Parish News - June

Published: 03 July 2023

Caring for Alderbury and Whaddon

I read back May’s newsletter and saw that I had mentioned the very wet Coronation Day in my opening line. Now, much more on our minds, is how dry it has been. See below for more about how this is impacting wildlife projects in the village and how you can help.

This was my first year attending an Alderbury Parish Meeting and what a lively event it was! Thank you to everyone who attended and for your enthusiastic feedback to our public participation exercise. One thing which really struck me is your love of your footpaths! Please do sign up to help the hard-working footpath maintenance volunteers if this is something you value. Contact the clerk or see the website

My opening remarks last month also referenced Picnic in the Park. By all accounts it was a lovely day. Well-organised, well-attended and well - just brilliant! Please join me in thanking Barry Sloan and his team for arranging such a fantastic event.

The Council would also like to acknowledge the Alderbury Explorers and thank them for cleaning road signs in the village.

Hearing from others

Complaints about the state of the verges and the safety of trees in Eyres Drive were again brought to the council. As we have reported before, we have a very limited role in what can be done about this. We are investigating some land ownership queries in the area and will let you know if there is more we can do.

PC Murphy submitted a written report detailing a number of incidents in the village to which the police had responded.

WC councillor Richard Britton had a number of interesting things to say, including

· The repairs needed to Light’s Lane are not scheduled for this financial year (but are in next year). Cllr Britton will continue to press for this to be brought forward. Please register any concerns you have about the road surface via the MyWilts online reporting.

· WC has produced a commentary on its lack of a 5-year land supply plan but how that may be mitigated by the fact that WC is exceeding its housing targets anyway. This appears optimistic but Cllr Britton has doubts this argument will carry weight with a Planning Inspector. This is an issue of particular importance to Alderbury as it is anticipated there will be further planning applications in the village which will be referred to the inspector.

Annual Parish Meeting

Continuing the theme of hearing from others we were pleased to be joined on May 18th by around 50 residents and a host of local organisations bringing their stalls. We heard from the Parish Council chair, Elaine Hartford and from our Wiltshire Council councillor, Richard Britton. Details of what he said can be found on the website where the minutes have been posted.

Questions from the floor centred around planning queries and highways.

We also heard presentations from Cllr Mel Lawrence about the wildlife projects in the village and from Salisbury Swifts who will be helping with a survey of swifts in the village later in the year. Thanks to everyone who spoke to us.

The last part of the meeting was devoted to understanding how you would like to see the Council spend money. A few suggestions had been circulated beforehand but there was a chance to write down whatever you wanted, too. These have been analysed and the Council will be setting up a small working group to assess the suggestions and propose a 2 to 5 year plan to improve the village. You may wonder why there is some extra money - Alderbury is paid Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money by big developers working in the village which can be spent on capital projects.

Circus Skills

A recurring theme from the feedback at the APM was better provision for young people in the village.

The council has recently had success with a grant application to the Southern Area Board to support Circus Skills workshops in the village during school holidays. The first of these was in half term but do please look out for the dates in the summer holiday. Sessions are conducted separately for primary aged children and those 12-17. Contact the clerk if you would like to be notified about these.

Wildlife Friendly Alderbury

This project has been running in the village for a couple of years now

One option for spending some of our CIL money would be to add new areas for wildlife development. At the moment the council’s focus is on a grass area at one end of Spider’s Island. Thoughts include a community garden, an adventure play area, an orchard or a tiny forest. IF YOU LIVE IN THIS ARE PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR VIEWS AND HOW YOU COULD HELP. WE WILL NEED LOTS OF NEW VOLUNTEERS TO MAKE THIS A REALITY.

As mentioned above, though, the existing projects also need new helpers. When young trees are planted, they need TLC for a few years. The end result is surely worth the effort, so there are plenty of opportunities to help with weed control and watering.


Please see the parish council minutes for planning applications we have commented on. You will need to go to the WC planning portal for all the details of objections raised. Links are embedded in the minutes on the website.

Wiltshire planning decisions:


Proposal: Single storey extension to rear of property

Decision: Approve with Conditions


Councillors continue to put a great deal of thought into trees in Alderbury.

A contractor has been engaged to work on the oak tree on Oakwood Grove amenity land but there will be a conversation with him first about how quickly the work needs doing and how extensive the reduction should be. So, there may be a delay before this work starts.

Councillor Britton offered to find out what future policies WC will be putting in place to enhance protection for trees and, if appropriate, to write to John Glen MP to lobby for stricter controls.

Next Parish Council Meeting

Thursday 6th July 7.30 in The Fountain Room