Workshop for disputed Warminster plans

This Is Wiltshire: George Jolley with Christine and David Sheppard from Westbury at the workshop George Jolley with Christine and David Sheppard from Westbury at the workshop

Developers of a controversial planning application for 35 homes on land off Boreham Road, Warminster, held a custom build housing workshop on Tuesday for those interested in being involved in the scheme.

The planning application, put forward by HPH Commercial Property and Hab Housing, has been contentious with residents in Bishopstrow, after Warminster Town Council voted in favour of it last month.

However, according to Hab Housing, there are more than 1,450 people registered within a 20-mile radius of the land who are searching for a self or custom build opportunity.

The developer, which was established by broadcaster Kevin McCloud, said that 39 people attended the workshop, while a further 51 residents were in contact to say they could not make it, but were interested.

Simon McWhirter, sales and marketing director for Hab Housing, said: “The demand is massive. It is a completely different way of purchasing a new home, as rather than a volume developer offering the homes they have designed, people can design their dream home.

“I think the people against the plans are those who have not had an opportunity to look at all of the information and see what we do. Most of the primary concerns have been addressed and approved by statutory bodies.”

The land, known locally as Spurt Mead, was considered for a government-backed Neighbourhood Development Order self-build scheme last year, until the council withdrew its involvement.

HPH Commercial then submitted an application for 35 homes, which was originally opposed by the town council, before the U-turn, with four councillors voting in favour and three against.

Mike Perry, chairman of Bishopstrow Village Meeting, who attended the workshop said: “We find this workshop offensive. Our main objection is that this development will close the gap between us and Warminster. It’s also outside the core strategy and outside the settlement area.”

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