THE Stratford Mop of 1914 appeared little changed from previous years. Wartime austerity had not yet set in and few people foresaw that the conflict would be lengthy. One of the great traditions of the fair was its roasts. No less than five oxen and seven pigs were rotating on the spits outside the pubs on the big day. The excursion trains brought their usual hundreds of revellers from Birmingham and other centres of population. None of Stratford’s conscripts had yet embarked overseas, although just five days before, a regular with the South Wales Borderers, Sgt RH Savage, had been the first Stratfordian to fall victim to the war. He had been struck by shrapnel at the Battle of the Aisne and died of his wounds in Bournbrook Military Hospital.
Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
FOLLOWING a bombardment of planning applications for new housing developments, South Warwickshire is now facing an onslaught of proposals for solar farms.
Last week, the Herald reported on plans for a massive scheme to instal 200,000 solar panels at Drayton Manor Farm off Alcester Road on the edge of Stratford.
This proposal came hot on the heels of a decision by a Stratford District Council planning committee to allow the creation of a 17,600-panel solar plant at Burton Manor Farm at Bishopton, Stratford.
Two other major schemes for solar energy production came into sharp focus this week.
On Monday, Tredington Parish Council held a special meeting to discuss hugely controversial plans for a 38,000-panel solar plant at Blackwell Grange Farm, next to Ilmington Downs, part of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
And last night (Wednesday) the parish council at Salford Priors was due to be shown proposals for a 20,000-panel solar plant at Salford Lodge Farm, a couple of miles outside the village.
The Salford Priors plans have only just been announced, but the scheme for Blackwell is now a firm planning application and it has triggered furious opposition.
Blackwell resident John Bird—one of the scheme’s most vocal opponents—told the Herald: “This would be a metal-and-glass monstrosity, ruining South Warwickshire’s green and pleasant land.”
Mr Bird said the solar plant would be the size of 24 football pitches in some of the most beautiful countryside in England.
He added: “It will adversely affect the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It will spoil it quite dramatically.”
So far more than 150 people have objected to the plans and Mr Bird drew attention to a speech by Greg Barker, the minister for energy and climate change, in April.
Speaking at the launch of the first-ever UK Solar Stategy, Mr Barker said: “As we take solar to the next level, we must be thoughtful, sensitive to public opinion and mindful of the wider environmental and visual impacts.”
George Hughes, whose family runs Salford Lodge Farm near Salford Priors, told the Herald that the solar plant proposals would take up 25 acres, which was less than five per cent of the land farmed there.
Mr Hughes, who is also involved in a family business called Active Renewables which instals solar panels on the top of buildings, said the proposed plant would power 1,197 local homes a year during its 25-year existence.