RESIDENTS in Warminster this week claimed Wiltshire Council is “riding roughshod” over more than 230 local objections to a proposed new housing development.

The council has given planning permission to Greatworth Developments Ltd for 28 new homes to be built on land off Damask Way and east of Upper Marsh Road and north of Smallbrook Lane in Warminster.

The company wants to enter the land from an access point for emergency service vehicles off Upper Marsh Road

More than 230 residents, Warminster Town Council, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have already objected strongly to the scheme.

But Wiltshire Council approved the plans with conditions in April and asked for Section 106 contributions totalling £156,287.

On Sunday June 16 more than 20 locals protested at the 5.5-acre site, calling for a risk assessment on the likelihood of more traffic using narrow country lanes. They say Smallbrook Road is already being used as a ‘rat run’ from the B3414 to Henfords Marsh and Upper and Lower Marsh roads.

Tim and Clare Hancock, of Willow Crescent, Warminster, who helped organise the protest, said: “Tragically, Wiltshire County Council rode roughshod against strong local opposition and our supportive Town Council to allow development of 28 new houses over the remaining hilltop by Damask Way.

“Smallbrook Road is a small country lane, very narrow and bendy in parts, running along the Nature Reserve.

“It is already used as a rat run. There will be many heavy HGVs and construction vehicles along Upper and Lower Marsh Roads during building of this controversial site.

“Imagine 28 more houses there, with an average of two cars per household, doing say, four journeys a day. That’s 224 extra car runs, plus postmen, delivery vehicles and visitors, that’s every day.

“Surely an A class road with pavements would be needed for this amount of traffic. It is already dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists with the amount of current traffic, especially at school run times.

“A full proper risk assessment is essential to take into account the vastly increased risks to the general public.”

They also say it could lead to the destruction of wildlife habitats for badgers, bats, birds, insects and flora.

They added: “The only green Wiltshire Council sees is pound signs, and not the green of conservation and the environment.”