Putting names onto the new part of Marlborough's street map
As required by Wiltshire Council, Redrow Homes, the owner and developer of the Salisbury Road housing site, has asked Marlborough Town Councillors to suggest ten street names for the new development.
At the meeting of the Council's Planning Committee on Monday (November 20) councillors debated a number of themes for the street names.
Three themes were put to the vote: names associated with nature and the environment (it is after all a 'greenfield' site), old names from Savernake Forest (which is just next door to the site), and family names of Marlborough men who returned from the First World War (and whose part in history is not marked anywhere else in the town.)
Voting came down to a tie between the last two themes. Eventually the last of the three was chosen - on the casting vote of the committee's chairman, Councillor Kirk Wilson.
It now rests with the councillors who proposed the First World War theme to come up with the ten names by the next planning meeting (December 4). In fact only eight roads will need to be named - which gives two spare in case they do not fit with the rules for naming streets.
New street names cannot be open to confusion with similar street names elsewhere in the town - in case emergency services go initially to the wrong property - wasting crucial time. New names cannot be difficult to pronounce or spell. They cannot give offence or encourage signs being defaced. And permission needs to be obtained for some names of people - whether alive or dead.
The Mayor - who had backed names connected with Savernake Forest - warned that choosing the names of First World War military men risked raising controversy about which names were included: "You will open a can of worms if you go down that road."
It was pointed out that the First World War names - whether it was those who received medals and returned from the battlefields and from ships or those who came home safely having served - would include many family names with long-standing connections to Marlborough.
Why had Redrow asked for the names before the first turf of this green field site has been turned? It is simply because they need names to register for services - and they do not want any holdups or complications in getting electricity, telephones and so on connected once building has begun. Building is scheduled to start on the site by the end of this month.