanslade Parish Council and on other parish matters
Planning. We looked at two planning applications at our January meeting. We raised no objection to an application to build a garage and home office with storage in the garden of 140 High Street. We did, however, object to an application to extend the barn currently under construction at Sienna Valley in Huntenhull Lane as we consider that the proposed building is too large. We also have concerns about the impact of the building on a sensitive landscape and about the dangers created by increased traffic. We have asked Fleur de Rhe-Philipe, our Wiltshire Councillor, to “call in” the application, so that it can be dealt with by Wiltshire Council’s Planning Sub-Committee. It now appears that the barn currently being constructed may be on the wrong “footprint”, which could delay the planning process.
Highways. Wiltshire Highways tell us that they will deal with the flooding problems outside the old Rectory and at the Dead Maids slip-road and that they will resurface Southcroft. However, the recent bad weather has had a dire effect on so many of our roads, not just in the parish but across the whole county, so we have been asked to be patient! Even so, at the time of writing this, we have just learned that the council have filled in some of the potholes in Wood Lane. In response to a request by some residents of Wood Lane, we have asked Wiltshire Council to improve visibility at the junction with the High Street by painting a white line on a short section of the road adjacent to Wheelwright’s. We hope to see this soon.
We send Wiltshire a monthly report on highway maintenance issues, so please report any new problems you notice to Keith Muston at
or on 832755.
Footpaths. Wiltshire Council has completed its inspection of our network of public footpaths and has already sorted out some of the problems that were found. We are hoping to help with some of the work required on the paths, and we are looking for volunteers who may be able to help. If you have some spare time at the weekends, or if you know of any issues or problems with any of the paths, please contact Adam Oakley at
Mains Gas. Following the discussion at our November meeting, Kerry Jones reported on the present position. A reasonable number of residents have expressed an interest in being connected to mains gas but the target of 59 properties hasn’t been reached yet. If you haven’t contacted Kerry yet, or have a question you would like to ask him, please contact him at
or by phoning him on 07733 260512. We intend to produce a flyer giving further details of the proposals, which in due course will be distributed to every property in the parish.
Transport to Kingdown School. Davina Lawrence, a village resident and parent of a pupil attending Kingdown School in Warminster, came to the meeting to alert us to problems concerning school transport. Beeline, the local coach operator, has withdrawn one of its services, leaving parents in some difficulty, including financially. As Matravers School in Westbury is the designated secondary school for Chapmanslade, Wiltshire Council is extremely limited in any support it can give to parents choosing to send their children to Kingdown. Davina has recently received a response from Wiltshire Council so, if you are a Kingdown parent or hope to be by next September, please contact her at
for the latest information. Davina will come back to the parish council later if she still needs our help.
Precept. This is the time of year when councils announce how much money they intend to raise through the council tax. For 2013/14 we were pleased to be able to reduce the precept (the amount the parish council levies in council tax) but this year there will be a very small increase. This is due to a reduction in the grant we receive from Wiltshire Council, which itself will be getting a smaller grant from central government. The parish council’s precept for 2014/15 will be £3,861.81, which will be added to the grant of £149.99 we will receive from Wiltshire and represents an increase of just under 3%. For band D taxpayers this means they will pay just under £13 in 2014/15, an increase of about 13p. Most of our precept is spent on supporting our village hall and we hope that the parish council gives value for money.
Thoulstone Park. The owners of Thoulstone Park have asked us to help publicise a tree planting weekend on the 15th and 16th February, from 10 am until 3.00 pm each day. So far, working with the Forestry Commission and The Woodland Trust, they have planted 26,000 trees covering 51 acres and the aim is to complete the task at the volunteer weekend. Anyone wishing to volunteer their help is asked to contact the owners at
. Details of the owners’ aspirations for Thoulstone are on their website at www.thoulstonepark.co.uk
Coffee Morning. A reminder that the community coffee morning is held on the third Thursday of each month at the Three Horseshoes, from 10 am until noon. The coffee morning is becoming increasingly popular, and now has an attendance of up to thirty. So, if you fancy a great cup of coffee and a friendly chat, do come along on the 20th February. I can also mention that there are moves afoot for a Senior Citizens’ afternoon tea and perhaps even regular Senior Citizens’ lunches, so keep in touch via The Bridge or the village website at www.chapmanslade.org.uk
New Year’s Honours. Finally, at our meeting we were delighted to be able to congratulate Professor Nigel Brown, a village resident, on being awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours List, in recognition of his services to science. Nigel is Emeritus Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Edinburgh University and President of the Society for General Microbiology. We are very pleased that he and Gayle chose to move to Chapmanslade on his retirement and we offer him our very best wishes.
