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Melksham to pay the price of Tory planning blunders

October 28, 2020 1:35 PM

An application to tack another 240 houses on a greenfield site on the edge of Melksham has been submitted to Wiltshire Council. The area is outside that prevously allocated for housing, but the council's inability to provide a five year land supply for housing effectively gives developers the right to build on such sites.

The site is bounded by the A350 to the west, Western Way to the north, and Bowerhill Industrial Estate to the south. The applicants are Hallam Land Management Ltd.

Details on the WC website here

As well as the houses there would be a 70-bed care home.

Counting houses already built and those with planning consent, Melksham has met its requirement for new housing in the current plan period, though as the developers point out that doesn't prevent more being built.

The developers claim that if the latest government rules for calculating land supply are used, Wiltshire can only muster three and a quarter years - nowhere near the five year requirement.

The developers concede that: "The application site is outside of the defined settlement boundary for Melksham and is not allocated for development in the adopted Development Plan. Since the site is not covered by one of the 'exception policies' listed in Paragraph 4.25, the development proposals do not accord with Core Policy 2 of the adopted Wiltshire Core Strategy"

If Wiltshire Council had a competent administration then that would be the end of the matter and the site would remain green field. However given the current situation it's virtually certain that planning permission will be granted.

The person responsible for the planning fiasco is Cllr Toby Sturgis (Con, Brinkworth).