Author Archives: Eric Rayner

Golf Club holiday lodges can be built

Thorney Lakes Lodges
Peterborough City council has approved a planning application from the owners of Thorney Lakes Golf Club to build 17 holiday lodges on the site.
The application had been opposed by Thorney Parish Council on the grounds that insufficient evidence had been provided and was also recommended for refused by the city council’s planning department.
However, the council’s planning committee decided to approve the application.
Parish Council chairman, John Bartlett attended the planning committee meeting and expressed concerns about the plans.
The development can now proceed. The lodges will be sold as holiday accommodation only, permanent residency will not be allowed.

Lakes enforcement notice flawed

The enforcement notice relating to unauthorised development at Thorney Lakes Golf Club has been withdrawn.

An error in the document issued by Peterborough City Council means it would probably not be upheld on appeal.

The city council issued the notice in July following complaints by residents and Thorney Parish Council that preparatory work was being undertaken for holiday chalets without planning permission having been sought.

The owners of Thorney Lakes have since applied for planning permission and a decision is likely on December 19.

Rude pud gets John in trouble

The Dog in a Doublet pub on North Bank has made page 5 of The Sun today.

Landlord John McGinn has been overwhelmed by complaints for calling his festive spotted dick pudding  Santa’s Dick.

The dessert, which  replaces the usual raisins with spiced apples, has been on the Dog in a Doublet’s Christmas menu for a decade.

But John got hundreds of complaints after it featured in local magazine The Fens.

John, who runs the pub with wife Della, said: “It’s a bit of fun and is one of our biggest sellers. But since it appeared I’m getting people calling up every day to complain.”

You can read the full story on The Sun website:

New company moves into Bridge Works

Bridge Works, the old Thorney Precision engineering site on The Causeway is to re-open in the new year.

There had been rumours that the buildings were to be demolished for housing, but the factory has been taken on a 10-year lease by another engineering company – PCML.

Jonathan Rowe, Managing Director of Thorney Precision for 10 years and son of the founder Patrick Rowe, is now Group Sales Director of PCML.

The company serves high-tech customers, mostly in Cambridge. “We are growing rapidly and now have five sites, three in March and one in Cambridge – we employ 130 people and our turnover is £10 million,” explained Jonathan.

“We will shortly be moving machines and staff in and will be operational in January. The factory will soon be full of busy machines again and employing more and more people, hopefully from the Peterborough (and Thorney) area.”

Dance group to start cheerleader classes


iDance, the new dance school which started in the village in September, is looking to expand its range of classes.

A cheerleading group is being formed and spaces are limited in some of the classes.

Principal Rebecca Thorpe said the children had a fun time dressing up at Hallowe’en and also had a pyjama week for BBC’s Children in Need appeal.

“I want to thank everyone for their support,” said Rebecca. “We’ve got some exciting things coming up. Children will be getting certificates and rosettes at the end of term and we will be having special watching weeks when parents can come along and see their children in class.”

The club has been asked to do a performance at the Serpentine Green shopping centre in January.

Village school to become academy

2014-10-13 15.49.58

The Duke of Bedford School is planning to convert to an academy.

If the application is approved, it will join forces with five other local schools in a multi-academy trust.

Staff and parents were told about the plans in November and there will be a consultation evening arranged with parents where they can ask questions.

Converting to an academy means the school is no longer under the control of the local authority – in this case Peterborough City Council.

Instead, schools are being encouraged to join together to form multi-academy trusts (MATs) and be self-supporting.

The Duke of Bedford School plans to work with Church of England schools in Eye, Castor, Newborough and Peakirk as well as All Saints’ School in Peterborough.

Eric Rayner, chair of governors, said government policy was pushing all schools to become academies and the move was inevitable.

“All secondary schools and the majority of primary schools in Peterborough are academies. We have held back until now because we wanted to find the right schools to work with, schools where we would be equal partners, which shared a similar ethos and were local to the area.