Phil Jefferson reports on the November meeting of Chapmanslade Parish Council and on other parish matters
Mains Gas. 30 residents came along to last month's parish council meeting to discuss the possibility of obtaining mains gas in the village. Kerry Jones, one of our residents, who is a heating engineer, gave an excellent presentation. This was very well received by everyone present and he was thanked warmly.
We learned that 59 households would need to sign up before Wales and West Utilities will agree to extending the pipeline into the heart of the village and they would each have to pay a little over £3,000 for the connection. Residents living away from the High Street would probably have to fork out a little more than this. The total cost for each household is likely to be in the region of £5,000, to cover the cost of fitting new boilers, etc.
£5,000 sounds a big investment but we were advised that this might be clawed back over ten years, with savings coming from cheaper fuel and more modern and more efficient boilers.
There was considerable enthusiasm in the meeting for the idea. The next step is to ask all Chapmanslade residents if they are interested and wish to find out more. At this stage there is no need to make a commitment; all we need to know at the moment is whether as many as 59 households are interested in the possibility of having mains gas.
If you think this is for you please contact Kerry at
or by phoning him on 07733 260512. Or, please get in touch with me and I will pass your message on to him. Kerry has also kindly offered to help by offering advice on the pros and cons of converting to gas to anyone who would like to contact him. He will also produce a fact sheet, which we will make available shortly.
Speedwatch. A national road safety week took place in November. Our speedwatch team raised the profile of road safety by spending a few minutes each morning and afternoon outside the school monitoring the traffic flow and talking with parents. On one of our regular sessions, on 8th November, 534 vehicles passed through the village between 8 and 9 am – a record! Three new members of the team recently received their training at Police Headquarters. We’d love to have even more members: please contact Jill Willmot on 832464 if you are interested. Wiltshire Police inform us that motorists caught speeding now receive a letter from them within 5 days of being spotted by us. Finally, we have learned that the Speed Indicator Device (SID) will return for a couple of weeks in February and thereafter every three months.
Weight Restriction. I can now clarify this. The present weight limit through the village is 17 tonnes, which is no longer legally enforceable. Wiltshire Council has announced its intention to raise the limit to a legally enforceable 18 tonnes and a period of consultation will take place, probably next Spring, before a decision is finally taken. In the longer term, we have been promised a 7.5 tonne limit, which would be much better for us, but this depends on a number of matters, including the need for road improvements in the south of the county. So, it will be a long time before that happens! If you spot a lorry with three axles in the village it’s probably overweight.
Planning. Only one application has been received in the past few weeks. Starline Taxis have applied to construct a radio mast at Barters Farm. We raised no objection to this and Wiltshire Council has now granted planning permission.
Village Hall. The Village Hall were successful in their bid to the Area Board for a £5,000 grant towards the new floor. Many congratulations to Tim Humphreys who put together a first-rate bid.
Thousltone. James and Alka Hughes-Hallett, the owners of Thoulstone Park, have informed the parish council that, in partnership with The Woodland Trust and The Forestry Commission, they are creating over 51 acres of new English woodland across the site. They expect that the bulk of the planting will be completed by Christmas and they hope that the new area of woodland will become a valuable and sustainable haven for local wildlife.
A small area of the planting area has been reserved for a Volunteer Planting weekend which is planned for Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th February. We have been promised more details of this in due course.
Subject to there being sufficient business, our next meeting is on Thursday 12th December, 7 30 pm at the school. Our January meeting is scheduled for 9th January. Our meetings are public meetings and you are welcome to come along and join us. In the meantime, on behalf of my fellow councillors, please accept my very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
Phil Jefferson reports on the October meeting of Chapmanslade Parish Council and on other parish matters
Planning applications: We learned that Wiltshire Council has approved The Three Horseshoes’ planning application to demolish the derelict building at the rear of the building and to erect an eight-bedroom extension. The parish council would have preferred a six-bedroom block and we have concerns about parking but we do acknowledge that Toby and Ben have done a great job in breathing new life into our pub and we wish them every success with their new venture.
Traffic: Our Speed Indicator Device (SID), which we share with a number of villages, did an excellent job and will back in the High Street in due course. During one of last month’s speedwatch sessions 488 vehicles passed through the High Street in just one hour. At our meeting we discussed whether we need to ask for more speed-calming measures. What about speed humps? Do you have any suggestions that you would like us to consider?
