Village News

Change to Bus Service (September 2018)

North Yorkshire County Council have been advised by the current operator Harrogate Coach Travel / ConnexionsBuses that they will not be in a position to continue the provision of the above service with effect from Monday 22 October 2018. In order to maintain service provision on the route North Yorkshire County Council Fleet Services will be operating the service from Monday 22 October until a more permanent solution can be found. The route and timetable will be unaltered. The NYCC Fleet Services vehicle is a minibus and as a result some pupils who currently travel on this service will be moved to other school services to avoid overloading issues.


Building Acquisitions (September 2018)

The purchase of the White Horse was completed at the end of June. It has been leased to Church Fenton Community Hub who will carry out a refurbishment and lease it to an operator. It is expected to reopen later this year.

The Council completed the acquisition of the Community Shop on 31st August, and immediately leased it to the Community Shop Company on a long lease. The Shop has been trading under a short term lease to date and the longer term arrangement will allow it to plan for the future and develop additional services.

Further information is available on


Community Shop (February 2018)

The Parish Council is progressing the acquisition of the Community Shop using a Public Works loan, and hopes to have completed the acquisition and lease the premises to the Community Shop Company by spring this year. This will provide a long-term future for the shop, and allow the reopening of the Post Office. The rent received by Parish Council will cover its costs.

A copy of the latest business plan is available here.

Information regarding the operational arrangements for the ownership and management of the shop are available here.


The White Horse (November 2017)

Following the designation of the White Horse as an "Asset of Community Value" the Parish Council have received notification from Selby DC that the owners intend to dispose of the building. Its Status as an "Asset of Community Value" gives the community up to 6 months to put together an alternative bid for the building, though the owner does not have to accept any alternative bid. Initially there is a 6 week deadline for a suitable group has to advise Selby DC that they intend to prepare a bid.

The Parish Council have received no information about the use proposed for the building following disposal, an have not been advised of any planning application for a change of use.


Consultations - Community Shop (November 2017)

The recent consultations regarding regarding the Community Shop and an all weather play facility at the Recreation Ground had a good response. There was strong support for both proposals. More information is available to download here


Land next to Parish Church (August 2017)

At the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting on 21st August 2017 it was agreed to prepare a summary of views raised regarding the planning application for the land next to the Parish Church (2017/0736/REMM). This summary can be viewed here. The Parish Council resolved to object to the application and will be submitting detailed comments to Selby DC shortly.


Community Shop (June 2017)

The team at Church Fenton's new Community Shop wish to extend a huge thank you to all the companies and individuals who have supported the creation and continued running of Church Fenton Community Shop. We have had a very busy few months, taking on the lease of the shop premises from Monday 5th June we have remodelled the shop area but lost the post office facility (and unfortunately but hopefully temporarily).

On Sunday 11th June we held our "Soft Opening" where we were delighted with the number of supporters who came along for this two hour event, many of whom enjoyed viewing the shop for the first time, checking out our Stakey's fridge as well as our Crusties Corner.

Church Fenton : Community Shop

During the opening we were able to sell products for the first time; and were delighted to serve tea & coffee as well as toast and teacakes, fun was had on the tombola, we held the monthly Church Fenton Lottery draw and had colouring activities for children.


Although currently we aren't serving tea & coffee we do have some lovely cakes, and the future looks bright - we are hoping we can reopen the post office, raise funds to purchase the building and then start Church Fenton Tea Rooms as well as make the building a Community Hub.

Church Fenton : Community Shop

There are lots of people working hard (but having fun along the way) making things happen - we are always happy for new people to become involved. If you have any time / skills you can share please do let us know at

You can keep in touch with what's going on at the shop via the Church Fenton Community Shop Facebook page


Strata Consultation (April 2017)

From Sarah Chester - Chair of the Parish Council...

Where a significant planning proposal has been submitted developers are being asked (by the council) to consult with local residents and consider the responses before submitting their application. Cllr Richard Musgrave (already responded in line with the document) has suggested we try to keep a log on the number of responses.

It would be useful for the villagers to respond to the recently received consultation, to help in responding I have created the attached document. Please could you forward this to as many interested villagers as possible - I am hoping to distribute a printed copy to all households however time is not on my side! please copy with your response, to allow us to collate this information.

