Aerial view from the church around the Wiltshire village of Bromham in Wiltshire, near to the towns of Calne, Melksham, Devizes and Chippenham

By Bromham Webmaster, May 23 2020 07:25AM

AN appeal against a decision to refuse permission for a controversial gypsy camp in a village near Devizes has been upheld by an inspector six years after the planning battle started.

Douglas Ward had appealed against an enforcement notice issued by Wiltshire Council in April last year after he put up a timber building on land at New Road after planning permission was turned down. He will now have to dismantle the wooden structure.

He also appealed against the council’s original decision in 2018 not to allow change of use of agricultural land to create one gypsy and traveller pitch, with one static mobile home and one touring caravan, a stable block with tack room and feed store.

The plan also asked for alterations to the site entrance and two metre high security fence.

This scheme had replaced a similar one put forward by Mr Ward in 2014 which was also turned down by Wiltshire Council.

Inspector Tim Belcher decided that the plan, which had brought considerable opposition from people living in the village, should be dismissed.

Several public meetings were held, hundreds of letters of objection written and the parish council wrote a forceful response saying the site did not have safe access, and would not blend in with its surroundings.

At the appeal Mr Ward had argued that more traveller pitches were needed in Wiltshire. When the original plan was turned down one villager said: “There is much joy and jubilation.”

Mr Belcher said in his findings: “The current need for pitches may indicate an inequality in housing opportunities for Irish travellers in the east Wiltshire housing market area.

“But it is not sufficient to outweigh the serious harm to the appearance of the area.”

Mr Ward, who had previously lived at a Greenacres Mobile Park, Semington, which is run by his father, said a family falling out had meant he and his wife had had to leave.

Wiltshire Council had told the appeal: “The proposed development would have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area.

“The proposed solid timber fencing around the entire perimeter, which is already partly installed, is considered to be intentional unauthorised development.”

Wiltshire Times - 18 May 2020

By Bromham Webmaster, May 17 2020 09:54AM

A love of pizza has led to a Bromham student making and delivering 25 of them to a homeless charity - and he aims to hand over hundreds more during the pandemic.

Alfie Fletcher, 19, who is studying English Literature at Trinity College in Dublin made his first of many planned donations to Chippenham-based homeless charity, Doorway on May 7.

Alfie said: “I was home at the beginning of March. In the time before I came back, my girlfriend and I had been eating a lot of Neapolitan pizza and with all the restaurants closed I thought, ‘what better time to teach myself how to make them?’ It started off horrifically, with crackers but it’s got a lot better.

In fact his skills improved so much that two weeks ago he and sister Amber, 17, and his girlfriend Allegra Della Ragione, 19, decided they wanted others to be able to enjoy their Neapolitan pizzas.

“One night we were having pizza and we were thinking about how we could share a little bit of happiness and for me, pizza is the ultimate joy.

“So, we thought that, for people who perhaps aren’t being thought of enough, the homeless and people working incredibly hard, we could make some pizzas and donate them in as easy a way as is possible to receive them and hopefully make them happy.

“For homeless people, with fewer people in the streets it must be difficult to get money and get food to survive.”

Jo Kitching, director of Doorway said “I was so impressed by Alf’s determination to do something positive for our guests at this time, some of whom are finding things really difficult at the moment.

“Homemade pizza given out for free is a treat in the best of times, but at the moment it can really make a difference to someone’s day.”

The ultimate goal for Alfie is to make 100 pizzas a day to donate to various charities and worthy causes across the county.

To keep the project steaming ahead, on Saturday the trio gave away 100 pizzas in Bromham, asking only for donations.

Alfie added: “That money will go towards other homeless shelters.

“There are lots of things coming up and more that we’re trying to put in place. We’re trying to do as much as possible and it’s about making contact with as many people as possible.”

With the donations, they raised enough money to give away another 100 pizzas to the Amber Foundation in Trowbridge, Blenheim House care home in Melksham and Devizes’ OpenDoors project, this week.

To pay for the ingredients and the hire cost for the mobile wood-fired pizza oven, Alfie has set up a GoFundMe page, which has already raised £1,751.

A statement on the GoFundMe page reads: “Everything is in place. Suppliers are ready for our bulk order.