Highway Maintenance: Overgrown hedges in Huntenhull Lane and blocked gullies are on the list of concerns we have passed on to Wiltshire Council. The poor state of the road surface in Southcroft is another area of concern.
War Memorial: We are currently looking into the possibility of adding to the war memorial the names of two village residents who died in the Second World War. They are commemorated on a plaque inside the church but not on the war memorial itself. Next year marks the centenary of the start of the First World War and we feel this would be an appropriate time to add the names.
Chapmanslade Public Footpaths: Chapmanslade has many footpaths, bridleways and byways. They give us access to the beautiful countryside as well as providing easy and direct routes through our Parish.
We are hoping to help with some of the work required on the paths, and we are looking for volunteers who may be able to help. If you have some spare time at the weekends, contact Adam for more details.
Village Hall Floor: The Village Hall Committee has submitted an application to Wiltshire Council’s Warminster Area Board for a £5,000 grant towards the cost of replacing the worn-out hall floor. The total cost of the job is likely to be in the region of £16,000 so a grant from the council would be a real boost. The Village Hall Committee is doing a great job to bring the hall up to standard and parish councillors will be at the Area Board meeting to lend their support.
Mains gas for Chapmanslade?
At the November meeting of the parish council we will be looking at the possibility of bringing mains gas into the village. The meeting is at Chapmanslade School, starting at 7.30 pm, on Thursday 14th November. We will have the facts and figures to help you decide whether you are interested in signing up.
Do come along and help us reach a decision.
Chapmanslade Parish Council
Parish Council Briefing:
Phil Jefferson reports on the parish council’s activities in November
The parish council met on 17th November. 7 residents joined us.
Bob Montgomery, CEO of Longleat Estates, had asked if could come to our meeting to share with us some of the estate’s future development plans. In the event, he was unable to join us as he had been called to business meetings in the USA. However, Geoffrey Wheating, who works closely with him on these plans, came in his place.
We learned that Longleat currently has one million visitors a year. The aim is to increase this to 1.2 million. The estate’s business plan has changed considerably following the recent change of management, with a move away from becoming something of a theme park. The emphasis is now on attracting visitors by staging prestigious events: the Elton John concert and the current Festival of Light, for example. We were told that Longleat proposes to build a large hotel and conference centre as part of its aim to increase attendance.
Mr Wheating answered questions from the parish council and residents present at our meeting. We recognised the positive aspects of the estate’s plans – ie more employment for local people, but some were concerned about the likelihood of increased traffic congestion because of the proposed expansion. No doubt we will hear much more about Longleat’s plans in the coming months.
A New Plan for Chapmanslade
Adam reported that the steering committee has now begun to meet. Lots of positive ideas and suggestions are being put forward about how to make Chapmanslade an even better place to live. Adam mentioned that Ben, landlord of The Three Horseshoes, has been most helpful in displaying in the pub the chart summarising the issues raised at our September meeting and by placing response sheets on the tables in the restaurant for residents and visitors to let us know which issues we should be considering. Shortly, we will be distributing a questionnaire to seek everyone’s views. We had a massive response the last time we did this as part of Chapcap 1 and hope for the same again.
You can contact Adam on 832437 or email him at
,uk for offers of help or with further ideas about how we can improve our village.
16/10941/FUL 37 Clearwood View, Single storey rear extension
We considered this application and saw no grounds for objecting to it.
16/08350/FUL Sienna’s Valley, Huntenhull Lane. Temporary rural workers dwelling and alterations to access (Resubmission of 14/09500/FUL & subsequent appeal)
We learned at the end of last month that Wiltshire Council has turned down this application, stating that it was using its powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to decline the application and “as such it is regarded as withdrawn”.
Planning authorities have the power to decline applications which are similar to those made within the previous two years and which have been turned down at appeal. Application 14/09500/FUL was dismissed at appeal on 6th April and the applicant was given twelve months to remove the temporary building and to restore the land to its original profile. The planning authority reached the conclusion, which was in accordance with the parish council’s view, that there has been no significant change in the development plan nor has there been any significant change in any other material considerations since the similar application was dismissed on appeal.
As I mentioned last month, most of us in Chapmanslade benefit from acceptable broadband speeds but this is not the case in outlying areas of the parish, Huntenhull Lane, Mill Lane and Short Street, for example. We discussed this issue at our meeting and agreed that we should start discussions with BT to see if there is a solution. We are aware of the initiative taken in Corsley, which has a much more scattered population than us and we agreed to contact their parish council, and also Dilton Marsh parish council, to see if there is anything we can learn from their experience. We’ll keep you in touch.
BT have indicated that they wish to remove the telephone box from the village. Apparently it has only been used five times in the past year. A village resident has urged that it should be retained and has asked for our support. She regards the box as being part of our village heritage. On the other hand, some residents regard it as a traffic hazard. Others say it is a useful direction finder when giving instructions to visitors on how to find their homes.
Three or four years ago we were asked by BT if we would like to buy the box – for £1 (a bargain but there were strings attached) but, at the time, we didn’t feel we were in a position to do this. This time we decided to inform BT and Wiltshire Council, who make the final decision, that the box, and the telephone, should be retained for use in the case of possible emergencies, particularly bearing in mind the patchy mobile signal in the village. The phone box has special sentimental value for Adam, incidentally, as the phone was used by his father to contact the midwife when he was about to enter the world. Maybe we should be erecting a blue plaque there to commemorate this important event?
Our precept (the total amount we collect from you in Council Tax) for 2016/2017 is £5,000. Most of our spending is on supporting the village hall. Parish councils are under increasing pressure from district and county councils to take on responsibility for providing services which previously have been provided by them but which they can no longer afford. For example, the parish council would now have to pay 25% of the cost of repainting the white lines on our village roads. Also, we now have to fund any elections for casual vacancies on the parish council. And we no longer benefit from any grant aid from central government.
The amount the parish council keeps in reserves would cater for any emergencies in the coming months but we reached the decision to increase the precept by £150 to £5,150 for 2017/2018. This means that each household will pay not much more than £1 per month: we hope that residents will recognise this as good value.
We held our annual Remembrance Service at the church on 13th November. Afterwards, together with the village’s Brownies and Guides, we assembled by the war memorial to remember the 17 village residents who sacrificed their lives in the service of the country in World War 1 and the 2 who died in World War 2. Robert Irving, one of our village residents and a former naval captain, read out our Roll of Honour, which was followed by two minutes’ silence.
Community Facebook Group launched
A Chapmanslade Community Facebook Group has been started with the aim of improving communication between as many people as possible in the village. Charlene Ridler, who is a member of the Chapmanslade Community Plan steering group, started the Facebook group in response to ideas put forward during recent 'Voice of the Village' meetings. Charlene says, "It's a great way to 'chat' with group members and find out about what's going on in the village."
Also, says Charlene, "Because it's a closed community group, only people accepted by the group administrator can see our message posts. We've already got 51 members signed-up and it's becoming a very active group with lots of posts. One of the things we are using the Facebook group for is to get as many ideas as possible for making Chapmanslade a better place to live - for everyone in the village."
So why not apply to join NOW? Just sign-in to your own Facebook page (or start a Facebook page if you don't already have one), search for 'Chapmanslade Community Group' and apply.
Do watch out for the carol singers from the church who will be in the High Street on the evening of Monday 19th collecting for The Children’s Society and also for the Frome Rotary Father Christmas float which will be touring the village on Tuesday 20th.
Our next scheduled parish council meeting is due to be held in the village hall at 7.30 pm on Thursday 12th January. If any new planning applications need to be considered we will meet on 15th December. We will be welcoming David Reeves, Chairman of the Avenue Surgery Patient Group in Warminster, to our January meeting, who will give a short presentation on the work of the surgery and the role of the Patient Group. His talk should also be of interest to residents who are members of other surgeries in the area.
We also hope to be joined by some of the young people from our village who will give us their views on how they would like to see Chapmanslade become an even better place to live. Do come along to the meeting if you can, to speak or maybe just to listen.
Season’s greetings to all of you from all of us on the parish council.
Chapmanslade Parish Council Briefing
Phil Jefferson reports on the parish council’s activities in September 2016
The parish council met on 8th September. I’m indebted to Dennis, who chaired the meeting in my absence whilst I take a break for two months.
Traffic in the High Street
An overweight lorry caused an added problem in our High Street just after 3.00 pm one day last month, shortly after the start of the new term. We did take this up with the vehicle’s owner and expressed our concern and maybe in the long term the episode will help us win our argument with Wiltshire Council. We reported at the meeting that we are in discussion with officers from Wiltshire’s Highways Department. They have undertaken to carry out a topographical survey, which could then be used to formulate further suggestions for helping to ease the congestion. Slow progress, perhaps, but one day we will get there!
We agreed that the community, including the school, and Wiltshire Highways must continue to discuss the issue of congestion and road safety until a solution to our problems is found. It was suggested that a one-week survey of overweight lorries going through the village might be beneficial for identifying the extent of the issue. If we proceed with formulating a village plan, this might give us the opportunity to organise such checks.
