Wiltshire Publications

Planning appeal being held over Sandhole homes application

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AN appeal is being held over the proposed application by Gleeson Strategic Land to build 67 homes on land south of Sandhole Lane, Westbury Leigh. Both Westbury Town Council and Wiltshire Council objected to the plans and the appeal is being heard at the Laverton in Westbury. 

An artistic representation of what the new development could look like.

Wiltshire Council rejected the application on grounds that the development was unsustainable, pointing to its location in open countryside and to a lack of infrastructure.  

Cllr Jane Russ from Westbury Town Council said, “This proposed development fails in my mind on two simple points; with a climate emergency happening right now we should not be building on greenfield sites of this type; and there is no proper vehicle access  – there are already traffic issues from the houses on the estate that vehicles would have to pass through.”  

The first round of the inquiry was well attended by local residents, who had the opportunity to have their thoughts on the development heard. 

Cllr Gordon King attended the appeal and spoke about the points which were raised by residents. He said, “Following the opening statements by legal representatives, which concentrated mainly on land supply issues, the day was given over to the evidence provided by the third parties (residents) who did magnificently, directly challenging the substance of the pre-inquiry agreement. 

“They eloquently pointed out the narrowness of the roads, the unsafe junctions with Laverton Road, the tight bends and steepness of the inclines. Also, the effectiveness of the drainage pan (the site lies on the elevated greensand terrace and consists of heavy brown loamy soil which provides uncontrollable run off) and the importance of protecting and preserving a unique and beautiful landscape.  

“Every point was very well made, and I stand in awe of their contributions. All in all, I think we had a great day.” 

There is no decision date yet for the appeal decision, but Wiltshire Council says it could take a considerable time to make a decision.