Councillors Present

Graham Roberts, Andrew Waite, Jo Powell and Jane Osborne, District Councillor Ashley Warren together with fourteen  villagers.

Item 1

1a.  Introduction

         The Chair welcomed District Councillor Ashley Warren and everyone else to the meeting. 

1b.  Apologies

         Cllr’s Kellett and Pollak, Bob Bates, Mr and Mrs Tattersall

Item 2

2a.  Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 14th May 2009

     The minutes of the last meeting were agreed and signed as a true record.  These were proposed by Cllr Waite and seconded by Cllr Powell.

2b.  Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

3.   Declaration of Interest

         The Chair declared a personal interest as he has an allotment.

4.      To discuss a proposal from Enertrag UK who wish to erect 9 wind turbines between Sulgrave and Weston

Sulgrave PC were advised two weeks ago by letter that Enertrag UK wish to erect a wind farm on land between Sulgrave and Weston. Since then the Parish Council have established that an application was made to South Northants District Council on 15th May seeking a request for a Scoping Opinion for “A Proposed Wind Farm Site at Weston”. The Scoping opinion is unlikely to be refused.  It is a first step in preparing a full planning approvals application.

Enertrag UK is jointly owned by Enertrag AG (Germany) and Prokon Nord (Germany). The company has over 500 Turbines throughout Europe. The Company mission is the development of renewable energy projects.  Enertrag UK has a number of wind farm projects in the UK.  Their first windfarm project was at North Pickenham, near Swaffam, Norfolk where they erected 8 turbines in 2006.

The proposal is to erect 9 wind turbines on land between Sulgrave and Weston. 6 of these are within Sulgrave Parish Boundary, the closest unit will be 750m from Little St. The Turbines are 130m high and will generate between 1.8 and 2 MW each.

The first stage of the planning process will be preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment. Once the application has been submitted for a Planning Application there is limited time available for public consultation. Participation in the consultation process needs to take place during the Environmental Impact Assessment to ensure all views are fairly represented. If approval is given, construction normally takes 6 – 9 months. The Turbines have a 25 year life. In addition to the turbines, service roads need to be constructed. Access roads will be required for heavy construction traffic.  Enertrag UK have invited Parish Councils and other interested parties to visit their site in Norfolk on Friday  19th June for an Open Day – interested parties need to contact the Entertrag Project Manager.

In 2007 an application was made to site a Wind farm in a triangle of land between Woodford Halse,  Charwelton and Preston Capes. A planning application to Daventry Council to erect a meteorological Mast for the environmental study was refused. Reasons Stated were “Health and safety risk to aircraft” and “Within special landscape area”. A Village Action Group website at gives more information.

The Chair first asked the councillors for their views.

Cllr Waite questioned whether there are any benefits to the local people. He felt it would have a major impact on Sulgrave Manor and the Conservation Area.  In his opinion it would be detrimental to the character of the area.  He suggested they engage with the group at Woodford Halse. Cllr Powell noted the electricity goes back into the National Grid and there is no guarantee of long term energy security.  It is not a long term venture.  The nearest houses would hear the noise from it and low repetitive noise can be more irritating than loud noises.   Cllr Osborne said without sounding like being a NIMBY, she thought the turbine proposal would be awful for Sulgrave. The Chair felt it was a poor siting and would be seen clearly from the north eastern approach of villages and the approach from the west.

The discussion was then opened up to the floor.

Susie Blayney advised that she knew of another proposal for 6-9 wind turbines along the Welsh Lane towards Stuchbury but this was at a different development stage.  There will be hefty incentives offered to Parish Council’s and farmers are going to receive huge amounts for the project. Mrs Blayney agreed to find out more information.

Mr Christy advised that future generations would not thank the Parish Council for allowing this development to happen. It would have a detrimental effect on the landscape and area.  He is all in favour of alternative resources but this could destroy the whole landscape.

