Wiltshire Publications

Westbury residents say NO to new business park

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 at 5:01 pm.

RESIDENTS of Hawkeridge have formed an action group to fight a proposed 35-acre business park at Mill Lane, Hawkeridge.

Wiltshire Council, with the developers HPH of Bath, have proposed that a business park called ‘Hawke Ridge’ is built on a 35-acre green field site which surrounds Mill Lane in Hawkeridge. But campaigners say Mill Lane has eight residential homes and two small businesses and Hawkeridge is a quiet, small village of approximately 50 residents and not suitable for such a large scale development.

The residents of Mill Lane, together with representatives from Hawkeridge village, have formed an action group to fight this plan and preserve the landscape and environment in which they live.

Jonathan Le Galloudec, of Hawkeridge Barn says, “My wife and I chose our home due to the beautiful views, quiet and rural location, in addition to the fact that it suits my needs as a disabled person. The fact that the setting and value of our home is now under threat sickens me especially as I used my compensation money from being shot in the spine in Iraq, whilst on active duty, to buy it. Being part of this action group, in an effort to safeguard our lifestyle and investment, is a no brainer.”

The action group believe that Westbury needs to be a growing community with growing employment, however they object to this development and say their main objections are;

• “The development is in the wrong place – remote and inaccessible; Hawkeridge is a rural and agricultural community surrounded by agricultural fields;

• “There is more than enough land identified and available to build on within the current area;

• “The road infrastructure is at capacity and this development will create more congestion;

• “The council have not published scale,  time limit or plans for the site, they will only commit to a roundabout and access road;

• “The council have not considered that the development surrounds and overshadows many village and country homes including a listed farm;

• “The council have not planned Westbury’s growth strategy,  they solely adopt piecemeal proposals conceived by developers.”

In addition, the Hawkeridge Action Group say they believe that the council is not preserving the Listed Hawkeridge Farm, which is surrounded on three sides by the development.

William Wilson of Hawkeridge Farm says, “A building is listed because of its historical significance, so that the building and its setting are preserved for future generations.

“Wiltshire Council state they will protect the views to and from the farm, but we cannot understand how this can possibly happen when large buildings are built alongside. The council has said that the sacrifice of one listed building is acceptable for this development which is totally contrary to their policies on conservation and the law.

“The developers announced this proposal as if it is all signed off and to everyone’s agreement. The development will change everything, footpaths will be removed, wildlife will disappear and it will be noisy with street lighting and the view of an industrial estate.”

Hawkeridge Action Group  say they believe that the selection of the Mill Lane site is wrong and that Wiltshire Council need to find an alternative site that does not affect a rural community to this extent.  “We contest that the council is favouring the views and needs of the developer over local opinion and totally ignoring the rights and opinions of the existing residents,” the group says.