History of the Country park
Over 10 years ago Wainhomes agreed to build our town a country park on the green space near Brynards 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
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. Here's a really helpful Woodshaw Meadows blog about Wainhomes’ legal obligations to our town and a summary of the many objections to the development based on Wiltshire council's planning policies
You can read the objections from our town council, Thames Water and more as well as a petition with 200+ signatures and over 300 individual 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
What's happening now?
Residents were informed in July 2021 that Wainhomes have submitted revised plans. The application now includes ‘Hancock’s Water’ area, which is not even owned by Wainhomes plus a revised access road which is still not wide enough and now runs through children's play areas. You can read about the continuing problems with the revised plans and what objections to make on the updated 'Woodshaw Meadows' blog here https://woodshawmeadows.wordpress.com/blog/
Residents were given a target date of responding to the revised plans by 6th August. We’ve checked with the planning officer and he’s said it’s still possible for residents to respond as all consultation responses are taken into account. However, if there are multiple consultation periods and people have responded several times, the most recent comments are given the most weight. So if you’ve commented before it might be helpful to say that your original objections still stand and you’d like to make these additional comments to the revised plans. Here's the planning website where you can leave a comment https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/.../2011655ful...
Wainhomes continues to ignore their legal obligations
Wainhomes continues to ignore the legal agreements they made to our town about the country park. They haven’t addressed the many objections made by over 500 residents, our town council and numerous other organisations. Wainhomes have now shown their contempt for the planning system and Wiltshire council itself with their latest display. They are so certain that they will obtain planning permission they put up a display board of ‘Woodshaw Meadows Country park’ near the play park area. This map includes the housing estate that Wainhomes do not have permission to build.
The board is presumably meant to attract house buyers. It also promotes the site as a haven for animals - whilst Wainhomes disregards objections to the new development from residents, our town council and the Ecology officer because of the harm it will do to our local wildlife.
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 safe play 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 and 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. Based on Wainhomes’ previous tactics, they will probably try to appeal any judgement that goes against them. However, we also have support from our town council and our Wiltshire councillors 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.
If we want to protect our greenspace we may need to think of this as a marathon rather than a sprint. Whilst we wait for the next stage, this gives us time to share information about the proposal development throughout our town and build up support to save our country park.
We’ll update this page and our Facebook group when we hear any news about the proposal. Watch this space….
The proposed development is shown as already built on this Wainhomes map (area marked with a red arrow)