Mr Johnstone asked how influential the Parish Council would be and would there be any value in making a protest?  The data on energy supply is real and the Parish Council could develop their own solutions for energy needs.

Cllr Warren advised this is the first application received in South Northants and he was not sure of their policy on windfarms.  SNC do cherish landscapes. 
Cllr Warren was able to visit a wind farm in Burton Latimer quite recently.  The tent where the conference was held, was below a turbine and it was very quiet.

Mr  Pollak noted that he had been in touch with a wind farm expert at CPRE.  He and Cllr Waite had attended a presentation about the efficiency of wind farms in the recent past.  He suggested that an expert be asked to do a presentation to Sulgrave PC and Weston PC to find out about the advantages and disadvantages.  Wind turbines are not efficient and rely on the strength of wind.  They feed directly into the National Grid and electric cannot be stored.  Electric generated on a very windy day would be lost if the grid was already full.

Mr Coverley asked if the company had contacted the land owners.  The Chair replied that on paperwork it stated that negotiations are underway and they will allow the site to be developed.  Mrs Blayney noted the area is owned by either an Oxfordshire or Cambridgeshire College.   She also advised that her husband is involved in the alternative energy market and has a huge amount of information.  He has lots of contacts and has information on arguments against wind farms.

The Chair noted that all the relevant websites would have to be looked at and an action group formed, if allowed, to write down sensible arguments.  This process could take 6 months to 1 year.  The council would have to get proper advice about this from their County Association.

Mr Christy suggested that an acknowledgement letter is first written to SNC to keep a record.  The Chair replied that a clear message had been given from the meeting tonight that the development is not welcome.  He has been in contact already with Weston PC and would contact other parishes that may be affected.  A meeting would be organised before the next council meeting on 9th July and the Parish Council would welcome any support that is offered.
5.     To discuss the Renewal of Shop Lease

         At the last council meeting there was an energetic discussion and the Parish Council have considered all the issues that were raised then.  Cllr Osborne and the Chair then met the Chairman of the Shop Committee and Cllr Osborne reported on the outcomes of this meeting.

They explained to the Chairman of the Shop committee that the Parish Council fully supported the shop, whilst at the last PC meeting, it was felt that they had been accused of a them and us mentality, this simply was not the case.   It was stressed to him that in fact the previous Parish Council had striven to find a building, renovate it and continue to support by setting the rent at the rate currently paid. The current PC also wanted the shop to continue to flourish and survive.  They discussed that it was a village community shop.  The previous lease was for five years which was a sensible period of time and the lease was up for renewal, hence the discussions.  The Parish Council did not wish to increase the rent as was a cause for concern at the previous meeting.    

Whilst there had been some debate over the accuracy of the payments, they discussed that approximately 50% of the Public Works Loan is paid for by the Parish council and the Shop Committee pay the remainder through the rent charged.  They explained that the Parish Council have already set their budget for this year and could therefore not reduce the rent but they would like to view the shop accounts in order that we may be able to help in the future.  The outcome of the meeting was that they agreed to propose that the rent was set at the same level for the next five years. 

         Cllr Powell felt in this economic climate, it was the fairest way to proceed.  Cllr Waite noted the Parish Council should work with the shop and support it.  The Chair advised that the council recognise the venture and the serious support that the village gives to it. He would like to engage more with the committee to support them further.  He then put forward the following proposal:

         “That Sulgrave Parish Council recognises:-

         This was seconded by Cllr Powell and all the councillors voted in favour.

         The Chair then went onto say that Spratt Endicott Solicitors would prepare the lease and the wording would be the same as before.  Lewis Thomas is engaged to do the work and the cost will be £285.00 & VAT.  Any meetings outside of office hours will not be charged.  The Chair proposed that this legal cost be accepted and Cllr Powell seconded it.  All the councillors voted in favour.

