Monthly Archives: October 2015

Developers pull the plug on Gores Farm wind turbines

View The Causeway A47

Developers have pulled the plug on controversial plans to build wind turbines at Gores Farm to the west of the village.

Following government rejection of plans for addition turbines at French Farm to the north of Thorney, it seemed highly unlikely that a larger and more visible wind-farm would stand any chance of approval.

The developers, West Coast Energy, first submitted revised plans reducing the number of turbines to lessen the visible impact and, in particular, on the view of Thorney Abbey. It claimed no wind turbines would be able to be seen from The Green. However, West Coast Energy has clearly seen the writing on the wall and plans have been withdrawn. The wind-farm would have had the capacity to power up to 11,000 homes.

There are still plans on the table for five turbines at Willowhall.

News of the withdrawal will please Thorney Parish council which has urged planners to reject proposals for other wind farms near the village.

Following the rejection of the French Drove wind farm extension, the parish council issued this statement:

“Thorney Parish Council is very pleased that the immense efforts made by local opposition groups, parishioners, City Councillors and Stewart Jackson, have resulted in the Secretary of State refusing permission for the installation of 4x100metre high wind turbines at French Farm, French Drove.

“As they are opposed for many of the same reasons and with equal determination by the local community and their representatives, we trust that the wind farm applications at Gores Farm and the adjacent Willow Hall Farm sites will be similarly rejected, when the City Council determines the outcome of these two applications.”

 

Community Centre committee resigns

Thorney library

The management committee of the Community Centre in Church Street have resigned.

Their resignation, effective from the end of October, means there is no management committee in place and no-one to take bookings.

The committee was down to three people – John Bartlett, Jean Bartlett and Russ Bevington. In a statement, they explained they were quitting for a number of reasons:

  • the uncertainty of the future of the building within the City Council’s review of assets in Thorney
  • the prolonged negotiations of Thorney Pre-School’s move to the Children’s Centre at the Duke of Bedford School and the present financial situation of Pre-School.

“These are all items over which the committee members have no control and were, therefore, uncomfortable about. Before a final decision was made the matter of withdrawing their services was discussed with our local City Councillor and a representative from the City Council.

“Meetings were subsequently held with the two main users of the building – Pre-School and Rainbows/Brownies and Guides and neither party raised any objections to any of the decisions that had been made.

“Both groups were given the name of the person at the City Council to contact regarding their future use of the building. All other users have also been appraised of the situation. It was made clear that any outstanding monies from Pre-School would not be pursued.”

Over the years, the management committee has accumulated a sum of money and this has been deposited in a dedicated account for the benefit of the community, held for the time being by Thorney Parish Council.

This money is now available to be spent on community projects and people are free to apply to the Parish Council.

“This transfer of funds is acceptable to both our City Councillor and Peterborough City Council,” the management committee statement said.

The city council plans to sell the Community Centre and Library buildings in Church Street and Thorney Parish Council is anxious to see the money from the sal retained in the village, not go into the council’s general coffers.

Not car-jacking says witness

The incident in the village yesterday evening was not an attempted car-jacking, a witness has told Thorney Post.

This is what was reported by a driver last night: “We were approaching the school (almost at the mini roundabout) and one of two men stood in the middle of the road waving his arms, so we stopped the car. He began ranting and raving, accusing us of almost knocking a child over on the zebra crossing (there was nobody on or near the crossing when we went by).

“He was beckoning for the driver to get out of the car. Luckily we managed to drive around him as the road was clear on the other side, but it is a worry that they could try this with somebody else.

“Please be vigilant everyone, and keep your car doors locked. I have footage from a dash cam that will be handed to the police.”

However, a woman driving a car immediately behind the incident told a different story. Here’s her version of events:

“Please can I reply to the possible car jacking story anonymously?

“I was directly behind this car at the crossing. There was a young boy waiting to cross on his push bike. Maybe the driver didn’t see him waiting, but he was certainly there and the car drove straight over the zebra crossing. I stopped to allow the boy to cross.

