United they stand against Devizes Coate Bridge development
ROUNDWAY parish, Bishops Cannings parish and Devizes town councils say they are united in their efforts to stop developers Mactaggart and Mickel building 350 homes by Coate Bridge on the edge of Devizes.
Wiltshire Council’s strategic planning com- mittee unanimously agreed earlier this month to continue opposing the planning application by the developers, which it refused last September.
Planning officers had recommended that the committee drop its objections after concerns raised by the planning inspector overseeing Wiltshire’s Core Strategy, but councillors refused, despite granting planning permission for 230 homes next to Lay Wood in Bishops Cannings. One of the concerns raised by the Core Strategy planning inspector was that the Devizes Neighbourhood Plan was not sufficiently advanced for it to be given significant weight. The plan identifies small-scale sites for housing in and around the town.
Mactaggart and Mickel said it was surprised at the decision by the strategic planning committee to grant permission for the Lay Wood development, but not its scheme.
Ken Hopkins, the firm’s strategic land manager said: “Mactaggart and Mickel is currently considering the logic of the decisions taken by Wiltshire Council at the strategic planning com- mittee on February 12 when councillors approved the Lay Wood application for exactly the same reasons as they decided to defend the Coate Road appeal.”
The company’s appeal against refusal will be heard on April 8, having resubmitted its application a few weeks ago.
Chris Callow, chairman of Roundway Parish Council, said the three parishes were planning their strategy for the forthcoming appeal. The three councils all spoke against the Mactaggart and Mickel and the Lay Wood applications at the strategic planning committee.
He said: “It was very good to see the parishes of Roundway, Bishops Cannings and Devizes all act as one in fighting their corner. It was a message to Wiltshire Council that we are united on this. On Coate Road, we are aware the battle is not won yet. It’s the wrong development in the wrong place.
“It would add too much traffic to London Road and it doesn’t fit in with what we are trying to achieve with the Neighbourhood Plan looking at sustainable sites.”
Meanwhile, The Crown Estate, which owns the land at Lay Wood, said the scheme would benefit the community by creating 100 new jobs and generating £2 million for Wiltshire Council through the new homes bonus.
Planning approval is subject to a Section 106 agreement between The Crown Estate and Wiltshire Council.