Wiltshire Publications

‘No’ to tweaked homes scheme

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A REVISED  bid to demolish and replace a former Jehovah’s Witness building in Westbury Leigh with new homes has failed to address concerns from town councillors about over development.

The new application for 66a – formerly Kingdom Hall which dates from 1976 and became redundant last year – proposes a new layout but there were questions over whether the number of properties had actually changed. 

Town councillors previously voted unanimously against the application for five homes, on grounds including that its size, mass and bulk was too large for the plot and would be damaging to the community’s unique and distinct character.

At a recent highways, planning and development meeting, chair cllr Ian Cunningham explained, “There’s a change to the buildings at the front – they’ve got more space in front of them – and the two buildings at the back have been changed to one building from what I can see.”

But cllr Brenda Pyne said, “We are told on the design and access statement this is demolition  of the  existing building and construction of 4, but the application form still says 5.

“If we debate this and agree does that mean they can still put 5 in there? It may be an administrative error or may not –  could it be a sneaky way of putting an extra house in there? 

“I still think the three terraces are too high for that site and will overshadow the neighbouring properties.

“Why can’t they just put two-storey homes there? It seems to me they are trying to maximise what that site will give by adding another level to be able to increase the sales price of the buildings.”

Cllr Gordon King said, “My objections remain as strong and fierce as they were previously and I move them once again. 

“For me the applicant has take more account of the highways objections. Westbury Leigh is an important centre and why it isn’t a conservation area of its own is staggering.”

Members voted to object to the revised plan, with one abstention. 

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