Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – 01934 713564

Will Human – 01278 641795


Will Human and Polly Costello have spent the last month attending Parish Council meetings and attending site visits for new planning applications.


Polly sat on the Small Grants Committee which awarded a number of small grants, some of whom were to children from Kings of Wessex who will be representing the school at the National Schools Equine Association Championships at the end of October. Some of these children live in the Wedmore and Mark Wards and we will be reporting on their successes in future Parish magazines.


At the October Full District Council meeting, Councillor Human posed a question to the Chairman of the Scrutiny and Standards Committee, Councillor Smedley, during Committee Chairman’s question time. A statement had been made in the committee’s report that it was satisfied with the progress of the roll-out of Superfast Broadband to rural communities. Will questioned how could the committee were satisfied when areas such as Mark were not even included in the current roll-out plan and that due to the recent re-tendering process, it was not even certain that BT would be selected as the  Councillor Smedley suggested the committee may need reappraise their conclusion it in the light of Will’s comments. We await future developments with great interest as will Will, who is passionate about achieving Superfast Broadband for Mark.




Wessex Water Works. The Wessex Water work that is currently underway near Dutch Rd is about to escalate which will impact on traffic flow along Mark Causeway and during the term time ‘rush hours’ that develop around Mark School. So far, everything appears to be running smoothly.


For those using diversions, be aware that Sedgemoor District Council and the Police have been switching on those speed cameras in Somerset that were switched off (which was by no means all) and re-activating mobile speed camera traps.  


Overhanging branches and vegetation. Complaints and comments have been received by the Parish Council that residents and owners of property are not trimming and/or removing tree branches, bushes and vegetation encroaching into public space, in particular along pavements. In Mark, this is particularly relevant, but not exclusively, to Church St (roughly from Mark College to The White Horse) on the B3139. Residents and owners disinclined to trim risk Sedgemoor District County taking action and presenting a bill. So, please, remember to trim!


Mobile Police Station. Residents may have noticed that on Sunday 11 October, a Mobile Police Station in a Police Transit van manned by two Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) was parked in the bus stop on Church Street. This is part of an initiative to restore local policing and the van will be in Mark about every two months. Slightly worrying was the lack of police local knowledge. The PCSOs had been instructed to park somewhere on The Causeway. Fortunately, they thought that Church St was on The Causeway. The next visit of the Mobile Police Station will be at 2pm on Saturday 19 December 2015.


The 101 Non-Emergency number remains in force, although experience suggests that it can ring for quite a long time before someone answers.  


Erratum – Proposed Mark Cricket Club Development. In the September Briefing, reference was made to Mark Cricket Club moving to a field behind Croft Farm on the Causeway. This should have referred to the land behind the Croft, the row of six houses near Mark School.  My apologies if this error caused any concern to anyone.



The following applications were considered:-

  • 35LB. Conversion of coach house to form a one bedroom holiday let, Packhorse Farm, Church Street, Mark. Mr. and Mrs. B. Morley. Supported.
  • 036LB. Conversion of Trindle House to form a one bedroom holiday let, Packhorse Farm, Church Street, Mark. Mr. and Mrs. B. Morley. Supported.
  • 038. Erection of extension, 28 Merryfield, Mark. P. Gregory. Supported.
  • O39. Change of use of two outbuildings to form one bedroom holiday lets, Packhorse Farm, Church Street, Mark. Mr. and Mrs. B. Morley. Supported.
  • 040 & 041LB. Change of use and conversion of barn and erection of two storey extension to form additional bed and breakfast accommodation, Packhorse Inn, Church Street, Mark. P. Pavle. Supported.
  • 042. Erection of two storey extension on site of workshop to be demolished, Mill Batch Farm, Blackford Road, Mark.  S. Moss. Supported.


National Grid. Chancellor George Osborne has recently transferred energy policy from the Department for Energy and Climate Change to the new National Infrastructure Commission. This could mean a swift end to the Hinckley C nuclear plant and a new wave of renewables. Mark is already surrounded by shining fields of solar panels. It is not yet known how this will affect the National Grid T-Pylons proposals. On 19 October, the Planning Inspectorate posted on its website its recommendation for the T-Pylons. We shall now have to wait until March 2016 to hear the final outcome from the Secretary of State or whoever is then in charge of National Infrastructure Planning. Nevertheless our campaign continues and consequently please respond to the petition being circulated by our local MP against this project. 


The Watchfield Inn. The Inn, which has been closed for several months, is now registered as an Asset of Community Value. This now allows a discussion to take place on its future use. A public meeting is to be held from 7pm on Wednesday 4th November at Watchfield Village Hall. You can also register your views on



Next Parish Council Meeting will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 3rd November 2015 at 7.30 pm. Members of the public are invited.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council

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