Wiltshire Publications

Air Ambulance gets go ahead for move to Semington

WILTSHIREAir Ambulance’s plans to move to Semington got off to a flying start last week as the charity secured planning permission for its new £4million base near the bypass.

The outline proposal was submitted in November last year, and will see a new headquarters built on land at Outmarsh Farm, near Melksham Police Station. The move will bring the charity’s offices and helicopter operations into one location, from which it will be able to reach any part of Wiltshire in just 11 minutes.

Head of operations at the charity, Kevin Reed said, “We are delighted to have received outline planning permission from Wiltshire Council. We searched for over a year to find the most suitable site to build our new home, and carried out extensive public consultation.

“The Outmarsh Farm site will enable us to have full control over the land and be future-proof. It is centrally located in Wiltshire, which would enable our helicopter to reach all parts of the county within 11 minutes.

“Now we will work on the detailed design of our new home and information on the public consultation we will undertake will be announced in due course.”

Currently the helicopter and aircrew are based at a hangar at Wiltshire Police Headquarters in Devizes, while the charity team is based at offices in Calne. The leases on both sites will run out within the next two years.

Wiltshire Council decided to grant outline planning permission last week, after a consultation saw the  proposals supported by a number of local councils.

The new base will cost up to £4million to build, of which Wiltshire Air Ambulance hopes to raise £1million through a capital appeal. The remainder will be funded by an anonymous private benefactor.

To see the plans so far, search for planning application 15/10766/OUT online at www.wiltshire.gov.uk  To find out more about the charity visit www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk