9 Sep: The appeal hearing will be held in the Council Chamber at Bodicote House on 25 September 2019, from 10am until about 5pm. You may attend for part of the time if unable to be there all day. The Sibford Action Group is coordinating speakers against the development, and may also be able to help with transport.
7 Aug: The PI website is now showing an “Event Date” of Wednesday 25 September – presumably the date of the hearing. The Sibford Action Group is meeting next week to coordinate their response; contact the Group at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to be added to their mailing list.
1 Aug: The developers are appealing the CDC refusal of their outline planning application 18/01894/OUT in April. You can find documents relating to the appeal on the CDC website under reference 19/00036/REF. You have until 27 August to submit comments to the Planning Inspector, via the Inspectorate website, under reference 3229631. There will be a hearing; keep an eye on the Inspectorate website for the date, not yet set.
The Planning Inspector has dismissed the most recent appeal against CDC's refusal to allow a change to residential use of …
The Planning Inspector has dismissed the most recent appeal against CDC’s refusal to allow a change to residential use of the Pheasant Pluckers Inn (formerly Bishop Blaize). You can find details of the Appeal Decision on the PI website.
(The link should take you to the PI’s webpage for the case, but if instead you get a notice about a “New beta service”, click on “Search for a case – current service”, which should then get you there; if not, you’ll have to use their search, for case number 3216818.)
Our community is typical of small villages across the country having a mix of narrow twisting roads with limited footpaths (to keep pedestrians safe). Traffic volumes and speeds moving around and through the Sibfords vary dependent on time of day, and drivers range from the courteous and safe to potentially dangerous. We also have two schools and safety of our children is so important. A group has been formed to look at what can be done to improve overall road safety and raise awareness of motorists who drive in our community.
Do you believe this is an issue that needs to be investigated? Would you like to be involved? Contact Richard Irons or Simon Rayner, who would welcome your thoughts on this subject.
3 August, #1: Our final pair have left us. We hope to see them all again next May. Although we …
3 August, #1: Our final pair have left us. We hope to see them all again next May. Although we had three pairs laying eggs, only the old-timers in #4 were successful in hatching any; disappointingly, only two chicks resulted, compared to three in each of the two previous years.
2 August, #3: Having give up on their eggs 5 days ago, this pair has spent the last few nights roosting, but are not there tonight. Gone back to Africa!
30 July, #1: It looks as if this pair have given up on their eggs; the photograph shows one egg off to the right of the concave.
28 July, #3: This pair has discarded their second pair of eggs.
27 July, #4: Although their brood has fledged, the parents have been staying in the box overnight for the last few days. But only one of them was in the box last night, and tonight the box is empty.
22 July, #4: The wide-angle lens shows the box completely empty and no shadows from the entrance tunnel. The chicks have flown! They were about 6 weeks old.
13 July, #3: A new batch of two eggs explains why this pair has been so diligent in continuing to sit on the nest, despite the discarded eggs on the floor of the box.
12 July, #1: Surprisingly, the pair that took up residence a couple of weeks ago are now incubating two eggs!
28 June, #3: The nest is empty, and the eggs are on the floor of the box (see photo – one is almost hidden behind the concave). It seems that the parents have decided that they are not viable.
27 June, #4: The two-week old chicks in #4 are growing fast.
27 June, #3: We’re concerned about the two eggs. They were laid about a week after #4, so now they must be about a week overdue in hatching. The parents are still dutifully incubating.
27 June, #2: We have seen the occasional visitor in this box, but last night we caught sight of a pair having a good look around together.
27 June, #1: A new prospecting pair took up residence two or three days ago. They are spending nights (and this morning!) cuddling up together.
12 June, #4: In a rare moment when both parents were out foraging, we saw that the eggs have hatched. May have been a couple of days ago. Unfortunately the pictures from this box are somewhat blurred, but it looks like there are only two chicks.
30 May, #3: A second egg.
27 May, #3: First egg; probably the first ever for this pair.
23 May, #4: A third egg. Going by previous years, that will be the lot.
22 May, #4: A second egg.
20 May: Since last night there has been a pair in #3.
19 May, #4: An egg!
17 May: We watched as a new swift flew up to each of the nestboxes in turn and called into them, finally spending a night in #2 – the first time this box has been used.
12 May: A small screaming party of four swifts entertained us outside this evening. The pair in #4 have been happily cuddling up together every night. And there’s a single bird in #3 again tonight; is it the same one who left 5 days ago, or is it their partner finally returned?
7 May: Our first breeding pair today returned to #4, where they successfully raised chicks last year and the year before. Unfortunately, after 4 nights alone in #3, the first bird of this season seems to have given up waiting for their partner.
3 May: The swifts are back! Well, one is, anyway. This must be one of the prospecting pair that took a shine to nestbox #3 last summer. Let’s hope that their partner makes it back as well before too long.
