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The Core Strategy - Wiltshire Council's plans for Westbury

August 13, 2011 8:44 AM
By Trevor Carbin

Protesters at WCThe number of new houses proposed for Westbury is the same as under the old Regional Spatial Strategy - 1,290 plus another 100 in the surrounding villages.

About 500 of these have already been built and sites for another 300 have been allocated. The council hasn't identified where the other 500 will go. WC does though want to change the designation of the Slag Lane site from industrial to residential. A new industrial estate would be developed in Heywood at Mill Lane, opposite the existing entrance to the West Wilts Trading Estate.

The area around the station would continue to be developed, with a new bridge over the railway helping to relieve traffic on Oldfield Road. WC is still miffed about not being allowed to build the eastern bypass, and refers to problems with traffic and education provision without suggesting any solutions.

Similarly it recognises the weakness of the town centre, and suggests re-building it with what's described as "a more organic street pattern," with a mix of retail and residential developments.

The theme for Westbury seems to be vagueness. More housing is assigned to the town but there's no clarity about where it would go. There may be a new secondary school or there may not. The town centre needs seeing to but there's little concept of what to do or how to achieve it. The planners say they want better public transport whilst the public transport part of the council is axing buses. The planners want to keep "key facilities" in the town whilst other bits of WC are closing swimming pools and cutting library hours. Reference is made to the need for the town to bring forward its own ideas as to how development should be managed.

The consultation on the Core Strategy has now closed but you can still see the documentaion at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/planninganddevelopment/planningpolicy/wiltshirecorestrategy/wcsconsult2011.htm

Picture - Protesters gather at County Hall to demonstrate against Wiltshire Council's Core Strategy proposals.