“We didn’t want to be pushed into a large chain, where we would have lost our identity and where a highly paid chief executive would be more concerned about the size of his company car than children’s education.

“Our school won’t be renamed, we’ll keep our uniform and we’ll keep our identity. We will also have a strong voice on the new MAT, with one of our governors on the board of trustees and another as one of the foundation members.”

The school and the new multi-academy trust now have to go through a conversion and set-up process with the government. It’s expected this will take around six months to complete.

Cathy Bailey, Headteacher at the Duke of Bedford School, said she believed the move would strengthen the school and provide children with a better education.

“There will be increased opportunities for children and staff to work together across the six schools and share resources and expertise,” she said.

“All schools in the group were rated good in their last Ofsted inspections, we are forward thinking and outward looking, and we believe these changes will maximise the outcomes for our children.”


Thorney United

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Thorney football clubs – senior and junior – are looking to merge to form one single club.

The merger is critical to gain official support to fund a new pavilion in Thorney Park.

The three councillors representing Eye, Thorney and Newborough on Peterborough City Council met with football club representatives in October to try to find a way to get things moving.

The city council owns Thorney Park and is responsible for maintaining facilities. Thorney FC now plays in the Premier Division of the Peterborough League, but they are unable to play home games in the park because facilities don’t meet the conditions required by the league.

Quotes for replacement changing rooms have come in at about £200,000 and although grants are available from the Football Association, the club needs to show it is able to raise some of its own cash before it can apply successfully.

Nigel Simons, newly elected city councillor, said he was confident that decent facilities could be provided for much less than the £200,000 quoted, but he said it was important that existing football clubs banded together to give them more weight.

“All of this is possible, look at the magnificent job Thorney Rugby Club has done. They have got a fantastic clubhouse.

“I’d like to think that with some help from the council, which will come from the sale of the old community centre and library, plus grants from the FA and wind farms, there could be new changing rooms by 2019.”

Neighbourhood Watch scheme for village?


A village-wide Neighbourhood Watch scheme is being proposed following a number of burglaries and incidences of vandalism in Thorney.

The woman behind the plan is Parish Councillor Samantha Godley. She suggested the idea on the Thorney’s Facebook forum and now wants to see if the village is behind it.

Samantha plans to hold a public meeting in January where people will be able to find out more.

“The idea came about following the vandalism in the cemetery, along with recent burglary attempts in the area,” she explained. “Quite a few people showed interest in the scheme, so I wanted to try and catch those in the village who perhaps haven’t seen the Facebook post or don’t use Facebook.”

Neighbourhood Watch involves members working together, alongside the Police, sharing concerns and observations, reducing crime and fear of crime and looking out for each other.

“Our scheme would cover the village and those living on the droves, if they wished to join. It would include homes, businesses and our park and cemeteries,” said Samantha

Some of the benefits are:

  • Members looking out for each other, even when they are away.
  • More awareness about local crime – with updates as and when they come through.
  • Feeling safer in your neighbourhood.
  • Potentially discounted home insurance, maybe 5-10%.
  • Access to further low-price crime prevention items, such as purse bells.
  • Feeling less isolated (possibly more so for those living on the outskirts of the village).
  • Older residents may feel re-assured and comforted knowing people are willing to help them if they need it.
  • New residents and families may feel re-assured, knowing that people are looking out for them.
  • Academic Research has shown that Neighbourhood Watch Schemes can reduce crime.

Sam says although signage in Neighbourhood Watch areas is recommended as a deterrent, it is not essential. Those who join could display a window sticker instead which can also be a deterrent.

Joining the scheme is free.

“I am planning a meeting in January for those who are interested to find out more.  One of the Peterborough Neighbourhood Watch Representatives will be there to answer questions.”

Samantha says she will put posters up and advertise the meeting in the Thorney Post Community Forum Facebook page when she has a date and time confirmed.  In the meantime, people can contact her either by email or 07572 876311.

