Parish Council – change at the top?

The only item of significance on the agenda of the Horsington Parish Council Meeting on Thursday May 10 is the election of the chairman and vice chairman, although to be politically correct we ought to call them “chairs”, as the present incumbents, June Woods and Jackie Pyne are clearly not men.

The village will hold its breath to see whether white or black smoke rises from the Sistine Chapel, a.k.a the  village hall , to indicate whether we have a change in management, or if it’s just  business as usual.

The current team have done a grand job, but maybe it’s time for a change. We will let you know.

The meeting is open to all,  and there is an open forum as usual. 7.30, Village Hall.

The party of the century – be there! -Sunday 3rd June

Horsington Village Jubilee Street Party
Everyone is welcome at the Horsington Village Jubilee party

The mighty organization behind the Jubilee street party is now in full swing. Andrew Tarling and Phil Bennett have been distributing tickets in between the showers, and volunteers are coming out of the woodwork to lend a hand.  There will be a beef and hog roast (local produce from Chris Bailward), a barbecue for Children, and live music.
The tickets cost a very reasonable £10, (including beverages, we understand) or £5 for children. Any surplus will be used to create a monument of the event, and a time capsule, to be buried in the village.

More volunteers are needed, so please offer to help


Solar panels near Cheritons/ Holton

The Blog's helicopter captured this view of the proposed Solar Park. The A 303 runs across the picture, with Wincanton in the background. The A357 is away beyond the left of the picture. (Click to see full size)

A 5MW “solar park” has been proposed at Higher Hatherleigh Farm, Grove Lane, about 1 km (0.62 of a mile) south of Wincanton alongside the old S&D railway line adjoining the Wincanton sewage farm .

The solar panels will be in some 33 rows about 3 metres off ground – virtually invisible from any road, but very visible from vantage points like Cucklington or the Monarch’s Way.

The 29 acre installation will generate enough energy to power around 1450 two-bedroom homes. The proposal is for the scheme to last for 25 years, during which time animals like sheep can graze between the panels, thereby preserving an element of agricultural use.

According to the solar power feed in tariff calculator on the Parker Energy website, such a system will cost in the region of £394, 000 and pay back its investment in under 13 years. The total profit over 25 years (when the current scheme ends) will be in the region of £591,000, a return of 6%.

Hatherleigh Farm lies in neighboring Holton Parish. There have been a number of objections, including from the Holton Heritage Trust, which states that the proposal will cause huge damage to the highly valued landscape of the Blackmore Vale. Although the Trust has previously supported planning applications for rooftop panels, it is strongly opposed to panel generation parks in open countryside.

They point out that the proposal goes against the Holton Plan, which has been approved by the council.

Blog comment: The Council is in a difficult position. Solar energy is a good thing, and preferred to 400 ft wind turbines. But if they permit this one, than every landowner in the area will think it worth having a go. With reluctance, we say no, simply because we would not like to see a precedent created- Ed

Horsington Annual Parish Meeting – 12 April

The  annual Parish Meeting and public forum is at 7.15 (after coffee and biscuits at 7pm) on Thursday 12 April at the Village Hall. Anyone who is interested in who is on the council, and what they do, should attend.

It’s your chance to ask questions and raise issues for debate, and to hold the councillors to account for the way they conduct their (and our) affairs. There is no excuse for not attending, as the only other worthwhile thing that night is “Follow That Girl” at Milborne Port, and we undestand Thursday night is already a sell out!

The agenda includes a Q and A session  with David Norris, Development Manager of South Somerset District Council’s Planning department, so you can ask him about some of the weirder planning decisions which happen.

You are also  welcome to stay for the full parish Copuncil Meeting after the open forum. The agenda includes a number of planning applications, including a 5MW “Solar Park”  at Grove Lane, South Cheriton (more details of this soon -Ed) and some correspondence with a David Ramsbottom about Wind Turbines.


Horsington Manor reports on its conservation programme

We promised to tell you more about Philip Colebatch, owner of Horsington Manor, and his visit to the Parish Council on 9 February. At the meeting  he explained the conservation work he has carried out in the ten years since he has owned the property.

The work includes the planting of over 4km of hedgerow (approximately 12,000 plants) together with the planting ofsome 400 new trees. Robert Rhys, the land agent, told the Blog  that Mr Colebatch provided for the Council details of a report which had recently been prepared by the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG, a farming/environmental
consultancy, which went into administration in November 2011). This organisation assisted the development of the original conservation programme in 2002.

Mr Rhys said ‘These results included FWAG’s analysis that the management and restoration of the veteran trees on my client’s land is ensuring that the life of these trees is being extended’.

He continued ‘Mr Colebatch continues his dialogue with South Somerset District Council in an effort to understand their issues’, and we understand these have now been resolved, with the decision by the SSDC not to go ahead with a tree preservation order, and to rescind a Hedgerow Retention Notice.

May Diary

Something missing? Email the editor

Regular activities (village hall unless stated)
Mondays Pilates 6pm
Tuesdays Upholstery 10.30 am , Badminton 8pm,  Bridge Club, Half Moon 6.30. More. .
Wednesdays Adult tap dancing 6.15
Thursdays Art 10.00, 1.30
Fridays Art 10.00

Other events
2nd May 
Music Night, Half Moon, 8.45pm
3rd May W.I Millinery – Mrs Sue Bell 7.30.
10th May Parish Council Meeting,7.30
12th May North Cheriton Plant sale. N.Cheriton Village Hall 10am                                      14th May Ladies Lunch Group Queen’s Arms, Corton Denham                                        18th May St John’s Church Roof Appeal – Drinks and finger buffet at the Church 7pm  All enquiries to Anne Jones 370626 or Rosemarie Wigley 371468
26th May Jubilee Concert, St John’s Church 730pm

St John’s Church services

6th May 9.15 Holy Communion with Sunday School
13th May 11am Morning Prayer
2oth May 9.15 Holy Communion                                                                                                       27th May (Pentecost) 1030am United Service in Templecombe URC

Coming up soon in June (poetry!)
June 2-5
Half Moon Beer Festival -Jubilee weekend
June 3 Jubilee street party for Horsington & South Cheriton. More
June 4 Cricket – Horsington vs the Tabard Pilgrims
June 9  “Pawfest”, featuring Toploader, Wincanton. More



Paul Goddard

With sadness and regret we report the death of Paul Goddard ,72, who lived in South Cheriton. He died in February after a brave battle with cancer. His funeral was at Yeovil last week, with an impressive attendance of friends, past associates and members of the various clubs of which he was a member.

Paul , a retired building inspector,  came to South Cheriton a few years ago, and had many friends. During his life he was a soldier in the Horse Guards, a builder, a building inspector, a diver, a beekeeper and an angler.

The Blog sends its sincere  condolences to Barbara.

From the Parish Council Minutes. . .

From the Parish Council meeting minutes on 9 February:

Open Forum: Mr Colebatch(Horsington Manor) gave an update on the environmentaland conservation work that he had done over the years in conjunction with theFarming and Wildlife Advisory Group. Mrs Wood reported that, due to the historical value of the trees in the area, there was a lot of interest within the Parish Council and the Parish as a whole.
The Blog will be publishing a longer article on this shortly – Ed

Parish Councillor Charles James is constructing new sluice gates for the pomd. He has also mown the side of the brook through the village, and  will cut back the trees approaching the curchyard.. Well done.

Mrs J Pyne reported that there is a problem with standing water outside the chicken farm. It was thought that water was coming from the farm and from the pipe in the ditch. The Parish Clerk to write to Highways Department.

Parish Council minutes are published after approval, approximately 1 month after the meeting.