Housing proposal for Church Lane

RPS is preparing a planning application for a residential development in the field between the park and Church Lane; the field is shaded yellow in the map above.

RPS, originally Rural Planning Services, appears to be a multinational planning and development consultancy; it is not the building firm proposing to develop the site. They have invited local people to drop in on an exhibition in St John’s Hall in Church Lane on Thursday, July 5th between 3.00pm and 6.30pm, “to view and provide feedback on the emerging proposals.”

Wiltshire Council, despite many objections, approved this site for development of up to 45 houses in Wiltshire’s Housing Site Allocations Plan, saying this:

… introduction of housing on the land would extend the built form of Upper Studley into a landscape dominated by the Lambrok Stream and Country Park beyond.  As such, the site would need to respect the flood plain of the Lambrok Stream and provide appropriate screening to limit the impact of housing on the surrounding area.  This could potentially be achieved through tree/hedgerow planting which, in turn, would potentially augment existing habitat features…

which does not even mention the importance of Lambrok Stream to the park’s developing ecosystem.

The stream is the breeding site of half a dozen species of damselfly, countless ephemera, and at least three species of dragonfly, one of them (the scarce chaser) listed in Category 3 of the British Red Data Book. We are still surveying the number of species in the park that depend on the quality of the water in the stream.

The site slopes steeply and it is difficult to imagine how the stream can be protected from the runoff from either building or a residential development; the suggested tree/hedgerow planting will achieve nothing for the stream’s protection. If the quality of the water or the stream bed is changed, species will be lost.

We will attend the exhibition on Thursday to speak up for Lambrok Stream and the park,  and would encourage as many people as possible to do the same.


More about the Lambrok:

Damselflies and dragonflies:

8 thoughts on “Housing proposal for Church Lane

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  1. Was the Lambrok assessed when there was that huge building development proposed for Southwick Court? I know Church Lane is in Trowbridge but Southwick should join forces with them to protect the park.

  2. Any developer would have to provide a comprehensive ecological report on what is there and how any at risk plant or animal should be protected. This would be the opportunity of ensuring that the importance of the Lambrok is recognised.

    A further aspect that we need to consider is the view from the park. I think most of us FosCopers would wish to see appropriate screening by native trees so that we “borrow” the landscape as a part of the park experience.

    1. You are right David; the Lambrok is such a little waterway people don’t realise its importance. This summer, in particular, some excellent work has been done by various Friends identifying damselflies and dragonflies which breed in the stream. There is even a suggestion that we may be harbouring southern damselflies: an endangered species.

  3. I have been walking in the proposed building area for the last 24years. It’s been a field all that time. I’ve seen the animals and insects that flock there, deer, foxes, butterflies, bats etc. This field back directly onto southwick country park. The houses will instantly ruin the park. Not to mention the stream! In fact, where they propose to build these houses, well the bottom part of the field in under water through the winter months, could even be at or below the water level!!!
    Will they listen to reason?? Doesn’t sound like it.

    1. Thank you Louise; I’ve put you on my list. It’s difficult to plan until we have seen what their proposal is; just let as many people know as possible and be sure they understand how much of a threat this will be to the stream.

  4. I think this is outrageous and should NOT be allowed to build on this land I have watched many birds of prey foxes there let alone the amount of wildlife insects ETC in the stream. I will help anyway I can to help protect this piece of land from development

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