Save our 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 originally agreed.
New proposal to build on the Country park
The proposal (ref. 20/011655/FUL) was listed on Wiltshire council’s planning portal in spring 2021 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
How did Wainhomes respond?
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 too narrow and even more dangerous as it now runs through children's play areas. You can read about the continuing problems with the revised plans and the objections to them on the updated 'Woodshaw Meadows' blog https://woodshawmeadows.wordpress.com/
Wainhomes haven’t addressed the many objections made by over 600 residents, our town council and numerous other organisations. In fact 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 in 2021. 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.
In March 2022 Wainhomes submitted another set of revisions mainly concerned with the flood calculations.
You can read all the latest comments and submissions here https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000014exKa/2011655ful
We’re pleased to say that in June 2022, the Wainhomes planning application was refused by Wiltshire council.
What's happening now?
As expected, Wainhomes have refused to accept Wiltshire Council's decision and have made an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The appeal is to be decided on the basis of the Inquiry procedure. The Planning Inspectorate may require the appeal to be heard at an informal hearing or a formal inquiry as the case is so complex. No date, venue or time for the Inquiry has been established as yet,
The Planning Inspectorate have introduced an online appeals service which you can use to comment on this appeal. You can find the service through the Appeals area of the Planning Portal – see https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Planning Inspectorate, Room 3c, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN, quoting the Inspectorate reference 'APP/Y3940/W/22/3309354'. Comments should be received by 27 December 2022.
Any comments already made following the original application will also be forwarded to the Inspectorate (unless they are expressly confidential) but they may be withdrawn, modified or amplified by respondents at this point. All comments received will be copied to the appellant and will be taken into account by the Inspector in deciding the appeal.
Although Wiltshire Council will be the main party at the appeal, there can be submissions and representations by other interested parties such as neighbours, town councils and residents groups – as long as they have previously submitted their comments to the proposal. In similar cases, residents groups have raised funds to appoint a team and be heard at the inquiry. This could include a planning consultant or solicitor and perhaps a specialist such as a hydrological engineer to comment on the flooding risk. If the appeal is dealt with at a formal inquiry this could require a barrister.
If the Planning Inspector dismisses this appeal, Wainhomes could try to appeal the decision in court - but only if there were legal irregularities in the way the decision was made.
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. We want this land to protected against any future developments.
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)
Posters created by our members to raise awareness about the proposed development