Illegal development

An interesting but alarming situation is developing on Horsington Marsh.  If you drive from Horsington to Buckhorn Weston you will see, if you look left just after you turn right out of Batchpool Lane on to Moor Lane, that 2 green shipping containers have arrived to join the caravan that has been sitting in the field for some months.  A large hole has also appeared in the hedge making a new access.  It seems that Masha Estates who operate from Barry in South Wales have, quite legitimately, purchased the 22 acre field at auction: however what they are trying to do with it is at best immoral and, at worst, illegal.  If you look at their website you will see that they are selling 400-500 square metre plots with the inference that, at some point in the future, these will be serviced with roads (see the small map) and may be able to be built upon.  However caveat emptor for the small print at the bottom of the page says

Masha Estates Ltd do not operate a Collective Investment Scheme as defined in Section 235 of the United Kingdom Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Masha Estates Ltd do not provide planning permission, estate management or any such related services on behalf of purchasers. All Plots sold without the benefit on any current planning or development permission or any future guarantee thereof. Planning.
Head Office: Masha House, 47 Tynewydd Road, Barry, CF62 8AZ, UK, Company Reg No: 5475680

At least four plots appear to have already been sold to gullible investors who seem to be trying to proceed with some sort of development, hence the containers.

SSDC confirm that no planning permission has been granted and nor is likely that it ever will be.

not least because Horsington Marsh has that name for a good reason (Ed).

Fortunately Senior Enforcement Officer for SSDC, Mr Roger Wotton has been alerted to the situation and placed a Temporary Stop Notice of 28days on Masha and anyone else who is contemplating any sort of development.  What this means is that it is now a criminal offence for any further development to take place and the police will take action if alerted.  Mr Wotton now plans to implement a full Stop Notice and Enforcement Order and to explore any other legal remedies against Masha Estates and other parties.

So if you happen to be driving along the road, day or night, and see anything untoward happening please telephone the Police on 999 or 0845 4567000.

Masha Estates are definitely operating at the seedy end of the property market.  It’s just a shame that there are purchasers out there who are foolish enough to fall for their pitch and pay over £6,000 for a 500 square metre plot of land that can never be anything other than agricultural. If Masha are able to sell all the plots they will clear a cool million pounds over the purchase price.  The Blog certainly hopes that Masha catch an almighty cold and the wrath of those who have already parted with their money.

Remember.  If you see anything please ring the Police

Appeal against enforcement notice dismissed

Bank Holiday Sunday just got better!

It looks like a bumper Bank Holiday in Horsington. Not only is there a cricket match in the afternoon. Not only are Bragatanga playing in the evening at the Half Moon. Now  Muddy Wallow Pigs will be providing a hog roast at the Half Moon after cricket on 29th May.  An inflation-beating £4.00 for a roll full of delicious rare breed pork,  bred and reared here in Horsington, with help yourself Apple Sauce and stuffing. Mmmm!

Election Day. Wake us when it’s over

We agree, it is hard to muster any enthusiasm at all after what must be the most lacklustre election campaign in history. Tomorrow we go to the polls to elect our district council. Does anyone care?

Please do exercise your democratic right, and remember, you have two votes. Make sure you use them both.

There is also a referendum on the alternative voting system. Another lacklustre and confusing campaign.  There is a very good, unbiased explanation here. Hope it helps.

Happy voting.

BloggoVision Preview – Braga Tanga (at the Half Moon, May 29th)

Sunday May 29th is the Bank Holiday cricket match against the Tabard Pilgrims from Chiswick, West London. There should be a lively social scene in the Half Moon afterwards, helped by a BBQ, some decent guest ales (Please, some ESB -Ed) and a new band, Braga Tanga, making their first appearance at the HM. They have very bravely asked to appear on BloggoVision, in the full knowqledge that this clip will either reel the punters in, or keep them away. (If it helps, I liked it -Ed)


More info on the band

Tiptoe softly through the trees – conservationists at work

Horsington Manor
Danger, conservationists at work
Richard Gaunt writes: The half dozen regular users of the footpath between Batchpool Lane and Marsh Lane, dog walkers all, have been intrigued by the “County Wildlife Site” notices, adorned with the South Somerset District Council badge, which have suddenly appeared around the perimeter of the fields between the footpath and the old railway line.
“Please assist ongoing conservation work”, begs the notice.

Underneath there are sterner warnings.
“Use only the designated footpath”.
“All dogs to be kept under close control”.

Heavy stuff, as on the face of it this is arable land which is regularly ploughed, harrowed, seeded, sprayed and harvested using heavy tractors and equipment, and it is difficult to see what adverse effect a few sedate dog  walkers can have on this environment, or how they could upset any conservation work. In the season, there is regular shooting.

I asked Mr Rhys, the agent for the land, owned by Horsington Manor, about the conservation work, but have not had a response.

So I asked the Somerset County Council, who were most helpful.
The Somerset Environmental Records Centre has confirmed that the area is the “Horsington North Park Local Wildlife Site (LWS)”. (Not “County”).

The site was assessed back in 2002/3 when it was given Local Wildlife status because of the important veteran trees, but it appears the site has not been re-visited or assessed since that time. Veteran trees are conserved because they are particularly valuable for wildlife and in Somerset there is a Somerset Wood Pasture, Parkland & Veteran Trees HAP ( Biodiversity Action Plan for Veteran Trees).

These sites have no statutory status and confer no additional rights or obligations on anyone. There are no additional restrictions over agricultural operations, and no new rights of access are created.

No public money has been spent on this site, but ownership of one puts you well up the queue for other grant support, if available.

It all seems a bit of much ado about nothing, and I can’t help thinking the notices are a lot of huff and puff about “Get off my Land”.
Why they have suddenly put up official looking notices with no statutory backing (and promoted the site from a “local” site to a “County” one) after nearly a decade is a mystery.
But if you go near a veteran tree, tiptoe carefully!
Thanks, Richard. More comments welcome. There is more
information at

Pass the mango chutney -curry night is back

The popular Half Moon Curry Night returns on Tuesday 10th May until the end of the month. (Tuesday 31st May).  Then it’s goodbye ruby Tuesday until the autumn. Whatever will the regulars do on Tuesdays?

The deal is £10 for two. A selection of delcious home made curries (Onion baji, naan bread and extra poppadums incur a small additional charge). Drinks not included.