Free waste collections to reduce fly-tipping


In a bid to reduce fly-tipping, Peterborough City Council will collect bulky waste free of charge for a three-month trail period.

The trial will run from December 11 to March 9 and incidents of fly-tipping will be monitored to see how effective it is.

Currently, the city council will collect bulky items, such as mattresses or sofas, but households have to pay a charge.

The council will make more than 1,000 free collections during the first month of the trial with a daily limit of up to 52 households.  Across the second and third months a daily limit of 26 collections will be in place, although uptake will be monitored and this limit could be increased based on demand.

This trial is limited to one free collection per household on a first-come, first-served basis.  The collection will be for up to 10 items, including mattresses, fridge freezers, white goods and furniture.

Residents will be able to phone Peterborough Direct on 01733 747474 to book a free bulky waste collection from Monday 4 December until 5 March.  If the daily limit has not already been filled then the collection will take place on the householder’s next scheduled bin day as long as the items are by their bins by 6.45am.

Councillor Gavin Elsey, cabinet member for waste and street scene, said: “Fly-tipping is unacceptable. As well as costing the council and city money, it also represents a very real fire and public health risk and has a negative impact on the pride that residents have in their neighbourhoods.”

Fly-tipping is a particular problem for rural areas like Thorney where rubbish is often dumped on farm tracks or at the side of country roads.

Parish Council wants more information on holiday homes plan

Thorney Lakes Lodges

Thorney Parish Council says it has not been given enough information to make a recommendation with regards to planning permission for 17 holiday lodges/caravans at the golf club on English Drove.

This is its response to the city council:

There is no Consultee Representation in respect of Archaeology. This seems to be an important omission as a previous planning application on this site for the installation of ground mounted solar PV panels was refused on the grounds of the impact the installation may have on undiscovered buried heritage assets.

We recognise that this application differs from the solar panel application but would anticipate, nevertheless, that an archaeological report would be a requirement. This would permit us to take a view on the impact, if any, on this application. Can we please be provided with such a report?

We note that other Consultee representations raise queries and suggest conditions, for example, the Tree Officer’s Representation. Can we please be provided with a copy of the responses you receive to these queries?

As these are holiday homes we would be grateful if we can be informed of what holiday related activities may take place, together with an assessment of the possible noise levels that could be generated by these activities. This information is requested in order that an assessment can be made on the possible disturbance/invasion of privacy these activities may have on local residents.

We are aware that the site is to be well screened by vegetation and fencing which may (or may not) fully screen the lodges from view as claimed by the applicant. Although lack of screening may not be a valid objection on planning grounds we query the suggestion that a holiday lodge may have a roof terrace/balcony.  Overlooking from such a terrace may constitute an invasion of the privacy of the residents of a  neighbouring property.

Can we also be informed as to how the site and its entrance will be illuminated. The Landscape Representation makes a comment about lighting that would not be considered suitable. We would be pleased to see a lighting scheme that meets with the approval of the planning department. Again, this is requested in order that we can be satisfied that any lighting will not have a detrimental or disturbing impact on local residents.

In the documents there is a certain amount of content which we assume represents a Business Plan. We are not in anyway experts on this form of plan but would be grateful for the City Council’s advice as to whether or not the information submitted constitutes a robust and viable plan on a long-term basis.

Is the City Council satisfied that the Holiday Lodges/Caravans will not be sold as full-time residential accommodation? What would be the procedure taken by the City Council should it become apparent that any of the Holiday Lodges are being used as permanent residences.

Several local residents were present at the 13th November meeting of the Parish Council. They appraised the Council of their views on the additional information which are contained in a document prepared by Ian Glading. We confirm that we fully endorse the contents of this document which will be submitted by Mr Glading

Until the above items are responded to we still do not feel we are able to make an overall and thorough assessment of this application. We have not, therefore, been able to determine whether or not we are in favour of or against the application. In the meantime, Thorney Parish Council confirms that it objects to any approvals being granted to this application.

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