On a brighter note, we learned that, in the Speedwatch check which took place on the same day as the incident referred to, no speeding traffic had been reported. Our High Street does get busier, 550 vehicles passing through in one hour is no longer unusual.
16/05260/FUL 53 High Street Proposed single storey rear extension, new detached car port, and new entrance steps from public footpath.
Our meeting was attended by the owner. You will recall that, at our July meeting, the parish council decided to object to the proposed obliteration of the public highway fronting the property, which we felt was part of our village heritage. One concern was that, at some date in the future, the piece of land in question might be needed if the Highways authority wanted to widen the road or footpath at that point. After a lengthy discussion, and after hearing the views of the owner of no 53, we decided to withdraw our objection. This was supported by 4 of the 5 members present with one abstaining.
16.06570/FUL 12 Brimhill Rise. Proposed extensions to front elevation and over existing garage
16/06450/FUL 140 High Street. Increase in size of existing single storey extension
We noted that both of these applications have been approved by the planning authority.
16/06626/FUL The Old Kennels 164 Short Street. Change of use of land for the siting of 3 no. Safari Tents (Tourism Business use)
A decision on this controversial application was due the day after our meeting but at the time of writing has not been announced. As I mentioned last month, Fleur de Rhe-Philipe has asked that, in the event of the case officer recommending approval, the application be considered by elected members but it is likely that this will depend on the advice the Highways authority give the planners concerning road safety matters.
16/08350/FULTemporary rural workers dwelling and alterations to access (Resubmission of 14/09500/FUL & subsequent appeal)
We received details of this latest planning application on 11th September and we will discuss the application at our next meeting.
A New Plan for Chapmanslade?
Adam reported that, as yet, no-one had come forward to volunteer to serve on the steering group but a good attendance at the meeting on 29th September was hoped for. We will report back in the November Bridge.
Keith reported that the Parish Steward system seems to be working quite well, with a dropped drain cover having been replaced and other areas of highlighted work being carried out. We discussed the need for resurfacing the road surface near Dead Maids. We will be asking Wiltshire to include this in next year’s programme.
Phil Holihead reported that we now have a full complement of co-ordinators covering the whole parish.
We need your small change to help save lives! Our village defibrillator, which is located on the wall of The Three Horseshoes, was donated to the village through the generosity of The Friends of Frome Hospital. Our commitment is to raise funds to go towards the maintenance of the machine and others like it in the Frome area. Already, with the support of Toby Brett, owner of The Three Horseshoes and various village residents, we have made one donation to The Friends but it is now time to make a further one.
So, please do look out for our collection box at forthcoming village events, including the Loose women meeting on 6th October, the coffee morning at the pub on 20th October and the church harvest supper on 29th October. We are only asking for your small change but it will make all the difference. It could be your life, or a family member’s, that might be saved one day! If you would like to make a contribution but will not be at any of these events please give me or John Lewis (832875) a ring and we will arrange for someone to visit you.
Our next scheduled parish council meeting is due to be held in the village hall at 7.30 pm on Thursday 13th October. Do come along to the meeting if you can, to speak or maybe just to listen.
And do remember that if you want to keep in touch with what is going on in Chapmanslade visit our website at www.chapmanlslade.org.uk. We regularly refresh the website with news and details of coming events. As you may know, too, I often circulate an email around the village with news of events: if you are not on my circulation list and would like to be, please drop me an email.
Chapmanslade Parish Council
Making Chapmanslade a better place to live
Send your suggestions and comments to
or give Adam a call on 832437 if you would like to get involved
RECENT UPDATES TO THIS WEBPAGE
5 Mar 2017: Initiative List updated.
5 Mar 2017: Started to introduce Village Voice (instead of 'CHAPCAP' and 'New Village Plan')
3 Apr 2017: Facebook Community Group now has 96 members.
The Steering Group are currently drafting the questions to be included in the Questionnaire which all households and residents will be asked to complete.
In advance of a 'formal' plan, a number of new initiatives arising from the extensive Voice of the Village consultations which have been conducted over the last couple of months, are already being worked-on. Information on these initiatives can be found under the VILLAGE VOICE tab on this website.
Facebook Chapmanslade Village Community Group
This 'closed' group, already has 96 members and growing every day. It's a great way to keep in touch with what's going on in the village - and a great way to give your inputs and comment on the Village Plan.
