(Story updated to Oct 2016) A consultation was held on 17th January 2015 in the village Hall on proposals to build a new village at the Cotswold Community site (Ashtonfield Farm on the above map dated about 1898). These proposals differ from those originally presented. W&GS for 1st August 2013 reported that a developer has bought the Cotswold Community site along the Spine Road towards Ashton Keynes and wants to both dig for gravel and build 180 houses as well as refurbish the existing houses. Your Parish Council are keeping an eye on this, not least because we are still hoping for the missing link in the cycle path through this site. The site is in Ashton Keynes parish in Wiltshire.The company called Amita Business, registered in the British Virgin Islands, already has permission for most of the existing buildings to be used as individual dwellings, granted last April with little consultation. Its UK “office” is an accommodation address. Members of the Parish Council joined Ashton Keynes PC for a presentation by this company in late September 2013, when it was revealed that they may seek to build about 300 houses, and have since attended further presentations. March 2016 A planning application has now been made to Wiltshire for rebuilding/updating the existing dwellings (some are listed) and adding 48 new houses. A separate application has been made to gravel the two fields between the community and the Country Park - Wiltshire wants its gravel money! The field on the east side is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and thus cannot be built on. On 18 Oct no decision is available.
Lower Mill Estate changes.
A new access road into the Estate has been constructed off Lower Mill Lane, part of the Thames Path National Trail.It has now been brought into use (Feb 2016)Lower Mill have a number of planning permissions not yet started, and a number of new ones in the pipeline. Lake 63, across Minety Road from the site, and across from Neigh Bridge Park, has permission for a restaurant and office/sales suite. A planning application for an access to the main site on Minety Road some 200yards down has been made. The same application includes the Spine Road Cycle path link into Neigh Bridge Park, which proposes narrowing the junction with The Street at the crossing point. CDC refused this application (Sep 2013). We understand that this application has now been granted on appeal.The estate now has 2 very large LPG tanks on the Spine Road/ Minety Lane corner to replace 20 dotted around the site. There is also now a restaurant and other facilities on site. The restaurant has a licence for alcohol, films and music (June 2015), and in 2016 applied to extend their storage area, so we assume that it is operating. The original outline permission foresees an increase in the number of houses to 550 in total.The company now has interests in new developments in Dorset and Devon, we hear, which must be why the holding company now calls itself Habitat First Group.Borders BroadbandThe new cabinet has been cabled up and is now complete. You can now order fibre broadband from your ISP (or choose another) if you live in Somerford Keynes. Looking through the many providers there is considerable variation in price and offerings, so do look around. You will only need the top level service if you want to watch internet TV and have a house full of teenagers. Lower Mill Estate was not included in the first round, and is now expected to be included in round 2, which will give fibre to the property, provided by Gigabyte. You cannot get this facilty if you are connected to Cabinet 5 in the village.
The signs above have permission. None seems to have been sought for these new ones on Minety Lane