If you require further information please don't hesitate to ask, our next PC meeting is Thursday 20th please come along to find out more.


Development Proposal (November 2016)

We have had confirmation from both Selby District Council and the LEP that the proposal has been withdrawn. Click to read a copy of the press release re the victory for Church Fenton, the district of Selby and democracy!


Fighting Church Fenton (August 2016)

Peter Mason has just produced a truely enthralling book about the RAF base at Church Fenton. Enitled: 'Fighting' Church Fenton - Tales of a Famous Fighter Station, it is an interesting an informative read. For more details and to buy a copy of the book visit


Church Fenton Airport (December 2015)

Read what's been happening at Church Fenton airport this year and what's comming up in 2016.


Sandwath Play Area (December 2015)

The village lengthsman has found full dog waste bags at the Sandwath Play area on a number of occasions. As well as being unhygienic it represents a health hazard to young children. If any resident sees someone doing this please advise the Parish Clerk or Selby DC dog warden as the person doing this can be prosecuted.


Filming in Church Fenton (October 2015)

On the 5th of October, Screen Yorkshire announced that ITV's Victoria, a major new drama series will be the first tenant to take up residency at The Yorkshire Studios, with filming for the seven month shoot set to commence at the recently launched Film and TV facility this month.

Screen Yorkshire announced the major new film and TV space in Church Fenton, back in August of this year, after securing an exclusive deal with the property's owner Makin Enterprises. Since then the content financier has been working behind the scenes to re-purpose the site for film and TV use. Comprising three aircraft hangars (each over 30,000 sq ft and 36 ft to beams, office space, garages, workshops, extensive parking, roadways and runways, the site is ideal for large scale productions such as Victoria.

Victoria, an ambitious 8-part drama starring Jenna Coleman, follows the early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of 18, through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.

For further details check out the Screen Yorkshire web site.


Film Studio in Church Fenton (August 2015)

Plans to transform a 100,000 sq ft air hangar at Church Fenton were unanimously approved by Selby District Council on Monday 10th of August.

Richard Knight, head of production at Screen Yorkshire, said it is hoped a big TV drama is attracted to the site. Screen Yorkshire invests in television, film, computer game and digital content projects across the region.

Chris Makin of Makin Enterprises which owns the base said: "The support is tremendous, it'll be great to see people back on the camp in large numbers; 50-100 people on daily productions, plus visitors to the studio."

Selby District Council said the studio would be "a real game changer" for the region's growing TV and film industry. "Existing studio supply in Yorkshire currently contains no spaces at all above 20,000 sq ft so production companies have to look elsewhere.

"If we can secure big, long running productions, it helps build Yorkshire's reputation as a serious base for production. "One vital piece of the jigsaw missing, which prevents Yorkshire from becoming a truly major film production hub, is a proper film studio."

Lisa Holdsworth, who has written for Emmerdale and Midsomer Murders, said the news was "a bit of a dream" and it could "only be a matter of months before a big production lands."


Village Lengthsman (July 2015)

The Parish Council is seeking a new village lengthsman to undertake litter picking, and general maintenance within Church Fenton Parish. This appointment will initially be on a fixed 12 month contract.

The post holder will be required to work for 4.5 hours per week at the "Living Wage", currently set at £7.85 per hour. There will be 4 weeks paid holiday.

The work will be wholly outside, and will involve an element of physical activity, so applicants will need to be physically suitable.

Applications can be made in writing to the Clerk (10 Old Farm Way, Brayton, Selby, YO8 9SZ - to include information on their suitability for the role.

Applications must be received by 7th August 2015


Church Fenton - Village or Town (July 2015)

Currently there is a planning application for over 100 houses to be built in the field behind the village hall.

This open countryside has footpaths regularly used by dog walkers, school and nursery children and our neighbours. We risk losing our open countryside and some of the magnificent views of our church, which have been enjoyed for centuries.


Airbase sold to new owner (January 2015)

Local businessman, Chris Makin, is to launch commercial flying from the former RAF base in Church Fenton after buying it from the Ministry of Defence. He says his plans for RAF Church Fenton, which also include opening a flying training school, should create 100 jobs within the next five years.