ABOUT THE VILLAGE PLAN
The last major plan for Chapmanslade was set out more than 12 years ago and given the title CHAPCAP (Chapmanslade Community Action Plan). It resulted in many positive initiatives, improvements and activities happening around the village. (for example; the children's playground, a youth club, Speed Watch group, tree and hedge planting, Neighbourhood Watch, recycling and more) One of the reasons CHAPCAP was so successful was because many volunteers helped in the process and everyone in the village could be involved.
We're doing it again!
CHAPCAP worked because a wide cross section of the village was involved generating ideas and discussion. The Parish council has decided to repeat the process but the intention this time around is to create a 'rolling plan' where the achievements and results are reported back to residents and the plan is revisited and revised every 3 or 4 years.
The key to success is getting as many people as possible involved - which is why the name 'VILLAGE VOICE' has emerged as the preferred way of referring to the overall initiative.
In September 2016, two members of the Parish Council, Adam Oakley and Phil Holihead, took on the task of producing a New Plan for Chapmanslade - reporting back to the PC on a regular basis.
Three types of Plan have been identified (see PLAN OPTIONS below).
Much has changed in the intervening years since CHAPCAP, not only in the village itself, but also in neighbouring towns, and with local government structures and legislation. There will be a very steep learning curve for everyone involved.
The steps taken towards generating and implementing A New Plan for Chapmanslade are recorded here.
HOW THE PLAN COMES TOGETHER
Below are the Steps established by the Steering Group (and agreed by the Parish Council). Each Step is cross referenced in [ ] brackets to the 'Step-by-Step Guide to the Neighbourhood Planning Process' (NPP), set out on the My Community website. Click here for more information.
STEP 1: Establish a Steering Group: Ask for volunteers to be part of the Steering Group that oversees the development and implementation of A New Plan for Chapmanslade. Determine the area that the Plan will cover. [Steps 1 and 2 of the NPP]
STEP 2: Involve the Community: The Steering Group works with more volunteers to decide how all of the community can get involved. Develop a Strategy and a detailed Plan for engaging with the community. [Step 3 of the NPP]
STEP 3: Consult & Communicate with the Community: Consultation is carried out in numerous ways to identify local needs and aspirations. The results of the consultation are analysed and fed back to the community. Draft a set of Planning Policies focused on making the community vision a reality. [Step 3 of the NPP]
STEP 4: Develop a Plan: A decision as to the most appropriate type of plan is taken. The New Plan for Chapmanslade is developed. [Step 4 of the NPP]
STEP 5: Implement & Monitor Community Initiatives: A list of all initiatives is created and maintained. Initiatives may arise either from the Plan at STEP 4 or as a result of consultations at STEP 3. Progress is monitored and facilitated as required. [Not applicable to the NPP]
Step Implementation Timeline
Click here for a Provisional Timeline
1. Neighbourhood Plan:
• Focuses on land use and planning issues
• A statutory document forming part of the development plan for the area
2. Parish Plan
• Covers all types of issues
• Non-statutory – but can be used as evidence to influence and inform Parish Council and Town Council decision
• Document includes an action plan
3. Community Action Plan
• Documents a consultation process
• Followed-up with community meetings and action plans
STEP 1 OF HOW THE PLAN COMES TOGETHER:
ESTABLISH A STEERING GROUP
Chair, Parish Council liaison
Vice Chair, Local Authority Liaison
Meeting minutes, Social Media
Treasurer, Grants, Funding
DETERMINE THE AREA THAT THE PLAN WILL COVER
It has been determined by the Parish Council that the Plan should cover the whole of the Chapmanslade Parish as defined by Wiltshire County Council.
See an outline of the Chapmanslade Parish Boundary here.
For those who wish to take a more detailed look at the Parish of Chapmanslade, a great website to view is 'Know Your Place, West of England' at http://www.kypwest.org.uk. Click on the county of Wiltshire, then enter your postcode into the 'Find an address or postcode' box in the top left hand corner (click the House graphic). Thanks to the Chapmanslade History Group for this information.
Steering Group Mission Statement
To collect and collate the views from across the village on what activities should be considered in order to help inform decisions and actions that seek to make Chapmanslade a better placed to live for all residents.
This statement puts the work of the Steering Group firmly in the ‘collect and collate’ space initially – specifically not stating that the group will make decisions or take actions themselves. Including the words ‘all residents’ should ensure that the group is not seen as having a self-interest, e.g. pushing their own agenda.
Steering Group Working Guidelines & Lessons Learned
The Steering Group have developed a set of the Working Guidelines, the intention of which is to support and inform the work of the Steering Group, both as a framework for ‘ways of working’ and to help the group develop a cohesive common language. The Guidelines can also help to quickly integrate new members into the Steering Group and will continue to be developed over time.
