Plan for 350 Devizes homes gets kicked out
9:00am Friday 27th September 2013 in Latest News
The controversial planning application for 350 homes on the edge of Devizes has been thrown out.
Wiltshire Council’s Strategic Planning Committee yesterday told developers Mactaggart and Mickel that their planning application for the greenfield site next to Coate Bridge was inappropriate.
Mactaggart and Mickel identified the site, just under 49 acres next to Windsor Drive, as a potential housing site two years ago and had held consultation meetings but there was a storm of protest from the public with a rally held on The Green in Devizes last December attended by nearly 250 people.
Devizes town, Roundway and Bishops Cannings parish councils all objected to the planning application as did the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and 64 residents. More than 20 objectors from Devizes attended the meeting at Chippenham yesterday.
John Kirkman, chairman of the Kennet group of CPRE, said: “The CPRE isn’t against all new housing in Devizes. We are against the sprawling ‘urban extension’ proposed for the already heavily developed east of Devizes.”
Ted East, chairman of The Trust for Devizes, said: “Large new housing developments have been continually permitted on a piecemeal basis rather than as part of a longer term logical plan for a sustainable community.
“The green lungs of the town have been lost.”
Rick Rowland, vice-chairman of Roundway Parish Council, said the rapid rate of house building over the past seven years meant that only a further 185 houses needed to be built in Devizes in the next 12 years to meet Wiltshire Council’s target.
Wiltshire Council planning officers recommended refusal saying that the site was not in the development plan for Devizes, there is enough land available in Devizes to meet the Government’s requirement in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for a five-year supply and a Neighbourhood Plan is being prepared for Devizes.
Chris Simkins, planning consultant for Mactaggart and Mickel, said the Neighbourhood Plan for Devizes was not sufficiently advanced to give it weight and said the planning application was compliant with all policies and the NPPF.
But committee members voted unanimously against the application.
Coun Fred Westmoreland said: “We need to send a clear message to the applicant and other applicants that we have policies to adhere to.”