Church Fenton : Chris Makin

He revealed he was organising a 'fly-in' at the airfield near Tadcaster from 10am to 4pm on Sunday the 4th of January to celebrate its official handover to Makin Enterprises. He expected up to 100 light aircraft from across Britain to fly in to the airfield, where an air display was planned for 1pm by ex-European aerobatic champion Tom Cassell.


Mr Makin, who lives at Garforth and runs a soft fruit business, said he had bought the whole of the 450-acre site, with the exception of three acres occupied by former military quarters, which had been bought by someone else for development with 65 homes.

He said Church Fenton had two finely paved runways and was almost at sea level, which compared well to Leeds Bradford Airport, which was 650 feet above sea level and therefore subject to poorer weather.


School Catchment Area (August 2014)

The Parish Council have been in contact with North Yorkshire County Council with regard to current secondary school catchment area boundaries. Currently the RAF houses are within the Tadcaster Grammar catchment, with the rest of the village in the Sherburn High school catchment.

The County Council have advised that they do not intend to make changes at this point as "there is still a significant degree of uncertainty over the extent of new housing to come, particularly in the Tadcaster Grammar School area".

However they have also advised that "Should we consider that the interests of families across the area would be best served by a change to the current arrangements, or if we receive representations from parents indicating that the current arrangements, or if we receive representations from parents indicating that the current arrangements are problematic, then we will consider consulting on a proposal".

If any residents wish to make representations they can be sent to:


Dog Fouling (April 2014)

The Parish Council is becoming increasingly concerned about the levels of dog fouling within the Village. There are a number of dog waste bins within the Village which can be used and people can take waste home - so there is no excuse. As well as being unpleasant it is also a significant health hazard.

The Council initially took the view that residents of Church Fenton are responsible and would respond to the pavement "reminder" notices that have been appearing in the village recently. Sadly it would appear that a number of irresponsible dog owners who consider that despoiling the Village is acceptable. The Council will therefore take legal action against these owners once they are identified.

There is therefore a clear message - BAG IT, BIN IT or FACE THE CONSEQUENCES.


65 New Homes Bid at Airbase (August 2013)

Developers, Tej Properties Ltd, have unveiled plans to build 65 new homes on a derelict part of the former RAF Church Fenton airbase, which is due to close at the end of this year.

A report submitted to council planners said the scheme would "transform the disused former RAF Church Fenton Airbase into a sustainable, vibrant and distinctive residential community", and would use existing landscape and infrastructure, such as roads, to support the scheme.

It said: "Having assessed four options to develop the site, the preferred option is to utilise a similar grid structure, thereby providing the opportunity to retain the original site layout."

The report said the former airbase, which has largely been redundant since 1992, also offered the potential to re-use any of the existing buildings, and the development would protect the mature trees along the street.

If the outline planning application is successful, 65 two-storey homes would be built on the site, which would to some extent match neighbouring properties, and mean a more gradual move between residential properties and the retained buildings at the airbase. The development would also use the remains of the triangular village green, which dates back to the 1940s, as the point "about which village life would turn, just as it had during Church Fenton's heyday".

A decision on the plans is expected by Selby District Council's planning committee in November.


RAF Church Fenton to close (Mar 2013)

RAF Church Fenton will close by the end of the year amid cost-cutting measures by defence chiefs who say it is no longer needed.

Armed Forces Minister Andrew Robathan confirmed the fate of RAF Church Fenton in a written statement to Parliament today about the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

Units based at Church Fenton, including the Yorkshire University Air Squadron (YUAS), will relocate to other bases, with Mr Robathan saying work was "ongoing" to decide what will be the "optimum location" for the squadron. Five service personnel from the Busk Lane base will be redeployed to other duties elsewhere, and three Ministry of Defence civilians will also be affected by the closure.

RAF Church Fenton housed the first RAF Eagle Squadron of American volunteers in 1940 and provided protection for industrial heartlands in Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Humberside during the Second World War. It had opened three years previously and some of the squadrons based there flew the famed de Havilland Mosquito fighter.