The nesting boxes are in Sibford Ferris. Revisit this page to keep an eye on progress.
This year the two councils of the Ferris and the Gower explored ways in which they might share their separate …
This year the two councils of the Ferris and the Gower explored ways in which they might share their separate Annual Parish Meetings in a single celebration of our combined Sibfords Community. As part of his Chairman’s Report for the year, Gower’s Hugh Pidgeon explores some of the surprises he encountered when he started looking into the Meeting’s origins:
It was something of an experiment, and the more we looked into the history of the 1972 Local Government Act which underpins the declared purposes of this day, the more contradictions and anomalies we found. Within the same Act, the responsibilities of Parish and Town Councils as an arm of local government are defined right alongside this once-a-year Parish Meeting. The meeting itself is defined more as a form of direct democracy – uncommon in the United Kingdom, which primarily uses representative democracy.
For this first occasion we were content to stay with the primary declared purpose:
An Annual Parish Meeting is a meeting of the electors of a parish and the purpose of the meeting is for the community to come together to discuss parish affairs.
This we did, and I believe with great success. But we recognize that there is a delicate balance to be drawn between the primary purposes of the Community Meeting under the auspices of the Annual Parish Meeting, and the interests of the two elected Councils as they seek to respond to the wishes and concerns of their electorate.
Happily we did not get mired in some of the more dramatic collisions of view that have come to characterize the current debate between the direct democracy of the 2016 referendum and the responsibilities for the outcome claimed by the representative democracy of local members of Parliament!
Following our experience for the very first time of coming together as two Parishes to hold a shared meeting of the community as a whole, the two councils of the Gower and the Ferris have agreed to set up a cross-parish group to continue to investigate in a further developed structure and design for the event how best to honour the spirit of the original legislation that it should continue to be actively supported by the two councils but not be led by them.
The remainder of the Chairman’s report can be found as an appendix to the minutes of the Gower Parish Council Meeting of 21 May, in the Meeting Archive (190521).
Hugh’s tribute to the Annual Parish Meeting event and thanks to all those involved is in an earlier news item, and there is a full account of the event itself in the official minutes in the Meeting Archive (190509).
A planning application for a change use of the Pheasant Pluckers Inn (formerly Bishop Blaize) to residential use is about …
A planning application for a change use of the Pheasant Pluckers Inn (formerly Bishop Blaize) to residential use is about to be considered by the Planning Inspectorate, under the reference 3216818. You may make a representation to the Inspector up to Friday 21 June via the Planning Inspectorate’s Appeal Casework Portal.
The application documents are available on the Cherwell DC website under reference 18/01501/F. The reasoning behind Cherwell DC’s recommendation to refuse the application is set out in their Planning Committee minutes of 17 January 2019; scroll about half-way down the Agenda, decisions and minutes page to find links to the relevant sections.
The Sibfords Society writes: We hope you can join us on a coach trip to Highclere Castle, known world-wide …
The Sibfords Society writes: We hope you can join us on a coach trip to Highclere Castle, known world-wide as the setting for Downton Abbey. Near Newbury, it is home to the Carnarvon family and its treasures include an important Egyptian collection.
Martin’s of Tysoe will take us straight there on 30th July, leaving the Village Hall at 10 am. Cost: £28.50 per person. To book a place on the bus please contact Diana on 780 506.
A proposed diversion of a footpath near Haynes Barn in Sibford Gower is about to be confirmed by Oxfordshire County …
A proposed diversion of a footpath near Haynes Barn in Sibford Gower is about to be confirmed by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). Representations or objections must be made to OCC before 21 June 2019. A copy of the order, an explanatory statement and a map are all available on the OCC website. The map may also be seen on the SGPC notice board outside the village hall.
For the first time in their separate histories, the councils of the two Sibford parishes, Ferris and Gower came together …
For the first time in their separate histories, the councils of the two Sibford parishes, Ferris and Gower came together last Thursday (9th) to host the Annual Parish Meeting as a shared celebration of our extra-ordinary vibrant community. And what a celebration it was! Over 50 people representing dozens of organisations, clubs, societies and other village institutions, and more like 150 people overall in one glorious upsurge of shared interest, mutual curiosity and animated conversations! As one of these wrote to me afterwards, “it was a wonderfully convivial meeting, showcasing the best of what the Sibfords is all about”.
I am writing on behalf of both Councils – of Ginny Bennett and John Wass for the Ferris, and myself – to express our sincere thanks to all the many people who contributed to making this such a success. As Ginny herself put it to me in a note afterwards: “So many people helped on the night – real community spirit!”
I was particularly grateful to the pupils from both Sibford schools who came to play and sing for us, and their music teachers, Fiona Hudson and Valerie Vet. Having the children there for me was a key part of the whole evening. Along with all the other children who came with their families, they are the community’s future, and I was delighted these young musicians could remind us of this so very beautifully!