Wiltshire Publications

Concerns about housing estate plans

LOCALpeople and councils have written to Wiltshire Council’s planning officers to raise their concerns about plans to build up to 300 homes on land near Westbury Railway Station.

The planning application was submitted by  housing developer Square Bay in December and has since attracted objections from Westbury Town Council, Dilton Marsh Parish Council, and a number of letters from worried residents.

Westbury Town Council has objected to the plan on a number of issues surrounding the proposed roads, and because it thinks there are too many houses in the plan. Wiltshire Council approved the site to be used for housing in its core policy, but only accounted for 250 homes. The town council said the developer’s decision to add 50 extra dwellings was ‘over-development’.

Dilton Marsh Parish Council objected on the grounds that there was no proposed infrastructure such as schools or medical and leisure facilities, which were “essential” in such a large development.

The parish council was also concerned about an “unacceptable increase in traffic through the village” on Tower Hill Road and Clivey Road.

A public exhibition of the plans was attended by 80 people in September, and Square Bay said it received “overwhelming support” from visitors.

The majority of letters sent to Wiltshire Council have been opposed to the development. People have expressed concern about an increase in traffic, and the extra strain on Westbury’s health facilities and schools; a recurring issue surrounding housing applications in the town.

Penelope Birnstingl, writing to the council said, “Westbury needs more infrastructure on every level. All the new houses in the Station area of town (the Ham, Slag Lane etc) have absolutely no shops at all. The result is that everyone has to get into a car to get their shopping, probably going to the nearest town with a large supermarket, like Trowbridge. Traffic in Westbury is already at gridlock levels.

“This planning application is not wanted by the people of Westbury. It is ill thought out and […] Westbury Town Council should be listened to, as should the views of the people who live in Westbury.”

The application includes plans for a new clubhouse for the West Wilts Youth Sailing Association because its current base will be demolished in the development.

A club spokesperson has said they hope the current clubhouse will not be demolished until a new one is operational, and that the developer will provide a contribution to funding the new building.

Wiltshire Council is expected to decide whether to allow the plans to proceed on Tuesday 29th March.

Consultation is closed but to see the full plans enter reference  15/12551/OUT in the planning search at www.wilt shire.gov.uk.