December 11, 2018

Parish Council Meeting

There is an extra-ordinary Parish Council meeting on Friday 27 February, 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall to discuss two planning applications. The agenda is available on the website

Further Development at FERA / DEFRA

Capita and Newcastle University have been chosen to create a joint venture with Defra to help run Fera, the Food and Environment Research Agency as part of Defra’s ambitious science programme. The joint venture will unlock £14.5m of new investment.

This is part of Defra’s ambitious science programme and recognition of the importance of cutting-edge research. The joint venture will expand the agency’s world-leading scientific capability and strengthen its role in food safety research. It will enable Fera to play an even greater role in helping to drive growth in our £100 billion agri-food industry.

- See more at:

Gravel Pit Farm Planning Application


Last night despite the best efforts of the Parish Council, the Claxton & Sand Hutton Residents Group and District Councillor Caroline Goodrick, Ryedale Planning Committee voted 7 to 3 in favour of approving the Gravel Pit Farm Anaerobic Digester application subject to a number of conditions.

Whilst the outcome went against us, the Parish Council feel a moral victory was won as it was clear that those Councillors who voted for approval did so with a heavy heart. As one Councillor said “our hands are tied”. With an appeal already lodged, had the application been rejected at District level, it was clear that the Planning Inspectorate would have approved it, leaving RDC to pick up the bill which of course we tax payers would have paid.

Around 30 residents attended last night to hear the lengthy discussions (some 2½ hours’ worth.) The Parish Council would like to thank them and County Councillor Clare Wood for attending, the Claxton & Sand Hutton Residents Group for their efforts at such short notice and Councillor Goodrick for her unwavering support.

This is the text of the Parish Council’s 3-minute speech to the planning committee (3 minutes are the maximum allowed by any speaker):


“This proposal for an industrial scale processing plant of 1 Mega Watt, is four times the size of other Farm Scale AD operations such as Newby Wiske and is massive for this location.

Do not be misled into thinking this is a local farmer trying to diversify. This is big business investing millions to take advantage of government subsidies to make themselves profit. They have the power and resources to pressurize and intimidate us, you and Ryedale to get what they want, to the detriment of local residents who will not benefit in any way but will suffer all the negative and disturbing consequences in terms of noise, smell and traffic. This goes completely against Policy SP20. No evidence is provided to substantiate the claim that this plant will “benefit the rural economy”. It directly contravenes Ryedale’s Local Plan Strategy SP13 Landscapes. How can 3 massive AD tanks, a vast open digestate lagoon and 8 huge silage clamps enhance the ambience, tranquillity and character of our local landscape?

Gravel Pit Farm does not have the capacity on site to supply this plant hence the majority of feedstock is to be imported to Sand Hutton by road from many miles away. The application now gives figures of 12,000 tons to be brought in from other farms plus 2,400 tons from Gravel Pit Farm but what goes in must come out as less than 5% is lost in the process. Therefore, 14,000 tons of digestate to be spread annually on the farm at Sand Hutton – the solid part of this by tractor and spreader: up to 250 loads per annum going through two conservation villages. Hardly traffic neutral.

As access from farm to many fields is through Sand Hutton village and past our roadside primary school, there are risks to pedestrians and school children with increased mud and muck on roads causing potential hazards to road users. Feedstock for AD contains plant or animal pathogens such as salmonella and parasites which can be a danger to human and animal health.

There have been inconsistencies and contradictions throughout this whole process: it was initially stated all feedstock would be sourced from Gravel Pit Farm itself then suddenly when queried, it was changed to feedstock being sourced from holdings across Yorkshire. The Planning Officer’s report highlights 6 contradictory statements made by the applicant about the number and location of cattle. If there are such contradictions and discrepancies in fundamental information, what confidence can the Planning Committee possibly have in the credence of the application?

Finally, the applicant concludes that the impact upon the community “is not unacceptable”. We, the community, feel it is totally unacceptable and inappropriate adjacent to two conservation villages, within an area of greenbelt and adjacent to an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We strongly urge the Planning Committee not to approve this application.”

Women in harmony dates

Women in Harmony continues to meet and sing every 2nd and 4th Thursdays, starting at 10.30 am with coffee and cake before a cheerful hour of singing.
New members welcome.
Next dates are:

  • 12 February
  • 26 February
    (not 12 March – to be rearranged)
  • 26 March
  • 9 April
  • 23 April

For further information, ring Caroline 468376

Gravel Pit Farm Planning Application


The Parish Council intends to address the Committee at the Planning Meeting on Tuesday evening when all Parish Councillors will be present.

Members of the Public are entitled to be present at Planning Meetings and it is hoped that those Parishioners who are able, will attend the meeting in the Council Chamber at Ryedale House on Tuesday. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and the Gravel Pit Farm application will be the 2nd one considered by the Committee.

Brief Lives in Village Hall


COMING TO SAND HUTTON & CLAXTON VILLAGE HALL on Thursday 26th February at 7.30pm.

TICKETS £9 Ticketline: 01904 468376

Other Lives Productions has secured the professional rights to tour next spring with Patrick Garland’s Brief Lives. The play is a highly entertaining one man show tracing a day in the late life of the seventeenth century diarist, John Aubrey. Elements of it verge on stand-up comedy. Probably the best link to give a taste of the show, originally written for Roy Dotrice, is, especially the ‘Drench of Yew’ video-clip. The production will be directed by Richard Avery, formerly of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Old John Aubrey takes his audience by the hand and, with a twinkle in his eye, leads you through a day late in his life, launching into wicked tales. He regales you with stories of his contemporaries – Oliver Cromwell, Charles II, Nell Gwyn – and stories gleaned as a child from folk who knew the likes of Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh. By turns he is a stand-up comic, a philosopher, a lodger in a garret room suffering crying babies and other noisy co-tenants. Once he starts speaking to you he is like the Ancient Mariner – you cannot choose but hear.

Forget the modern blogger. John Aubrey was blogging 300 years ago, and not only are his words still read but they come alive on the stage in Patrick Garland’s wonderful Brief Lives.

“Everything is here – wit, farce, tragedy, pathos – often bawdy, frequently uproariously funny. A truly delightful entertainment.”
The Guardian

The show last approximately 1 hour 50 minutes including one interval.

Gravel Pit Farm Planning Application


The Parish Council has been made aware from Ryedale District Council that the following matters will be considered by the Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday 10 February 2015 at 6 pm :

(i) 14/00709/MFUL – Non determination appeal;

(ii) 14/01073/MFUL – Second planning application.

The District Council has engaged the services of Mr Jason Whitfield of England and Lyle who is a planning consultant well experienced in dealing with Anaerobic Digestion planning applications.

The agenda for the Planning Committee has now been published on the RDC website (click on Committee Agendas under ‘Council & Elections’ on front page and then click on the Planning Committee Link. The Gravel Pit Farm application is item 8 on the Agenda and includes a 16-page report prepared for the Committee by the Planning Officers).

The Parish Council will now consider their next steps and publish more information shortly.

Parish Council Meeting

The next Parish Council meeting is on Monday 09 February 2015 at 7.30 p.m. in Sand Hutton Village Hall. The agenda is available on the website and everyone is most welcome.

free builders bags

I have over a dozen builders bags that are free to good homes. They are really useful, especially for taking hedge trimmings to the tip. Please ring me asap if you’d like one, two or more. Telephone Fiona or Nigel on 01904 468001.