Barton Park-College Fields: Decision nears on village green status for land likely to be used as access for controversial housing development

Written by Tony Millett on .

The open space in question The open space in question Marlborough Town Council's planning meeting on Monday (December 5) could not take place as several councillors had gone down with flu and the committee was inquorate.  But those members of the committee who could attend did hear a question from the public.

Ian Mellor asked whether the town council would support the application - made eighteen months ago - to Wiltshire Council to have amenity land between Barton Park and College Fields registered as a village green.

Mr Mellor stated that: "Access to green spaces in housing areas is not a luxury but it is essential to human well being. The land in question is the only sizeable area of green space serving 300 homes and 1,000 residents."

"Over 100 individual letters in support of the application were sent by residents to Wiltshire Council.  The Town Council were consulted as a statutory consultee and in August 2015 resolved 'not to object to registration of the land as a Village Green'."

The only objector was Marlborough College who presumably see this land as a way of making money out of it for a second time.

The land is owned by Wiltshire Council and Marlborough College have objected to the application.  It is expected that this land would be used as essential access if planning permission is given for a housing development on College owned land to the north of it.

The village green application will be decided by Wiltshire Council's Eastern Area Planning Committee at their evening meeting on January 5 in Devizes.

Mr Mellor ended his question: "Is Marlborough a town that works for everyone or just the privileged few, or in this case the privileged one?"

Planning Committee chairman Councillor Mervyn Hall explained that the council not write a letter of support as they had already put in their opinion as a consultee in Wiltshire Council's long consultation process.  

But councillors felt more than a little miffed that they had been kept in the dark about the application process.  Councillor Guy Loosmore: "We've been left in the dark and at the minute it comes up again."  

It is likely that the Town Mayor will put the application for village green registration onto the agenda for the next meeting of the full council - which is next Monday, December 12.