6.   Councillors Reports

         Magpie Road Parking

Cllr Waite thanked Mr Coverley and Ann Mackness for attending a meeting with South Northants Homes on 16.04.09 of which he was unable to attend himself.  He has made contact with Fiona Brown who has a meeting arranged for 17th July 2009 when they will make decisions on how to spend money in the county.  The Parish Council hope their scheme will be considered.  There will be no further news until after that meeting but Cllr Waite has forwarded the questionnaire and results to her.  Cllr Waite has asked SNC how likely they will be to support an application to extend the current layby but is awaiting an answer.  He is still waiting to see the Conservation Area Appraisal which could eventually be put on the website.


         Cllr Waite has read information on the Local Development Framework (LDF) which will replace local plans.


Cllr’s Powell and Pollak had met with the Allotment Society and a letter dated 8th June was forwarded by Jill Barrett.  This was read out by Cllr Powell.


The labour for fencing will be carried out by the allotment holders.  There will be fund raising to increase money allowed for water provision.  The actual costs for water installation will be about £1200.  Additionally there will be the quarterly charges which will be covered from the rent that they charge their tenants.  The start up fees are £20.10 to join the NSALG and insurance will cost £43.75 to start from 1st July. It is not the intention of the Allotment Society to create a profit but to manage the site for the benefit of the village.  They intend to present their progress and accounts to the village at the Annual Parish Meeting.

The councillors gave their views.  Cllr Osborne was concerned as the income of £135.00 normally received from the rent would be lost and had been included when setting this years budget.   Mrs Barrett advised that the allotment area would be controlled in house and the Allotment Society will be able to apply for grants.  She suggested that £135.00 is deducted from the £600 to be put aside for water.  Cllr Waite felt it was in the council’s interest to agree and accept the proposals.  Mr Christy noted that the land belongs to the Charity Commission and it was given to the village by the Brewer. The Parish Council would have to ensure they retain title of the land.  It is currently leased to plot holders and there would be one lease to the Allotment Society. The Chair accepted what was said but as the council were not changing its use or title or lease arrangements they would proceed.  He asked for any paperwork that Mr Christy had to be passed to him.

Cllr Waite then proposed the following resolution:

This was seconded by Cllr Osborne.  Cllr Powell voted in favour.  The Chair did not vote as he had already declared an interest.

         Pocket Park

The pocket park committee have now met and are currently reviewing different websites to obtain funding before they meet again.

         Community Speedwatch

         Signs have been delivered to Cllr Powell and boards can be put up between 29th June and 10th August. They are not to be kept up all the time.  The training day for new volunteers is 12th September 2009.  More volunteers will be needed and a new list is to be sent off.  A note will be put in the newsletter.  As the council are part of Speedwatch ,they will be loaned temporary vehicle activated signs.
         Castle Green

The accounts were passed to the Clerk for filing and are available for viewing by anyone.  Work will start on the wall on 15th June.
7.     Finance Report

The following payments were approved and cheques raised accordingly.  They were proposed by Cllr Osborne and seconded by Cllr Powell:-


The Clerk presented the Annual Return for 2008/9 and it was accepted by the council.  The Clerk and Chairman signed sections 1 and 2.  They would be sent off to the External Auditor in July.

There is a possibility there is another bank account which the council were not aware of.  An annual statement of interest was passed to the Chair for a Nationwide account connected to a Silver Jubilee fund.  The Clerk is to call into the bank to find out more.


9.   Update on Planning Applications

One new application  had been received by the council since the last meeting and the plans were displayed at the meeting

10. Correspondence

11. Open Forum

The water situation was discussed again as the workmen were in Thorpe Mandeville for some time very recently.  There was a loss of water over the last weekend.  The Clerk to write to Anglian Water again.

12.     Next meeting

12a.  Matters for consideration at the next meeting

          Weston Wind Farm Proposal

12b.  Date and time of next meeting

          9th July in the Church Hall at 7.30pm

            Meeting closed at 9.30pm