“The man, who I guess was the father, saw what had happened and was obviously worried and angry. He did step in front of the car to vent his anger then stepped back onto the pavement and allowed the car to carry on.

“Hopefully the footage from the dash cam will serve as a warning to the driver to slow down and look out for pedestrians, especially children at zebra crossings.

“As I live near the crossing I see this happening almost daily, drivers not taking care.”

Car-jacking scare in village

A Thorney woman is warning people to take care after she was involved in a possible car-jacking attempt in the village this evening.

She asked us not to use her name, but this is what happened in her own words:

“Are you able to post a warning message for me on your Facebook page anonymously please?

“I am concerned after two men stopped the car I was travelling in and were acting very strangely, and thinking about it now I am wondering if they were thinking about car-jacking.

“We were approaching the school (almost at the mini roundabout) and one of the men stood in the middle of the road waving his arms, so we stopped the car. He began ranting and raving, accusing us of almost knocking a child over on the zebra crossing (there was nobody on or near the crossing when we went by).

“He was beckoning for the driver to get out of the car. Luckily we managed to drive around him as the road was clear on the other side, but it is a worry that they could try this with somebody else.

“Please be vigilant everyone, and keep your car doors locked. I have footage from a dash cam that will be handed to the police.”

Heart attack – ring 999, then 530503

Defibrillator

Thorney now has a Volunteer Emergency Telephone Service to help in the event of anyone suffering from a heart attack in the village.

VETS (Volunteer Emergency Telephone Service) has been set up by the Keep Thorney Beating campaign which raised funds this year to buy a defibrillator for the village.

It came into being this week when its dedicated telephone number – 530503 – went live.

Keep Thorney Beating organiser Lynn Batterbee explains how it works:

“If anyone suffers a heart attack, the first call should be 999 for an emergency ambulance. When you give them details of where you live, they will tell you that there is a defibrillator in the village at the Medical Centre and will give you a code to allow you to open the cabinet and take it out.

“The VETS service is there to help. People wouldn’t want to leave a loved one who is ill or they may not be able to leave because they are giving CPR.

“They can phone the VETS number and someone from the village will respond by bringing the defibrillator to their home and helping them use it if needed.”

Lynn stresses that the VETS number should be used only in the event of a heart attack or suspected heart attack. The volunteers are not paramedics or first aiders and have been trained only in how to operate the defibrillator.

Thirteen people from the village have volunteered to be responders. When you ring 530503, it rings all of their telephones and when one picks up, all the others stop ringing.

“We really hope none of this will ever be needed,” says Lynn, “but if it is we hope we’ve put in place equipment and a help network that can save someone’s life.”

 

Thorney helps Syrian refugees

IMG_0136

Thorney responded with generosity when a local couple decided to try to put together bags of clothes and provisions for refugees of the Syrian civil war.

Matt and Claire Ratcliff, who live in Whittlesey Road, were overwhelmed by the kindness of villagers and they managed to put together 120 bags, plus a large number of blankets, coats and other warm clothes.

Their house was turned into a sorting and packing centre for a week and, with help from friends, donations were sorted into bags for babies, children, women and men.

There were also more than 50 blankets, duvets, sleeping bags and eiderdowns donated; plus winter coats, cardigans, fleeces, jumpers and scarves.

The idea of using strong zip-top bags to pack the clothes, means that refugees also get a useful waterproof bag which will help keep things dry in the refugee camps.

Matt and Claire drove the bags down to a charity in London called Anaya Aid and they are now on their way overland to Kehanley on the Turkish/Syrian border. From there, the Red Crescent distributes bags to those in need.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who helped and all those people who donated clothes, bedding and cash,” said Claire. “It was absolutely fantastic.”

Claire decided to try to help Syrian refugees after hearing a documentary on Radio 4 and not content with her efforts so far, she and Matt are planning a second collection in November, so if you have warm clothes or blankets don’t get rid of them yet.

