History of the Country park
Over 10 years ago Wainhomes agreed to build our town a country park on the green space near Brynard’s Hill in return for planning permission. You can read more about the 2010 proposals and the campaign to protect the land here https://sites.google.com/site/wb4bhorg/home
Wainhomes have had more than a decade to keep their promises but failed to create the park as agreed.
New proposal to build on the Country park
In December 2020 Wainhomes put forward a proposal to build 61 new homes on the land designated for our country park.
The proposal (ref. 20/011655/FUL) was listed on Wiltshire council’s planning portal for comments from the public before being assessed by the Planning officer. The deadline for responses was Monday 15th February 2021. Here's a really useful blog about Wainhomes’ legal obligations to our town and a summary of objections to the development based on Wiltshire council's planning policies
You can still register your objections directly with Wainhomes’ own planning consultants, Emery Planning of Macclesfield. It’s worth doing to show Wainhomes the strength of our objections to their proposal but they will control how they use our comments in their ‘Statement of Community Involvement’. https://www.emeryplanning.com/public-consultation/brynardshill/
What's happening now?
You can read responses from our town council, Thames Water and more as well as residents’ comments on the proposed development on the planning website here (scroll down to the bottom to see the comments from individuals under ‘Representations Letters’) https://unidoc.wiltshire.gov.uk/UniDoc/Document/Search/DSA,918372
The planning department are currently reviewing, uploading and publishing all the results. So not all of the responses are on the website yet.
However, we've been told that there are about 300 responses plus over 200 signatures on a petition which will be included. This is great news and well done to everyone to who responded to the proposal and shared posts, emails and posters to help share the news about the threat to our Country park!
What we want Wainhomes to do
We want Wainhomes to meet its legal obligations to our community and deliver the country park it has repeatedly promised to do over the last 10 years.
We want Wainhomes to consult properly with residents to determine what we want for our country park. For example, we would like it to include areas for children, walking paths and a key cycle route linking the old dairy estate to Interface that will allow cyclists to avoid the busy main roads. We want to see the area managed for the benefit of our local wildlife by preserving some of the original wildflower meadows and creating other mini habitats such as a pond and tree planting sites to increase biodiversity.
We want a commitment from Wainhomes that they will stop trying to encroach any further on the designated area and will not put in any more planning applications to build more homes on this land.
What happens next?
The planning officer will make a recommendation on whether or not to approve the proposal. The target date for the decision is Wednesday 31st March 2021. Based on Wainhomes’ previous tactics, they will probably try to appeal any judgement that goes against them. If we want to succeed, we may need to think of this as a marathon rather than a sprint. However, this gives us time to share information about the proposal development throughout our town and build up support to save the country park.
We also have support from members from our town council and our Wiltshire councillor to call the application to Wiltshire Council's Northern Area Planning Committee. This means the proposal will be debated by councillors rather than just the planning office. However, the Committee will use the planning officer’s report in their debate so it’s important to make sure that our objections are based on relevant planning issues.
We’ll update this page and our Facebook group when we hear any news about the proposal. Watch this space….