As the Steering Group carry out their work, many lessons will be learned which will be worthwhile documenting, not least because the Parish Council wish to revisit and revise the Plan every 3 or 4 years.
Click here to see the Steering Group Working Guidelines & Lessons Learned.
The Steering Group intend to seek advice and guidance from Community First Wiltshire (http://www.communityfirst.org.uk).
Advice received to-date: Question & Answer responses to an email from Adam Oakley on behalf of the SG.
Steering Group Meetings
Regular face-to-face meetings are held. The meetings are widely advertised and open to all villagers.
Notice of First Steering Group (SG) Meeting to be held on Mon 17 Oct 2016.
Minutes of First Meeting held on 17 Oct 2016
Minutes of SG Meeting held on 31 Oct 2016.
Informal SG Meeting held on 28th Nov 2016 (no minutes)
Minutes of SG Meeting held on 5 Dec 2016
Minutes of SG Meeting held on 5 Jan 2017
Minutes of SG Meeting held on 6 Feb 2017
Minutes of SG Meeting held on 6 Mar 2017
Date of Next Steering Group Meeting(s):
8.00pm Monday 3 April 2017: Upstairs in the Three Horseshoes. Click here for Agenda.
STEP 2 OF HOW THE PLAN COMES TOGETHER:
INVOLVE THE COMMUNITY
The main issue for the Steering Group when involving the community is to develop both a strategy and a plan that reaches out to as wide a cross-section of the community as possible - to both generate ideas and help implement the resulting actions in the community.
Community Involvement Strategy
STEP 1: Reach out to all parts of the community* – asking for their suggestions / issues / opportunities for making Chapmanslade a better place to live.
STEP 2: Analyse the resulting ‘Voice of the Village’ (VoV) inputs.
STEP 3: Use the ‘Voice of the Village’ analysis to develop a detailed Questionnaire to be delivered to all households in the village.
STEP 4: Communicate the results of the ‘Voice of the Village’ inputs and the Questionnaire to the community to help solicit volunteers for implementing 'Village Voice Initiatives'.
* Use of the word ‘community’ should be understood to mean all those who live, work, play or visit Chapmanslade.
Questions used to collect the Voice of the Village
The Steering Group understands the importance of developing effective questions to ask of the community. Questions should be 'open-ended' rather than 'closed' (which can be answered by a simple 'Yes' or 'No"). Open-ended questions require more thought from those being interviewed or surveyed, and help the interviewer to enter into a conversation from which useful information can be extracted.
The chosen questions are:
When talking with individuals:
Q1. “What are the issues and opportunities facing our community?”
When talking with groups, clubs, businesses and organisations (school, church etc.), it may be appropriate to ask the following supplementary questions:
Q2. “What can the community do to help your group / club / business / organisation to be sustainable and be successful?”
Q3. "When thinking of your group / business / organisation, are you planning to make, or do you know of, any significant changes?"
A Detailed Plan for Reaching out to the Community
The Steering Group have identified the various individuals and groups in the village who could/should be engaged, then 'brainstormed' ways in which engagement could take place. This information is contained in an Engagement Plan. Click here for the latest COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PLAN. This Plan will develop over time.
STEP 3 OF HOW THE PLAN COMES TOGETHER:
CONSULT THE COMMUNITY
Our First Community Meeting
The first community consultation meeting took place in the Village Hall at 7.30PM on 29 September 2016. All villagers were invited to the meeting via a leaflet drop, emails, and advertising on the village website. 25 people attended.
Adam Oakley gave a presentation, followed by small group discussions, then attendees were asked to write down their issues and opportunities on Post-it Notes, which were grouped into topic headings. A spokesperson for each group shared the issues that arose with the whole meeting.
No attempt was made to ask attendees to categorise or group their issues into any pre-determined or pre-prescribed ‘buckets’ (e.g. housing, roads, transport, council services, sport/recreation, etc.). The strategy was to let the data (language data) lead the way forward.
A total of 110 Post-it Note ‘labels’ were collected during the meeting. When duplicates were discarded, 75 issues / opportunities were left.
After the meeting a ‘Voice of the Village’ diagram was generated using the Post-its.
Many forms of communication have been used to feedback the results of the meeting - not only to the meeting attendees but to as many villagers as possible (via emails, large display in the pub, at group meetings and on the village website).
View the 'Voice of the Village' diagram.
View the presentation used for the first meeting.
