Wiltshire Council committee faces overwhelming recommendation in favour of Salisbury Road development
Wiltshire Council's planning officers are recommending that planning permission is granted for the Crown Estate development on the farm land they own west of Salisbury Road - opposite the Business Park.
The pressure on the Strategic Planning Committee to give outline consent will be overwhelming considering the number of homes the county's Core Strategy says must be built in Marlborough by 2026.
The Committee meets on Wednesday, February 10 at 10.30am at County Hall, Trowbridge.
The number of 'affordable homes' included in the development would be 70 - based on 40 per cent of the 175 homes.
All the Council departments concerned with the plans are now supporting it. The Council's World Heritage Site Coordination Unit had said that "...the evidence provided by the developer is inadequate to demonstrate that full account has been taken of the impact of the proposed development on the World Heritage Site and its setting." That was then.
The Planning Officers' report to the Strategic Planning Committee can now put this doubt to one side: "The World Heritage Site later indicated that 'despite the lack of completely comprehensive evidence...from a review of the data provided it seems unlikely that the proposed development would have a significant harmful impact on the WHS and its Outstanding Universal Value'."
Marlborough Town Council, Savernake Parish Council and several of the objectors have raised the problems that additional traffic from the estate would bring to the already congested Salisbury Road. The 'Transport Statement', of course, "...shows the need to maximise opportunities for walking, cycling and public transport to reduce reliance on the car."
However, the Planning Officers' report accepts with no further questions the Statement's view that "...the overall impact of the proposed development on the local network is considered negligible, with only minor increases in ratio of flow to capacity..."
There is, for instance, no consideration of the extra traffic from a drop-off point that will be included on the estate for parents bringing their children to St John's by car. Once again the building of a link road from the A346 to the A345 has been ruled out.
This report confirms the 106 payments required for various infrastructure impacts - including the maximum £739,398 payment towards providing the extra 34 secondary places the housing will bring to St John's. There is, of course, no guidance as to how these places can be provided at a school which already has more students than it was designed for and which has no space on which to build.
The new primary school will be able to accept the number of children expected to come from the new estate. But there is no money siganlled towards early years provision.
The one new element is the Planning Officers' recognition that the 175 homes will have an impact on Marlborough's NHS provision - Marlborough Medical Practice, the town's only doctors' surgery for the town and some of the surrounding villages. This had not previously been mentioned in the planning process - as Marlborough News Online has reported.
They now admit the Practice "...has no further building capacity to take on the number of people who would be accommodated within the new development.' The officers suggest a payment by the developer of £88,650 will help the Medical Practice cope. But again there is no guidance as to how this money could be used on the surgery's very restricted current site.
The suggestion that the developer would pay £64,500 for public art within the development has been dropped. This will now be provided, it is said, as part of the design requirements.
The protection of the water collection area and pumping station for Marlborough's drinking water is largely left to negotiations between the eventual developer and Thames water. Though the Council will ban the use by householders of certain pesticides on gardens in the area.
There are 29 conditions to be attached to planning approval - assuming the Committee grant it. One of these means that "...a programme of archaeological investigation...will be added to the planning permission to ensure the heritage asset is protected and/or recorded."
And there 14 cases of 'Information to Applicant' - these point out various organisations and issues with which the developer will have to deal.
The full report can be found here.