Parish Council – Chairman’s Report – 2018/19

This time last year I reported that the major topic for consideration had been Draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan. One year later and it might have been thought that due process had moved on to at least remove the epithet ‘Draft’ from the document. It went through full council and was submitted to the Inspector who promptly declared that the consultation period be extended for arcane reasons. Nevertheless much of our work has indeed been to consider the plans that Persimmon had for developing approximately 30 dwellings on the ‘Land East of Farrells Field’ as it has become known. We had previously indicated that we did not have any objection to the site being included in the Allocation Plan and we suggested to Persimmon that we were very willing to discuss with them any proposals and to host a public consultation event. That event took place on 5 September when Persimmon outlined in fairly vague terms, their proposal to build a range of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses. Equally we understood that in compliance with Core Policy, 40% would need to be, by definition, affordable houses. We had no objection to this but based on anecdotal feedback, considered that the balance should skewed towards families eligible for the help to buy schemes, rather than affordable rented properties. It was therefore very disappointing but I fear entirely predictable that when Persimmon submitted their full application it was for 38 dwellings comprising 1, 2 3 and ostensibly one 4 bedroom property. The only positive outcome was that they committed to providing a separate access from the B4039. This plan...

Parish Council Chairman’s Report 2017 – 18

Like all Parish Council we have our routine and regular business but in the year now closing the by far major topic for consideration has been the Draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan. In respect of Yatton Keynell, 7 sites had been identified (although the draft included what is now Blacksmith Close as a potential site). These were progressively filtered down until in the final iteration, site 482 – Land East of Farrells Field was finally put forward in the Plan. This was not the first time development of this site had been proposed and we knew that Charles Church (Persimmon) had an option on the site. They had approached us some 3 years ago to gauge our views on a proposal they tabled which amounted to about 30 houses. At that time we could see no justification for this additional housing; the school was at capacity and the doctors’ surgery had put in plans to extend the premises to accommodate the numbers of patients already registered. Nevertheless we were not at all surprised to see this proposal in the Plan and we had to consider it afresh. Understandably, it provoked a strong response from the residents and neighbours of Farrells Field and we had an obligation to listen carefully to all sides of the argument. We consulted School Governors and Jubilee Field Surgery to assess their positions. Very interestingly we were advised that the 2017 intake was well under the ceiling and the future projections suggested that the additional children anticipated from another 30 houses could easily be accommodated. Similarly the Surgery felt able to accommodate another 90...

Parish Council AGM – Chairman’s Report 2016 – 17

YATTON KEYNELL PARISH COUNCIL CHAIRMAN’S REPORT MAY 2017 The business of the Parish Council carried on with a number of promising projects in the pipeline. These were to be either funded from our own reserves and precept or courtesy of the £40,000 Community Benefit Fund that was paid by Solafields following the commissioning of the Castle Combe solar farm. Bybrook Valley School & Yatton Keynell Recreation Association The project to improve the access and visual amenity between the Bybrook Valley School and the Village Hall has been completed. Yatton Keynell Under 5s/ Bybrook Pre-school The canopies to allow more regular use of outdoor space by the village Pre School were erected but due to inadequate anchorage remedial work had to be undertaken to improve the stability of the upright. The cost of the remedial work was substantially recovered from the suppliers In addition the Parish Council paid for improved fencing for the patio area which both enhanced the overall look of the area and improved the safety particularly as this area id much used by the youngsters attending By Brook pre School Yatton Keynell Recreation Association A grant of £12,500 has been made to YKRA subject to certain terms and conditions. Although work has not started on the improvements, as many will be aware there has been a more pressing need to address serious damage to the electrical circuits caused by squirrels. St. Margaret’s Church The £5,000 was granted to support the installation of improved audio visual equipment for the Church has still to be taken up. The saga of this project and the machinations of the Church of...

Parish Council – Chairman’s Report 2014-15

MAY 2015 The last year was dominated by one major issue, the construction of the solar farm in the centre of t Castle Combe Circuit. The principle of erecting solar farms was not perhaps the most contentious aspect of the plan; there were views both for and against. Rather it was the routing of the cabling and whether it would be through the village or across farm land around the village that cause the most interest. That coupled with the impact the trenching would have through to the point it would connect with the grid in Chippenham caused the most concern. As events transpired the cabling was indeed routed through the village with all the attendant disruption and inconvenience anticipated. The residents of Kent’s Bottom were particularly badly affected. As a Parish Council I feel, with that wonderful gift of hindsight, that we did not appreciate the damage, however, temporary, this development would have on local business. I will say more about this later in my report. I would also like to place on record my thanks to Councillor Skinner who took the lead in dealing with Solafields. On a more positive note, The Parish Council should by now or in the very near future have the benefit of the £40,000 Community Benefit Fund paid into our bank account. It is also worth reflecting that as the Government has changed the regulations regarding subsidies for large scale solar farms. But it is worth reflecting that the planning laws did not cover the trenching and concomitant disruption. It is perhaps worth rising with our MP that this is a matter...

Chairman’s Report 2014

2014 has been a quiet year. At the end of April and following an extended cycle, the old Parish Council stood down. A number of our former members decided not to seek re-election these being Cllr Julian Davies who had been the immediate past Chairman, Cllrs Chris Dash, Bob Penny, Brian Ford, Ann Woolford and last but by no means least, Ralph Miles. May I on behalf of the village extend a vote of thanks to them all and record that as a council we will miss their individual and collective knowledge. Sadly as you will all know, Chris Dash sadly died during the year. Chris had been a driving force in the village for many years and the notable achievements during his tenure as Chairman well recorded. He was a role model, mentor and friend to many in the village and we owe a huge debt of gratitude for all he did to make the village what it is today. As a permanent mark of our affection for him, and with the agreement of Wendy and his family, we are planning to plant a tree in the market cross to honour his memory. Our new Parish Council is still a little understrength. Five candidates were put forward, myself Cllrs Mary Crookall, James Skinner, Samantha Hayward and Caroline Grainger. No election was therefore required and subsequently we co-opted Cllrs Fiona Plowman and Kevin Jones to fill two of the vacancies. We were also delighted to appoint Becci Plowman as the Parish Clerk to fill the vacancy. She keeps us all on our toes and produces the minutes and Honeycomb report...