Subsequent Community Consultations
The Steering Group continues to involve and communicate with the community – using the Community Engagement Plan as a template.
As part of the strategy for reaching-out and communicating with the community, the Steering Group have implemented the following actions:
- Start a Facebook Chapmanslade Village Community group.
- Put all documentation relating to the Steering Group and the New Chapmanslade Plan onto this webpage.
To-date, in addition to the 1st Meeting engagement detailed above, the following engagements have taken place:
- Emails posted to Phil Jefferson's mailing list (130 recipients) and Adam Oakley's 'Village Hall' mailing list (approximately 100 recipients) informing them about the work of the Steering Group and asking for their inputs via email, Facebook and the village website.
- Large sized (A1) VoV board displayed in the Three Horseshoes (from mid October) along with cards on tables asking for people's inputs. Completed cards are handed-in to pub staff for later collection.
- VoV Display and discussions at Church & Community Coffee mornings each month
- VoV Display and discussions at two off History Group meetings
- Message posts on the Chapmanslade Community Facebook (closed) Group asking for inputs
- VoV Display and discussions at PTFA Xmas Fayre (10 Dec 2016)
- Articles placed in the November and December 2016, and January 2017 issues of The Bridge magazine which is delivered to all households in Chapmanslade and Corsley. All issues of the Bridge are available online.
A total of 312 issues and opportunities have been submitted as of 5 Jan 2017.
Click here to see the latest list of VoV Issues & Opportunities
An important part of the Community Involvement Strategy is to use the Voice of the Village analysis to help develop a detailed Questionnaire (to be delivered to all households in the village).
The Questionnaire and subsequent analysis used for CHAPCAP in 2002 is a good starting point for the basis of the New Plan questionnaire. Click here to see the CHAPCAP Questionnaire and the Survey Report.
In addition, advise needs to be sought from Community First as there are various guidelines that need to be followed - especially if the Parish Council wish to use the results of the questionnaire to help seek funding from Wiltshire Council and/or to develop a Parish or Neighbourhood Plan. Click here to find Guidance Notes for developing a Questionnaire.
STEP 4 OF HOW THE PLAN COMES TOGETHER:
DEVELOP A PLAN
The Plan will be developed when the Steering Group and Parish Council have decided which type of Plan (see Plan Options above) will achieve the best outcome of making Chapmanslade a better place to live, work, play and visit.
Data relating to Community Demographics (e.g. types and numbers of housing stock, numbers and age groups of villagers, trends, etc.) and data about what is happening in the towns and villages around us (360o View), will need to be taken into account by the Parish Council.
The demographics of our community need to be established in order to get a better understanding of community needs. Some of this data can be provided by Wiltshire Council. In addition, the Steering Group intend to use the village-wide Questionnaire to collect some of this information.
Here are 2 graphs based on data supplied by Wiltshire Council Public Health Department
Total Population: 643 people
(313 males, 330 females)
Total Population: 646 people
(313 males, 333 females)
Planned developments in the towns and villages around Chapmanslade, especially over the next 3 to 5 years, may have an influence on the decisions to be made by the Parish Council in relation to A New Plan for Chapmanslade. For this reason, the Steering Group intend to collect and analyse this type of 360o data.
STEP 5 OF HOW THE PLAN COMES TOGETHER:
IMPLEMENT & MONITOR COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
In advance of a 'formal' plan, the Steering Group are facilitating and leading a number of initiatives which it is hoped will stimulate interest and "get things going". See the LIST OF CURRENT INITIATIVES here
An initiative is seen as any activity happening around the village which is designed to help make Chapmanslade a better place to live, work, play and visit.
An ‘Initiative’ may range in scope and difficulty from (say) something that is relatively quick to implement with little or no expense, but requiring some available expertise and focused effort (the so-called ‘low hanging fruit’), to much larger, longer-term ‘projects’ requiring significant planning, effort, funding, and community/local authority approval.
Initiatives are not the responsibility of (owned by) the Steering Group. The group sees it's role as supporting other volunteers to establish initiatives for the benefit of the community. As villagers, group members may wish to get involved in one or more initiatives.
Not all initiatives may take place as a result of, or even in connection with, The New Plan for Chapmanslade. The Steering Group are hoping that groups and individuals may be inspired by the work of the Steering Group to embrace their own 'initiatives'.
Community First Wiltshire: http://www.communityfirst.org.uk
Warminster Neighbourhood Plan website.
Email your suggestions for making Chapmanslade a better place to Live, Work, Play and Visit
or any comments you may have to
If you would like to be involved in any way call Adam on 832437 or email: