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Generating energy from the river Frome at Freshford Somerset

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Generating power from rivers using Archimedean Screw generator noise nuisance: the Frome in Somerset

It appears that an application to generate electricity from the river Frome at or rather near to Freshford Mill has been "rubber stamped" by planning. Why do I consider that? Because work has been undertaken without full consultation with local residents who might be affected.:


Close inspection of Freshford Parish Council minutes, those that are available in February 2012, being only December Minutes, provide no information about the planning application that may be subject to various planning policies: Green belt, Area of outstanding natural beauty AONB, site of special scientific  interest SSSI and conservation area. The latter does not apply to the field in which the development is taking place, except that the site is intimately associated with Freshford Mill which is IN a conservation area. After all the installation that has been undertaken, and I presume with full planning permission is actually under way. So for example, those residents who live opposite the development and could be affected by noise from the development have had no opportunity to lodge a complaint.

Freshford Parish Council has not managed to provide residents with information about this proposed development. In fact, what must have taken place has been concealed from the public. Why? because planning proposals usually, only result in neighbours being consulted. But what is a neighbour? Those residents of Freshford who live on the A36 side of the Frome valley do not hear traffic noise from the A36 but those who live opposite do hear traffic noise. So when this Archimedean screw based generator comes into operation what will be the effect on the environment?   A continual noise?  At present Freshford and Westwood residents, who might be affected, do not know what to expect.  Perhaps the development will not create a noise nuisance, but if if it does, what is our remedy? My view is that the most beautiful parts of our countryside MUST be preserved for others not those that just live in the area, of course until they move or die, but for everyone, in this country and abroad.  

Here is an extract from the Oxford Mail:

“In this formerly peaceful residential corner of Oxford it is now impossible to escape this terrible noise, even with all one’s double-glazed windows closed. It is like being imprisoned in the engine room of an ocean liner.”

and another:

 “It is really insistent and particularly bad for those who live on the riverside. It is a throbbing sound and it gets noisier at certain times � probably with the water level. But the thing is it never stops.”

What has Freshford Parish council done to protect residents and the environment from the possible nuisance of noise from this Archimedean Screw type generator? On record, the Freshford parish council website nothing! Or does the threat of perpetual noise from this water powered generator not exist?  If so consider the following

Westwood Parish Council concern over noise nuisance at Avoncliff proposal for Archimedes Screw generator

Councillors noted that a significant number of Avoncliff residents had made representations during the public adjournment to register their firm opposition to the proposal to install two Archimedes screw turbines and that knowledge of this proposal had emerged following an application to the Environmental Agency by the applicant (SPE Developments Ltd) for permission to 'extract water' from the River Avon - a requirement if water turbines are to be installed. The objections had centered, largely, on their visual appearance (they will be extremely large and incongruous in the setting of the North Mill in the hamlet of Avoncliff), the noise impact (Archimedes's screw turbines are very noisy), the adverse effect on water flows and water 'back-up' both locally and downstream at Bradford on Avon and the disproportionate scale of the venture - the electrical power to be generated will greatly exceed the domestic requirements of North Mill and it has all the hallmarks of a commercial enterprise (selling power back to the National Grid).


Westwood Parish Council discussed this matter and resolved unanimously to support the residents of Avoncliff in their opposition to the proposed installation of two Archimedes screw turbines at North Mill.


The Parish Council confirmed that it fully supports the generation of 'green' energy but such schemes must be tailored to meet the likely demands of the property involved and to be sympathetic to the location of the property and the environmental impact such schemes will have on the locality. The Council observed that there are other types of turbines suited to such environmentally sensitive locations that would have minimal environmental impact and that would generate electricity far more efficiently than is possible with an Archimedes screw turbine.


The Clerk was asked to write to the Environmental Agency, Wiltshire Council and the Wiltshire Council member for Westwood and Winsley expressing these sentiments.

Westwood Parish Council minutes  

Posted on 05 Feb 2012 by Geoff Edwards

Freshford Mill update December 2011

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Freshford Mill update December 2011

"Freshford Mill � Councillor Hugh Delap of Freshford Parish Council has been in contact with the YRD Freshford Ltd administrator. They have raised concerns over a Freshford website which
has un-factual information about the village in general and the Mill in particular posted on it. HD confirmed that this is nothing to do with the PC and is not endorsed by them." From freshford parish council minutes October 2011

Statement: although the website is not identified by name we have not received any requests from Freshford Parish council or any resident of Freshford to amend any content at any time on this website either recently or in the past.   Geoff Edwards Editorial team

Neighbourhood forums

The Localism Bill does promote neighbourhood forums but is somewhat unclear Neighbourhood planning changes in the Localism bill  This website does have a forum on which registered users may exchange views, publish articles, raise concerns and provides an opportunity for others to discuss these concerns. 

The website does thus provide a valuable service to the village and is part of the means be which residents may take part in the democratic process. The forum will of course contain expressions, opinions, and questions that may not be factual. Surely, the YRD Freshford Ltd adminstrator is not suggesting that unfavourable articles and comment be removed?  




Posted on 11 Dec 2011 by Geoff Edwards

Freshford Mill rainfall

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Freshford Mill rainfall

Rainfall has been measured on Staples Hill which is close to Freshford Mill since the Summer of 2008. The graph of the rainfall has been added to Freshford Mill

Posted on 14 Jan 2011 by Geoff Edwards

Ypres Rose compulsory liquidation

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Trouble at Mill?  Ypres Rose Developments Ltd owner of the Freshford Mill development. . .

If a creditor (someone you owe money to) starts winding up proceedings by issuing you with a Statutory Demand then presents a petition in court to have your company wound up, this is called Compulsory Liquidation.

 In the High Court of Justice

Newcastle Upon Tyne District Registry No 1182 of 2010


(Company Number 5192337)

and in the Matter of the Insolvency Act 1986

A Petition to wind-up the above-named Company whose registered

office is situate at New Lodge, Drift Road, Winkfield, Windsor,

Berkshire SL4 4RR presented on 16 April 2010 by Colourwash Limited

of 18 Weir Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 8UG, claiming to be a

Creditor of the Company, will be heard at the Newcastle Upon Tyne

District Registry, The Law Courts, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 3LA, on 19 May 2010, not before 1100 hours (or as soon

thereafter as the Petition can be heard).

Any person intending to appear on the hearing of the Petition (whether

to support or oppose it) must give notice of intention to do so to the

Petitioner or its Solicitors in accordance with Rule 4.16 by 16.00 hours

on 18 May 2010.

The Petitioner’s Solicitors are Simon Daly Solicitors, 2 Brunswick

Street, Stockton on Tees TS18 1DW, telephone (01642) 604074, fax

(01642) 604084, email . (Ref snd/21737.)

11 May 2010. (1118164)

Source: The London Gazette

A Winding-Up Order was granted on the 16th Sept 2010.

(Company Number 05192337)
Trading Name: Ypres Rose Developments Ltd.
Address of Registered Office: New Lodge, Drift Road, Winkfield,
Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4RR.
Principal Trading Address: New Lodge, Drift Road, Winkfield,
Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4RR

In the Newcastle District Registry No 1182 of 2010
Date of Filing Petition: 14 April 2010.
Date of Winding-up Order: 16 September 2010.
Official Receiver: G C Rogers, 3D Apex Plaza, Forbury Road,
Reading, Berks, RG1 1AX. Tel 0118 958 1931, Email
Capacity in which Appointed: Liquidator
Date of Appointment: 16 September 2010 (1210879)

Posted on 26 Aug 2010 by Geoff Edwards

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