“We have registered with the council, obtained public liability insurance and a food safety certificate.”

To donate to the pizza project please visit gofundme.com/f/5sazz-pandemic-pizza

Wiltshire Times - 11 May 2020

By Bromham Webmaster, May 16 2020 07:04PM

TRIBUTES have been paid to businessman Ray Cargill who died at the weekend from suspected coronavirus.

Mr Cargill, 68, from Bromham was a director of Cargill Enterprises with his wife Linda and managing director of Bromham Growers.

His son Elliot is practice manager at Charlton Baker accountants in Devizes.

On Saturday managing director Scott Sartin posted on Twitter to say: "All at Chartlon Baker share our deepest sympathies to our practice director and family, whose father Ray Cargill passed away in the early hours of this morning, having been taken from us by the Coronavirus in such a short space of time.

"Ray was always interested in what we were doing as a business and was a backer of us in all possible ways. You will be greatly missed. RIP Ray."

Mr Sartin said yesterday: "Ray was very healthy. He was an extremely popular man in Devizes."

A post mortem on Mr Cargill is still to be carried out but doctors told the family he had COVID-19 last week.

Mr Cargill was also a trustee of Devizes Almshouses.

In 2010 the Gazette reported that Bromham Growers had a deal with Waitrose and his firm would be supplying the Waitrose that was about to open in Melksham.

He said: “I am delighted to see a Waitrose opening in Melksham. Having a Melksham store not only cuts down the food miles, but all our packaging is eco-friendly.

“The plastic bags the produce comes in is compostable and wherever possible we use no packaging at all.”

In 2009 the Gazette reported that Mr Cargill had donated £1,141 to the RNLI thanks to money raised by Bromham Growers.

Wiltshire Times - 30 March 2020

By Bromham Webmaster, Dec 18 2019 09:09PM

TWO pupils of a village primary have decided to do their bit to bring some cheer to homeless people this Christmas.

Gracie and Alex, who are in Year 6 of St Nicholas School, have appealed for help to create 50 care gift bags that they will hand out to people living on the street.

Alex said: “When we saw homeless people on the street it made us very sad.”

Gracie said: “We want to give them gift bags so they know people care and to spread a little happiness.”

The girls are being supported by their school where a donation point has been set up and a second collection station is in the village church.

A Facebook page has also been created and the girls appear in a short video telling people why they want to help the homeless this Christmas.

They hope toiletries and items such as hats and gloves will be donated.

For a list of items needed go to /www.facebook.com/Greg-and-Als-homeless-donation-station-110175630435982

Wiltshire TImes - 18 November 2019

By Bromham Webmaster, Jul 1 2019 03:35PM

THOUSANDS of people turned out in the sunshine on Saturday to make Bromham Carnival one to remember.

Even Boris Johnson, fresh from the controversy over the late night row with his girlfriend, was in evidence in the village near Devizes.

Peter Hindle from the organising committee said: "In a word it was fantastic. The weather couldn’t have been better – especially considering the past few days.

"It felt like there were even more attendees than last year – maybe they all took advantage of the good weather to get outside and enjoy themselves.

"The party continued into the evening – turning into a giant family picnic with live music and fish and chips on the field.

"We haven’t counted all the money yet, but it looks like we’ll be at least as successful as last year, maybe better, and be able to donate more than £4000 to local charities and to village clubs and organisations.

"Thank you to all our sponsors, stall holders, helpers and especially to everyone who entered in the procession, or just came to support the carnival. Next year is Bromham Carnival’s Diamond Jubilee 1960 – 2020. We’re already beginning to plan for the celebration."

Judges had their work cut out picking the best parade entries but the The John Mills award for the best overall float went to Disneyland Bromham, which was also named best family float, and the Vilma Paget Award for the best walker(s) was awarded to When You Wish Upon A Star which also won the best children's walking entry.

Bromham Brownies took the schools and associations prize with Magical Fairy Garden and Bromham Wednesday Club with House of Clowns took the pubs and clubs award.

In the walking classes the best young person went to One Man And His Chopper, best family was Westbrook Rabbits.

Gazette and Herald - 24 June 2019

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View from the tower of SAt Nicholas Church, Bromham, Wiltshire