Planning Applications Results

Planning applications 18/10035/OUT for site H2.4, and 20/09659/FUL for site H2.5 have been accepted, while application 20/00379/OUT for site H2.6 has been rejected. The livestream is still available on Wiltshire Council’s website.

The meeting yielded several interesting points, the first being that the site at H2.6 in the fields north of Southwick Court is a site identified in the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan and will remain as such despite the rejection of application 20/00379/OUT. In the words of Chairman Howard Greenman: once allocated, a site cannot be un-allocated. So, even if Waddeton Park Ltd does not appeal this decision, there will be further applications from other developers.

The second point of interest, mentioned only in passing by Lance Allan from Trowbridge Town Council, is that Trowbridge intends to adopt and maintain the public open spaces between Lambrok Stream and the residential development at sites H2.4 and H2.5. This gives us hope: Trowbridge’s Town Council is supportive of Southwick’s nature reserve, it understands our many concerns, and its Area Board grants are the sound basis of the Friends’ slender budget.

The third point, probably un-noticed by most but very significant in our eyes, is how little biodiversity seemed to figure on anybody’s agenda. Planning Officer Ruaridh O’Donoghue outlined the cumulative assessments for the three sites, as required by the WHSAP report (pp 42-48), in matters traffic, heritage, drainage and the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy, but not for the wider biodiversity of the Lambrok corridor as it runs alongside or through these sites. Nobody seemed aware of the omission.

In fact nobody but Councillor David Vigar spoke of Southwick Country Park as a nature reserve. Speaker after speaker referred to it as an amenity, as they might refer to a skate park or a cricket pitch, with no apparent recognition of the reserve’s role as the habitat of protected species. Nobody mentioned water voles or great crested newts or rare species of Odonata but everybody had something to say about ensuring a safe crossing on Firs Hill so that what they insisted on calling the amenities of the park would be accessible to the residents of the new houses at H2.5.

Meis culpis: it’s our fault. We need to make sure, before the developments at H2.4 and H2.5 go ahead, and before the next planning application for H2.6 arrives, that everybody who has anything to do with development on the southern boundary of Trowbridge knows that Southwick Country Park is a nature reserve, home to an increasingly important biodiversity that includes priority and protected species.

5 thoughts on “Planning Applications Results

  1. So it seems the H2.4 development will come with another point of entry to the reserve, which is the last thing the reserve needs. Can this be stopped? It will almost certainly mean more rubbish will end up in the stream and probably kids from H2.4 playing in it. Can this entrance/access point be stopped?
    The last thing the reserve needs is another point of entry. It only needs one, and that’s the car park. The reserve is literally being destroyed because of its numerous points of entry.

    1. I remember the latest manifestation of this application as not having a bridge into the reserve because we raised the issue as problematic. All of the plan for H2.4, bar the entrance onto Firs Hill, is reserved. This means that they have submitted an outline plan, a best guess; they don’t have to build what they drew on that plan. Now that she has planning permission, the owner will employ somebody to actually draw up another plan, which will have to meet the many provisos laid out in the thousands of documents that have attached themselves to this application. We need to make sure that Strategic Planning understand our objections to a bridge and get them to agree in writing.

      The H2.5 plan is the real thing, not an outline.

  2. I agree the site needs and should have, only one entrance. Will there be some sort of boundary or barrier to prevent these new residents from directly accessing the Lambrok and the Nature Reserve?

    1. We hope so, Barbara. I agree that there shouldn’t be direct access. One of the iterations of these plans proposed a pretty footbridge but we suggested a reed bed or a strip of wetland habitat instead.

  3. If the county planners don’t know its a Nature Reserve it’s only because they didnt read your website. Plenty of posts about it.

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