Monthly Archives: August 2015

Wind-farm company sponsors Thorney Live Music Festival

Robbie Williams Banned

RES, the renewable energy company responsible for Wryde Croft Wind Farm, is the headline sponsor of the 20th Annual Thorney Live Music Festival.

The event takes place this Sunday (August 30), at the Bedford Hall.

RES has donated £1,500 to support this year’s festival, which will feature acts such as DB5, Sub Zero, Soul Runner, the Paul Heaton Fan Club and Robbie Williams Banned.

Thorney Live is a hugely successful charity music festival that over the years has raised £50,000 for local and national charities, ranging from the local playgroup to Macmillan Cancer Relief.

Alison Jones, Community Relations Manager at RES, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support this fantastic local music festival, which not only provides a great day out but also helps to support so many good causes of importance to local people. RES is committed to being a good neighbour and to supporting the local communities near its renewable energy projects.”

RES is currently constructing Wryde Croft Wind Farm, to the east of Thorney. The 13 turbines are in the process of being erected and, once complete, they will be capable of generating enough electricity each year to meet the average needs of 15,500 homes. The wind farm is due to start generating electricity in 2016, triggering community benefits worth in excess of £3.25 million over the project’s operational lifetime.

Alison concludes: “We wish the organisers of Thorney Music Festival every success, and hope that record numbers will attend this special 20th anniversary event and help to raise more money for charity than ever before.”

The festival opens at 11.30am on Sunday, with the first band on at 12.20pm and the entertainment continuing through until dusk. Admission is £10, with free entry for the under-16s.

Smiley Faces Nursery rated as Outstanding

Smiley Faces

Smiley Faces Day Nursery in Thorney has been graded as “outstanding” following a recent Ofsted inspection.

“We are so very pleased to be able to share this with everyone,” said Lindsey Evans, who runs the nursery with her sister Hayley Lightfoot.

“Outstanding is the highest rating possible and one that, as a team, we have been working to achieve. We have always been so proud of the care we provide and to have this view also shared by Ofsted is fantastic.

“It’s really wonderful news; our previous reports have always been good, but this report has provided some really fantastic commentary.”

In its report Ofsted said:

– Children are treated as unique individuals at this welcoming, homely nursery

– Staff offer children very high-quality learning experiences as they have an excellent understanding of their specific learning styles and needs

– Children settle easily as they receive exceptional care and support from sensitive, intuitive staff

The nursery has been going for 17 years and was previously based at Park House in the old doctors’ surgery before moving to its current location at the entrance to Bedford Hall.

It now caters for 45 children, ranging in age from birth to 4 years. The nursery has available places and caters for 2, 3 and 4 year old funding.

Parish council would like housing developments to be linked by new road

Thorney Parish Council has said a new road should be built along the village’s southern boundary to link new housing developments.

Currently two developments are planned – Woburn Drive and Park Farm. The two are very close together, but while the plans for Park Farm include a new access road off the old A47 to avoid traffic using Sandpit Road, the Woburn development has Woburn Drive, a narrow residential road, as its only access.

The Parish Council has not objected to housing development there, but in 2013, when the initial application was made, it expressed concern over the use of Woburn Drive as the only access.

Now, in a new appeal to Peterborough City Council, they have said that a better strategy for infrastructure should be put in place. Their suggestion is for a road linking any new developments to the south of the village, perhaps also with access from Whittlesey Road right through to Wisbech Road east of the village.

In a statement, the Parish Council says it had hoped that the potential for the new Park Farm access road to link with the Woburn Site would have been more fully considered by Larkfleet Homes, which is the developer.

“We feel that such a link could, in the long term, allow the elimination of Woburn Drive as the means of access to the Woburn site other than, perhaps, as a means of emergency access.

“It is a great shame that the Woburn Site proposals seem to indicate a localised, self-contained enclave of housing that pretty much ignores, by the nature of its layout, the possibility of future development on any of its boundaries.

“Piecemeal, inward-looking planning of this kind cannot be in the best interests of the City Council’s obligations to provide good, well-planned and fully considered residential development.

“It would seem appropriate that a fundamental strategy for infrastructure for development on the south side of Thorney be put in place if the best solutions for this area are to be achieved. One of the main aspects of this could be a road that links any new development in this area. The new road proposed as part of the Sandpit Site development would be an ideal start.

“It would provide access from Wisbech Road to any new development in this area with the possibility of an eventual connection across to the Whittlesey Road.

“It would seem short-sighted if this was not given proper consideration at this stage. We are not clear otherwise as to the real need for the new road at the Sandpit site.

“We suggest that the pair of residential units immediately to the south of the lake on the Woburn Site are eliminated in order that clear provision is made in this location for the possibility of a future road connection to the site to the east.

“We are not arguing against development of this site but we feel strongly that it ought to take account of what may, in the future, take place adjacent to its boundaries.”

There are currently no further plans for housing to the south of the village, but the city council wants 250 homes to be built in Thorney. With existing developments (approved and planned) accounting for about 200 dwellings, that means another 50 homes could be built and a road linking Whittlesey Road round to Wisbech Road, east of the village, would open the way for farmland to the west of the Woburn Drive development to be built upon.

