Fury as 125-homes plan for Calne approved on appeal
Updated 7:04pm Wednesday 2nd April 2014 in By Anne Moore
A fight against plans for 125 houses and a care home at Marden Farm in Calne lasting more than a year has ended in frustration after the development was given the go-ahead on appeal.
The application by developer Gleeson was rejected by Wiltshire Council last August and was the subject of a two-day hearing in February.
People in south Calne were left to defend themselves at the appeal after Wiltshire planning officers received a letter criticising parts of the council’s core strategy and pulled out.
It said the council should allocate provision for 42,000 houses across the county within five years – 5,000 more than planned.
The plan includes a 75-bed dementia care home, a ten-bed palliative care unit with parking and 125 homes, associated parking, gardens, amenity space and public open space, community orchard and allotments.
Residents raised concerns about access to the site, saying it would create a dangerous point in the road, as well as air quality issues.
But planning inspector John Braithwaite said the requirement for homes in Wiltshire could not be ignored as the council could not demonstrate a five-year housing supply.
In his ruling issued today, he said: “All relevant matters mentioned by all parties have been taken into account but do not, either individually or collectively, alter a conclusion that the proposed development would not cause any significant harm.
“In particular the development would not adversely affect highway safety on Stockley Lane. The neighbourhood plan has not even reached draft stage.”
Calne Town Council clerk Linda Roberts said: “We did everything we could, but we’re vulnerable until we get the neighbourhood plan done and even then who knows? You would think the powers that be would take into account the fact that the town is working on one, at least give us a chance.”
Derek Warnett, Calne town councillor and vice chairman of the South Calne Residents’ Association, said the decision undermined localism.
He said: “The decision basically says it doesn’t affect anyone or anything. For people reading that whose houses will now be overlooked by a massive care home there is no consolation at all.
“This junction is an unsafe junction, we live here and we see it all the time. Highways officers who don’t live here don’t experience the screech of the brakes and the cars coming round the corner at 50 miles per hour.”
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