Some good, some bad: Town councillors praise Redrow for providing more affordable housing units in the Salisbury Road development, but express dismay at a ‘closed’ meadow
Redrow earned praise at last night’s (29 August) Planning Committee meeting of the Marlborough Town Council for amending the plans to increase the proportion of more affordable and necessary 2-3 bed houses across the development whilst Wiltshire Council were castigated for decreeing that the meadow immediately behind the new development would be closed to the public for ‘Ecological reasons’.
The Planning Committee agreed the following resolution in response to the latest Redrow application:
“No objection. Councillors welcome the move to include a revised housing mix based on evidence from the Housing Needs Analysis for Marlborough and also welcome the progress towards the building of a hotel, but express their dismay at the lack of public access to the meadow.”
The Good: Whilst the previous plan delivered seventy six larger 4-5 bed houses and the same number of smaller 2-3 bed units, after pressure from the Town Council and Marlborough’s Unitary Councillors the developers, Redrow, amended the mix so that there will now be sixty three larger houses but ninety smaller and more affordable 2-3 bed units. “An excellent move” stated Stewart Dobson, Marlborough’s County Council representative for the development area. “This will go someway towards helping the housing needs of Marlborough” he added.
The Bad (or not so good): The expression of ‘dismay’ related to the decision by the acceptance by Wiltshire Council planners of the County Ecologist’s recommendation that the bordering meadow area (on the hill to the south of the development) should be closed to the public, to be set aside for wildlife dispersed from the development such as dormice, adders, bats and numerous other species.
Whilst Councillor Fogg expressed a view that the County Ecologist’s view should be respected and that there may be a sound reason as to why this area should be closed, other Councillors felt that the restriction was unnecessary, especially so as the residents would be paying for the upkeep of this area whilst being denied access. Hence the vote to express ‘dismay’ at the Council’s decision.
The final decision regarding access to this area will be taken by the Strategic Planning Committee of Wiltshire Council, the next meeting being on 13 September in County Hall, Trowbridge, where the Town Council’s views will be represented by Councillor Cairns.