Coffee morning raises over £450

The coffee morning and clothes sale held at The Green last weekend raised more than £450.

Proceeds will be split between Something for the Solomons, a Thorney charity which raises money for a school in the Solomon Islands, and a Norfolk-based animal charity.

Margaret Fletcher, one of the organisers, said: “Thank you so much for your help at the weekend – to the people who helped with refreshments, people who gave donations and raffle prizes, those who sat in the sunshine and chatted over cake and coffee and bought on the stalls. Lives are busy nowadays and your support is heart warming.”

Turbine blades delivered to new wind farm

Turbine 2

A specially-designed lorry delivers one of 39 blades that were safely transported to RES’ Wryde Croft Wind Farm during July.

The 40m long blade was carried from the docks at Immingham to the wind farm site just east of Thorney.

RES is now beginning erection of the 13 turbines and is on schedule for the wind farm to be completed by the end of this year. Once the wind farm is fully operational, it will generate enough clean, green electricity each year to meet the average needs of around 15,000 UK homes.

Wryde Croft Wind Farm will also provide a community benefits package of £130,000 per year (indexed linked), which amounts to at least £3.25 million during the project’s lifetime.

Photo ©RES

Major new quarry planned on edge of village

Pasture House Farm

A major new sand and gravel quarry covering almost 60 hectares may be developed at Pasture House Farm, Thorney.

An application for planning permission for the quarry is about to be submitted to Peterborough City Council.

The site is south of the A47 and east of Willow Hall Lane and so sits at the other side of Willow Hall Lane to the existing quarry at Pode Hole Farm.

The plans show a new access road onto Willow Hall Lane and also allow for the screening of the site using embankments and planting. The A47 would be widened to allow a right-turn lane to be built for trucks entering Willow Hall Lane and Willow Hall Lane would also be widened as far as the quarry access.

As sand and gravel is extracted in stages, the land will be used as a dump and eventually restored to its current level so it can revert to agricultural use.

Planning documents released by the developers talk of the plan being to “permanently deposit inert waste residues into the land in accordance with modern waste management practices.”

The plans include a processing plant, concrete manufacturing centre and a recycling facility.

The life of the quarry is projected to be 20 years, with 170,000 tonnes of sand and gravel extracted each year, and a further five years needed to restore the land once quarrying is complete.

Included within the site is a Roman farmstead with associated field enclosure systems and droveways visible on aerial photographs. Roman pottery has been found in the general area. There is also evidence of a mediaeval kiln and a 16th century windmill. The old Cat’s Water River runs along the site’s western boundary.

A detailed document drawn up by the developers and including location plans can be seen here and you can see a higher-resolution image of the site plan here.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said: “This project is huge and potentially quite disruptive and will need to be studied by Thorney and Eye Parish Councils respectively.”

Sandpit Road housing developers want to hear village views

Developers of the new housing estate at the end of Sandpit Road are keen to hear the views of Thorney residents.

They say these will be taken into consideration before final plans are drawn up.

An exhibition, showing the proposed layout of the estate, was held at the Bedford Hall on Thursday and about a hundred people attended. Many left response forms.

Peter Moore of development consultants Bletsoes told Thorney Post the reaction from people visiting had been generally positive. A few suggestions had been noted and people who weren’t able to make it can still comment via e-mail:

A planning application is likely to go to the Peterborough City Council this month and building work may start in late 2016 or early 2017.

The mix of homes will include small terraces, semi-detached, detached and bungalows and housing density will be relatively low – around 25 homes per hectare, compared to 30-35 on most new developments.

Library self-service access still not working

Thorney Library

The future of Thorney Library is being put in jeopardy by the failure of an automatic-access system.

Earlier this year, a review of library opening hours across the city saw a plan to reduce the hours libraries would be staffed to cut costs, but to introduce a new self-service system so people could use libraries at other times.

Until May this year, Thorney Library in Church Street was open for 21 hours per week and the new system should have seen it available for 25 hours – only 10 of which would be staffed. At other times, people should have been able to use a key card to open the door.

However, the city council hasn’t been able to make the out-of-hours entry system work properly so the village’s library service has been restricted to manned opening hours only.

The problem with the access system seems to be a simple door-closer to shut the inner lobby door. Because the door has an unusual shape (it’s pointed at the top, like a Gothic arch) a regular door-closer can’t be fitted.

Now, the Parish Council has asked for a full explanation why the library is not open as promised and what’s being done to sort things out.

“The building may have a few particular problems as it is an older and Listed building but Thorney Parish Council is now very concerned that this long delay is jeopardising the welfare of the Library,” a Parish Council spokesman said.

“At present it is only accessible for a total of 10 hours a week, which is less than half the hours it was open before the changes were implemented.”

Parish Councillors say there was a complete lack of foresight by the City Council, altering staffing hours before the automatic system was properly tried and tested.

“Although we feel angry and frustrated by this, we feel even more frustrated and angered by the apparent lack of expertise in getting the automatic system into working order. We are led to believe that what is needed is a door-closer system that will properly close the inner lobby door. We are aware that the door has an unusual shape that prevents the use of a conventional closer but surely it cannot beyond the expertise of a City Council and its contractors to find a workable alternative.”