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Welcome to Castlethorpe

Castlethorpe is a village with a population of around 1,100 set in rolling countryside seven miles north of Milton Keynes city centre and close to the boundary with Northamptonshire. It lies on the northern edge of the Tove River Valley, which is designated as being landscape of Special Character. 
The surrounding area is thought to have first been inhabited in the Bronze Age but the village itself started out in life as a Norman castle belonging to the lord of the manor of nearby Hanslope which was destroyed in 1215 during the Barons' Revolt against King John. 

The parish church is dedicated to St Simon and St Jude, and dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, though the present church is of mainly Norman design. There are a number of other listed buildings in the village, some dating back to the 15th Century, with fine examples of homes from the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries as well. 
You can click here to find more information about the history of the village, including pictures and a video, and there's even more on the Milton Keynes Heritage Association website at www.mkheritage.org.uk/cv (opens in new window).

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The village's weekly refuse collection day is normally Friday, even after Bank Holidays. The only change is over the Christmas and New Year period. All three household recycling centres in Milton Keynes are open seven days a week but entry is still by appointment only and anyone without an appointment will be turned away. To book your slot you must phone 01908 252811 or apply online here.

For detailed information on the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and how to keep yourself safe go to the COVID-19 page on this website, the Government website or milton-keynes.gov.uk/ coronavirus

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How would you like the latest news and information about what's happening in Castlethorpe to be sent straight to your email inbox? 
The Parish Council has launched an email News Alert system to keep local people updated on things like road closures and 

traffic delays, problems with services like buses or the bins, traffic delays, events coming up shortly and much, much more.
All you have to do is to click here and fill in the form with your name and email address and we'll do the rest.
You can unsubscribe at any time just by letting us know.

Update on Maltings 2 development

A number of residents and councillors have expressed concern at the start of work on the site we call ‘Maltings 2’ opposite Paddock Close. Both the Parish Council and our Ward Councillors have been pressing MKC to understand what is happening. MKC have not been very responsive but we have now had a statement.
Let me briefly recap on Maltings 2. The land was made available for development in our 2017 Neighbourhood Plan which, after passing at referendum, became part of MKC’s Planning Policies which means it is the default position when any planning application is considered.
We had three main conditions; on design, on the provision of open market housing especially for ‘downsizers’ and starter homes and finally on planning obligation payments. These payments are for contributions to the First School, to Hanslope Surgery, to the police and fire service, to Anglian Water, to MKC and to the Parish Council for social improvements in the village. The percentage of affordable housing (31%) and the planning obligation payments form a contract called S106 between MKC and the then owner, Carrington Estates.
Carrington Estates applied for ‘outline’ planning permission which just designated the site for 31 houses and specified the access route along Fox Covert Lane.
They then sold the site to a social housing provider called Stonewater but the S106 obligation continues with the planning permission so binds Stonewater. Stonewater then submitted a ‘Reserved Matters’ planning application which specified the detail of the site layout, housing design, sewage disposal and landscaping. Neither the Parish Council nor MKC were happy with the house design which didn’t, in our opinion, meet to requirement to echo the design of Paddock Close which it faces and the application was rejected.
However, Stonewater went to Appeal and the Inspector decided to allow it but the S106 Agreement was part of the original outline application and remained in force. Stonewater have also said that they want to build 100% affordable homes and not pay any planning obligations.
At the beginning of July, MKC, after many email enquiries, told us that Stonewater had formally asked to stand down the S106

Agreement and MKC asked us to re-justify the schedule of planning obligation payments which we did.
There has been some earlier work resulting in the large mounds of earth. This was an archaeological survey which was a condition of the original planning permission but that was completed some time ago.
Now work has started apparently on the development itself. There are only two possibilities; Stonewater are working at risk or MKC has agreed to set aside the S106.
I have written to the Director of Planning and received his written assurance that MKC have not agreed anything with Stonewater.
At present, they are still trying to get responses from all consultees on the S106 before deciding whether legally they need to consider Stonewater’s request.
If they do consider it, any decision will be made at Development Control Committee where our Ward Councillors, the Parish Council and indeed any resident can speak.
I would point out that, quite apart from the fact that the Parish Council expects the new development to make a fair contribution to village facilities which the new residents will enjoy, we have to create places at the school for the additional children, we have to provide for additional capacity at Hanslope Surgery and there is no other source of funds.
It is also the case that there is an MKC Planning Policy which says that affordable housing should normally not exceed 50% of a development and also that affordable housing should be pepper-potted in groups of 12 to integrate new developments and avoid creating ‘sink’ estates.
In the meantime, the Director of Planning has asked his Enforcement Officer to ascertain that Stonewater are not exceeding their planning permissions.
He concludes “I hope the above provides the comfort that you seek at this time, and helps to reassure the community that we understand their concerns when observing activity now taking place on site.”
I will let you know of any further developments.
Philip Ayles
Chairman, Castlethorpe Parish Council

