Wiltshire Publications

Residents join together to fight new housing development planned for Storridge Road

OVER 70 residents from Storridge Road, The Ham and Hawkeridge Park gathered together on Friday 19th January to discuss concern about the new residential development proposed off Storridge Road.

Jim Marley, one of the organisers of the meeting said, “We had an overwhelming response from residents attending the meeting. Many residents have lots of varying concerns including over-development with under-resourcing of local amenities. In particular, concerns of the strain on health care services and schools, to safety issues of site access for domestic, commercial and emergency vehicles. Also, additional congestion at one of Westbury’s busiest junctions serving traffic to and from one of Wiltshire’s biggest trading estates.   

“The meeting was designed to equip the local community with the information they needed regarding the proposal, along with the planning process, so the residents could really get their voices heard.

“The campaign is not ignorant to the housing crisis that the country currently faces. However, it does identify that Westbury is currently delivering its requirement within the Wiltshire Core Strategy, and the very infrastructure that Westbury is built on, needs significant investment before any additional housing commitment is made above and beyond that of Wiltshire Council’s current policies.

“In addition to the development, there is a proposed upgrade to the existing roundabout at the Ham/Station Road/Storridge Road/Brook Lane, which adds additional lanes to the Station Road and the Ham legs of the junction. Not only does this create pedestrian hazards with the reduction of the pavement size, but there is no improvement to the flow of traffic approaching the roundabout that causes the bulk of the congestion. In fact, the transport analysis suggests the junction will be busier after the new proposal has been built, ultimately increasing commute times for those travelling to and from work, especially during peak hours.

“This will cause additional safety issues which need to be considered, on top of the dangerous access issues proposed by the developer on one of the main two roads into the West Wilts Trading Estate.

“The development proposal, along with the roundabout upgrade, was raised at the Westbury Town Council’s highways, planning and development meeting, and a unanimous vote to object to the development was passed. This was based on the following grounds; the development is outside the settlement boundary and is in breach of core policy 1 and 2; and also, the alterations to the pavements, highways and roundabouts will be unsafe for road and pavement users.

“So far, the campaign has gone from strength to strength, and we would like to thank everyone who has been so helpful and supportive, including that of the Westbury Town Council, and particularly Heywood Parish Council as the development proposal is located within the Heywood settlement boundary.

“The deadline to submit comments is Friday 9th February, and with only a matter of days from receiving the consultation leaflet to submission of the outline planning application, the campaign had to work hard and fast to the aggressive time-scales. This was the key to success of the meeting, that every single resident played a part.

“We have been inundated with comments of thanks and support, and we have provided information leaflets on how to submit your comments at the meeting. Further requests for these leaflets have been requested from an additional 23 residents that were unable to attend the meeting, which means that we have reached out to nearly 100 residents in the area.

“It’s always great to see a community come together like this, as there’s nothing stronger than the spirit of community.

“The campaign encourages anyone that has concerns over the availability of the local health care services and the schools, or those who use Storridge Road to access work on the trading estate, to write to the council with their comments. After all, a little voice really can make a big difference.

“If anyone wants any further information, or would like to get involved with the action group, please contact us at hpandham @outlook.com.”

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