She and Matt have also organised a charity concert at Childers in Whittlesey on November 19. Full details are on the Thorney Post events page.

Steel fabrication business not suited to residential area

A STEEL fabrication business run from the old Peacock’s site in Station Road may be investigated by Peterborough City Council’s environmental health department.

The business – Moore Steel Development – makes large steel support structures and has attracted complaints from nearby homes due to its 24-hour operation.

It has been checked by city council planners, but planning permission was granted back in 1989 for general industrial use which includes the current activity and there are no restrictions on hours of operation.

Tony Whittle, compliance officer said: “In my view this activity is totally unsuitable in a residential area and would never get consent today. However, the original permission still applies and cannot be revoked.

“I have advised the company that although there are no planning conditions restricting hours of operation I would be notifying Environmental Health to see if they are able to investigate this matter.”

In the meantime, the operators have said that anyone with particular concerns can call on 270729 to see if they can be resolved. Callers should ask for Damien Moore.

Any unwanted toys?

Rendering of simple children's toys. Wooden alphabet cubes spelling word toys, wooden pyramid puzzle and a colorful ball.

Do you have any unwanted toys? Thorney Pre-School is holding a fund-raising toy sale and coffee morning in the Community Centre, Church Street on Saturday and is keen to hear from anyone with toys to donate.

You can drop them off at the Pre-School any day before 2.30pm or e-mail thorneypreschool@gmail.com.

£200 a year off electricity bills for 340 homes

Wind turbine

More than 340 homes in and around Thorney will get £200 a year off their electricity bills.

It is part of the community benefit paid by operators of wind turbines and will be available to people living or working within approximately 3km of the turbines at Wryde Croft Wind Farm – currently under construction to the north east of Thorney.

The Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS) has been developed by green electricity generator RES for communities hosting its wind farms.

The scheme is open to all residential, business and community buildings (including schools, places of worship and village halls) within the eligible area that are on mains electricity when the scheme is launched. The annual discount is paid once the wind farm is fully operational.

Alison Jones, Community Relations Manager for RES, said: “The scheme seeks to deliver direct and tangible benefits to people living and working closest to our wind farms in the form of a discount to their electricity bills.

“Feedback from communities near both existing and potential development sites has highlighted that people see cheaper electricity as a practical benefit of hosting a wind farm. We have introduced LEDS successfully at other sites around the UK and I’m delighted that people living and working near Wryde Croft Wind Farm will be among those to benefit from cheaper electricity as the result of hosting a wind farm.”

LEDS at Wryde Croft is being offered in addition to a Community Benefit Fund of at least £52,000 per year for investment in local community projects. Together the two initiatives provide a total package of £130,000 per year in community benefits at Wryde Croft Wind Farm.

RES will write to the 340 or so properties around the site that would be eligible to receive the electricity discount under LEDS, offering people the opportunity to register for the scheme. There is no need for participants to change electricity supplier to benefit and participation is entirely voluntary. The discount is paid directly to the relevant electricity supplier for the duration of the operational life of the wind farm.

“The discount, which is index linked, will be paid for the full operational life of the wind farm, which is 25 years, so that amounts to a direct benefit of at least £5,000 per property,” said Alison. “If someone moves out of an eligible property during that time, then the annual discount will become available to the new electricity bill payer for the property.”

Wryde Croft Wind Farm is scheduled for completion by early 2016 and, once operational, it will be capable of generating enough renewable electricity to meet the needs of more than 15,000 homes.

Stalls available for Christmas market

Christmas market

There are still some stalls available for the Christmas market at the Bedford Hall on November 29.

The market will be held inside the hall (so it’s warm and dry) and it’s free entry for the public.

Money raised from stall hire will go towards the local charity Something for the Solomons, which is supporting education in the Solomon Islands.

Organiser, Margaret Fletcher says she’s looking a a few high-class craft stalls to complete numbers. Anyone interested can call 01733 270634.