New company to provide ultrafast broadband

Openreach have sent the Parish Council a quote for upgrading the village to ultrafast fibre broadband but it still included the Lodge Farm Business Centre which already has its own commercial broadband. We have asked them to re-quote without this.
It looks as if there will have to be a very high take-up rate but we will leaflet the village when the time comes. However, in the light of the approach by Gigaclear, this option now looks less attractive.
Gigaclear gave a presentation to the Parish Council which can be seen on the Parish Council YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/fGLGojIDyJ0.
had a contract with Northants Council to install broadband in its villages including Cosgrove and Hartwell and they now intend to install in Castlethorpe on a commercial basis. That is, they will fund it themselves and do not require government vouchers, commitments from residents or grants.
The build out will include all properties within the village

boundary but generally not those outside the boundary. Weather permitting, it is expected to start imminently and to come on stream in the second quarter next year and be complete during the third quarter.
They will use existing ducts and overhead poles where possible to connect to properties so effectively running a fibre line alongside the existing BT copper line.
Where new ducts have to be laid, they will obtain wayleaves either from MKC (for highways and verges) or, in the case of properties on private roads, such as Prospect Place, Tyrell Close, Bens Close, Maltings Court and some properties in Lodge Farm Court and Thrupp Close, they will approach the landowner(s) for a wayleave to cross their land.
Some residents have commented that, although there is a very attractive initial 18 month tariff, it currently doubles after that. Of course, the situation will probably be different by then but in any case, the existing BT lines will be left in place so you could revert if you cannot justify the extra cost.

New editor wanted for Castlethorpe News

Calling all the village's budding writers . . . Russell Forgham is stepping down from editing Castlethorpe News, the village newsletter, after eight years and the Parish Council is looking for someone to take over.
As you may know the News is A5 size, between 12 and 16 pages (including the adverts) and is published every quarter, at the beginning of March, June, September and December. It's been published as a PDF available online during the pandemic but will be printed and distributed now that lockdown is lifted.
If you're interested please let Russell know as soon as possible - his email is russell.forgham@ castlethorpe-pc.gov.uk. He will give you any training and help you need, as well as answer any questions. And the necessary editing and publishing software will be provided.

Open Gardens raise £2,172
for Parish Church fund

This year's Open Gardens event has raised an amazing £2,172 for the Church Renovation Fund.
The bi-annual event, which was held this year on 17 and 18 July, attracted visitors from all over Britain.
“It was amazing how many people braved the heat to walk round and so lovely to see the village come alive again”, said Committee member Melissa King.
“We would like to thank everyone who took part and helped in any way. Every one of you has helped to raise this much needed money”.

New village Pre-School
has spaces available

Ducklings Pre-School in Castlethorpe has spaces for youngsters.
The Pre-School is open in the Village Hall from 8.30 am to 12.30pm every weekday during term-time (to 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays).
The Pre-School offers a natural learning environment with room for children to build on their imagination and areas to explore first hand.
For more info phone manager Jaime McGuane on 07754 352365 or email ducklingscastlethorpe@

Huge majority for new
Neighbourhood Plan

The Castlethorpe Neighbourhood Plan, which has been modified to keep it current, went to a public referendum on 22 July and there was a majority of 230 in favour.
The voting on the question "Do you want Milton Keynes Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Castlethorpe to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?" was:
Yes: 244. No: 14
It is now part of Milton Keynes Council's planning policy.
You can download or read the Plan here.

Village gets two life-saving defibrillators

Castlethorpe now has two defibrillators which the Parish Council has obtained with funding from the Milton Keynes Partnership Foundation.
One is located outside the Village Hall and the other on the Cricket Pavilion at the Sports Ground. 
Both are in code locked cabinets which are registered with the emergency services and show up on their equipment maps.
You can also see their location on the Save a Life app. 
In the event of an emergency, such as 

someone having a heart attack, always call 999 first and stay with the patient. The emergency operator will determine whether there is a need for the defibrillator and, if there is someone else available to fetch it, direct them to the nearest cabinet and give them the code to open it.
At the same time, the operator will alert other Emergency Services as necessary, such as a First Responder or an ambulance.
Richard Bradley, our local First Responder, will provide training courses

on using the Defibrillator when it finally becomes COVID-safe to do so.
However, the defibrillator is fully automatic and will '”speak” to the user to tell them exactly what to do. It can also detect whether it is being used correctly and will not operate if not correct or not required.
Don't hesitate to use it if you are directed to do, so even if you haven't been trained. Hopefully, the defibrillators will never be needed but having them nearby may save a life. 
Councillor Darren Merritt 

Live travel updates

Click on the images below for the latest information

Changes to 33 bus timetable

There have been some slight changes to the 33 bus timetable. You can download a PDF version of the revised times by clicking on the timetable below. 

MK Connect is a Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service available to bus users who don't have access to the weekday daytime routes. It is not restricted to previous timetables or routes, and picks up passengers from their chosen destination to their required drop-off point when they want to travel.
It works like a minibus that comes when you want, where you want — book a ride straight from your phone, get picked up in minutes, and be dropped within a short walk of your destination.
Passengers with a wheelchair or disability will always be matched with a fully accessible vehicle and the service is

accessible to passengers with vision, hearing and other requirements.
The service is available on evenings across MK, operating from: 6am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sunday. You can book your journey by smartphone app, web or phone.
Price: £3.50 during peak hours (7am-9am, 4.30pm-6.30pm), £2.50 at all other times. Concessionary passes under the ENCTS scheme will still be valid for free travel as it is on buses, as will the All-in-One £1 fare.
For more information go to ridewithvia.com/mk-connect

Castlethorpe statistics

Population                    1,047 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference       SP795445
Latitude/longitude    52.093°N   0.840°W
Civil parish                   Castlethorpe
Unitary authority       Milton Keynes
Ceremonial county    Buckinghamshire
Region                           South East
Post town                     Milton Keynes 
Postcode district        MK19
Dialling code                01908
Police                             Thames Valley
Fire                                 Buckinghamshire
Ambulance                   South Central
UK Parliament             Milton Keynes North