The Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan Examination is entering the second week of hearings. The Friends of Southwick Country Park spoke on Thursday (04/03/2019) of last week about the importance of the Church Lane site to the ecology of the Lambrok and the park. We tried to point out Wiltshire’s obligation under SEA Directive 2001/42/EC and the National Planning Policy Framework (2019) to properly assess the ecology of the Lambrok as it runs through the sites at Church Lane, Upper Studley and Southwick Court.
We also had the opportunity to restate our objections to Section 9 of the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy, which makes plans for Southwick Country Park to be a suitable destination for recreational footfall diverted from the bat habitats at Green Lane, Biss, Picket and Clanger Woods. We tried to explain the legal tangle which has absorbed our 2014 application for Local Nature Reserve status and left the park without the statutory protection that we believe it was intended to have. We received public assurance from county representatives that their expectation is that Southwick Country Park will be declared a Local Nature Reserve, and a more private invitation to join the TBMS steering group.
We were startled to find that Newland Homes and Waddeton Park Ltd were able to present almost complete outline plans for the sites at Upper Studley and Southwick Court, based on agreements with the county, that had not been made public until 30/03/2019, and then only in a redacted form. Being new to this planning business, we missed these outline plans and Statements of Common Ground when they were published, and were caught flat-footed at the hearing. We apologise and will try to make sure our objections in both cases are heard.
All our posts on the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan are tagged WHSAP and can be found using the search box above the main menu
Our posts on the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy are tagged TBMS.