It retained its status as a fighter base after the war, but by the 1960s it was primarily used for training purposes. Much of the base has become derelict and been fenced off over the last 20 years, although its operational airfield, runway, hangars and administrative and air traffic control buildings remain for training purposes.

Mr Robathan said the SDSR, launched in 2010, had "identified the need for rationalisation of the defence estate", including selling surplus land and buildings and reducing running costs, and Church Fenton was no longer required because of "reductions in the flying training pipeline".

He said service and civilian personnel at the bases, as well as others affected by the review, would be briefed and trade unions would be consulted before "detailed planning" took place.


Cricket Club Secures £50000 (Feb 2013)

Church Fenton Cricket Club has secured Olympic legacy funding from Sport England's Inspired Facilities fund.

Sport England revealed that more than 1,000 local sports projects across the country have now received National Lottery funding through Inspired Facilities, which is part of the £150 million Places People Play legacy programme. Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark - celebrating the link to the Games.

Church Fenton Cricket Club will receive £50,000 of National Lottery funding to upgrade their facilities. The upgrade will include a new social area and changing room facilities which will bring the building in line with both the ECB and FA regulations.

Sport England's Chair, Richard Lewis, said: "This National Lottery investment is helping us deliver a lasting sporting legacy in North Yorkshire from last year's successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"With so many clubs having benefitted from this fund already and building on the success of last summer, this is the legacy people want for their local community."

Club Vice Chair, Jill Wilkinson, said: "We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade the quality of our premises. It is the cornerstone of our strategy to have an outstanding club for the 2012 Olympics' legacy."

Church Fenton Cricket Club is one of 310 projects across England to receiving lottery investment from the third round of the Inspired Facilities fund and one of over 1,000 to benefit overall, with the milestone being achieved one year ahead of schedule.


Fighting Church Fenton (Feb 2013)

RAF Church Fenton - Peter Mason's book on RAF Church Fenton "Fighting Church Fenton" is being reformatted by his son David who would be grateful if anybody has any photographs from the late 30s to the late 80s. If these images can be supported by a description so much the better. All photographs can be scanned and returned intact for use on either the book or the up-and-coming website.

David can be contacted via e-mail at:

or via post at:

David Mason "Roseville", Ampleforth, York, YO62 4DZ


HS2 Plans for Church Fenton (Jan 2013)

The recent announcement of the second phase of the £32bn HS2 high speed rail network, which will cut journey times between York and London by about 30 minutes, has been greeted with dismay by residents of Church Fenton.

The preferred route will take high-speed trains to the Church Fenton area, where they can connect with existing lines and run into York.

Councillor James Alexander, leader of the Labour-run City of York Council, said the project was key to securing the city's economic future. He said: "This commitment to the next phase of the HS2 programme means that York is set to realise real economic benefits upon its completion".

However, Andrew Mason, from Church Fenton Parish Council, said he thought the project would "blight the village". He went on to say: "If you look at the route, where it's going, we're a lovely village at the moment, we have got a rural background and this will completely decimate it and create an urban island. I am sure when we have consulted with the village everybody will take the view that it's just not going to happen".

The drawings showing the favoured route have been released showing plans to build a huge 14m high viaduct on the edge of Church Fenton. The viaduct would be needed to elevate the track as it heads over local roads and the flood plain of Dort's Dyke.

Parish councillor Stephen Johnson said he believed the line would run through, or very close to four properties in the village, and a public meeting would be organised to enable residents to ask questions and have their say. This meeting will take place on the 4th of February at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.

As it stands, it would appear that a number of homes in the village would need to be demolished as part of the scheme. Properties on Common Lane and Sandwath Lane are shown to lie directly under the proposed route.

An official public consultation on the route of HS2 is expected to commence later this year leading to a final decision in 2014.

Make sure you visit the village web site regularly for further information on how this will affect Church Fenton.


Local Boy lands TV Roles (Jan 2013)

Daniel Pearson, 16, of Church Fenton is tipped for stardom after landing roles on CBBC and in TV soap Emmerdale.

Church Fenton : TV Star

He left Tadcaster Grammar School in the summer of 2012 to pursue his career in acting having previously worked on the CBBC drama Tracy Beaker Returns, and has gone from strength to strength.

