Environment Agency voices concerns over Rabley Wood bid
12:16pm Saturday 26th April 2014 in By Anna Mauremootoo, Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey
Concerns over flooding raised by the Environment Agency over plans for 46 houses next to Rabley Wood View in Marlborough have been welcomed by campaigners fighting the scheme.
Ben and Guy Sangster, sons of the late Robert Sangster, want to build the homes on recreation ground owned by Wiltshire Council.
Neighbours and Marlborough Town Council have already voiced fears and now the Environment Agency has objected because of flooding risks. It is also questioning drainage figures from Manton Estate experts, Cole Easdon Consultants.
The estate must show that all surface water can be got rid of safely.
Thames Water has also said the existing water infrastructure could not support the needs of the new houses and, if planning permission was granted, building should not start until major works are undertaken to improve the sewage system.
Jayne Barker, who represented objectors at a town council planning meeting, said: “We are very pleased major bodies have expressed the same concerns that we have had all along.
“We can just hope Wiltshire Council will listen to these objections. We understand there is a need for housing but an appropriate place has to be found.”
The county’s Education Department said the development will need 13 extra primary school places and nine places at St John’s.
Although there are school places at St Peter’s School, St Mary’s and St John’s are both oversubscribed and so the Manton Estate would have to contribute to the cost of the schools’ expansion.
The plan has already been called in by Coun Stewart Dobson and will be discussed by the Eastern Area planning committee, at a date yet to be set.
Richard Cosker, of RCC Town Planning, the agent for the estate, said: “As with all housing applications, the Education Department has the opportunity to make a comment but I don’t foresee the developers will have any problems with the requirements put forward.
“The Environment Agency has submitted a holding objection, as is often the case, and there are some issues with figures provided by the developers’ drainage experts who will be in consultation with the agency and will update them accordingly.
“All concerns will be considered and the developers will continue to consult on the application and all amended drawings will be put online.”