Daniel landed a part in ITV's Emmerdale playing Luke Salter, a teenage boy who meets Belle Dingle, played by former Selby Abbey primary pupil, Eden Taylor-Draper, at a New Year's Eve party. He also is currently starring as Rick Barber in Dumping Ground, a follow-on to Tracy Beaker which is filmed in Newcastle and is being shown on CBBC on Fridays at 4.30pm for 12 weeks.


Daniel said: "I think I have done quite well so far and I am currently going through the auditioning process for several different things. My experiences have been absolutely amazing and it's matured me a lot. Since turning 16 I have become a lot more self-reliant and it means I can do more things on my own."

Daniel told how he was bitten by the acting bug at the age of 11, when he appeared as the singing Pharaoh in Church Fenton Primary School's production of Joseph And His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. At 13, he decided to look more seriously at acting and attended various acting classes.

He then went on to appear several times in TV school drama Waterloo Road before deciding to leave school after his GCSEs to make acting a full-time career. He said he is currently attending auditions all over the country and is enjoying every minute of it.


New Homes at Airbase (Jan 2013)

Almost 30 new homes could be created at Church Fenton airbase under new plans submitted to Selby District Council.

The application envisages creating 28 new homes on the former site of the Officers' Mess, which would include two affordable housing units.

The houses would be a mix of three, four and five-bedroom properties, mostly detached, with some semi-detached houses, and extra access roads would also be created at the site.

Most of the buildings on the base ceased to be used in 1992, and were officially deemed surplus to RAF requirements in 2000, although the operational airfield, runway and adjoining hangars, administration and air traffic control buildings continue to be used for training purposes.

A report submitted with the plans said 20 property developers had been approached to see whether they would be interested in taking on the scheme if planning permission was granted.

Of the 13 that responded, all declined to purchase the site, as they felt the units would be "very difficult to sell, particularly in what is a very challenging housing market at present".

The report said some developers had "expressed an interest in terms of the site and its location", but only if planning permission was granted to allow the construction of market housing. A decision on the planning application is due in March.


Local girl wins National Competition (Nov 2012)

Ella Butterworth, aged seven, who attends Kirk Fenton Primary School, designed the poster to encourage pupils to consider the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Church Fenton : Poster competition

It will now be printed and displayed at all British Gypsum sites across the country.

The competition was created as part of the company's environmental health and safety day.


Kirsty Greggs, environment manager, said: "There were so many fantastic entries. It was really tough to pick an overall winner.

"We loved Ella's colourful healthy living design and think it will really encourage employees at British Gypsum to keep up a fit and active lifestyle."

"We're always keen to be involved in community projects and work with local schools to promote health and safety."

"We hope the campaign was lots of fun to take part in, but also get everyone thinking about what it means to be healthy."

As well as having her poster printed and displayed around the country, Ella received high-street vouchers.

British Gypsum donated £100 to Kirk Fenton Primary School, Athelstan Community Primary School and Sherburn Hungate School whose pupils were runners-up.


Village Hall Redecorated (Sep 2012)

This summer the Village Hall has been recently decorated. The work was normally carried out by volunteers but due to timescales and personal commitments, the Committee agreed to employ a professional decorator.

Church Fenton : The village hall

New windows curtains were purchased from a Grant donated by Yorkshire Bank on their employee volunteer grant scheme, village hall committee member Deborah Haley is one of the Banks employees.


The Village Hall was donated to the Village in the 1950s and is maintained by volunteers. It is a registered charity, run by a management committee made up from representatives from various groups/clubs and members of the Parish Council.

Church Fenton : The village hall

The Hall is situated in the middle of the Village and is a focal point for the local groups who hire the hall to hold their various events, and our mission is to maintain it as an ongoing affordable facility to the community.


The Hall is currently used by Yoga, Over 60's club, fitness for the elderly, Parent and Toddler Group, Art Club, WI, Beekeepers and various other groups. It is also used to hold Parish Council meetings and acts as the Village Polling Station.

The hall is also a popular venue for members of the public to hold childrens parties, weddings and christening receptions (see hire charges and rules).