Rabley Wood View amenity land sell-off: Wiltshire Council publishes notice making way for cabinet decision
As marlborough.news has reported, the final round in the planning application to build 39 homes on amenity land off Rabley Wood View will come with a decision by Wiltshire Council's cabinet - not the full Council - as to whether they will sell the land.
However, today (November 30) Wiltshire Council published a notice announcing that it "...intends to dispose of land which forms open space and amenity areas at Rabley Wood, Marlborough Wiltshire." So, with the intention made clear, the cabinet's decision looks like little more than a rubber stamp.
The notice describes the land as being 'approximately 1.81 hectares (4.48 acres)'. The notice's headline refers to it as "open space". The notice is on page sixty-six of the local paper.
The notice says that there is a plan of the area to be sold available for inspection at County Hall in Trowbridge: "Objections to the intended disposals must be made in writing and addressed to the undersigned (using reference 20194) within two weeks of the date of this publication." The notice is signed: "Ian Richard Gibbons, Solicitor to the Council, Wiltshire Council, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN."
Objectors to this development on land which had been designated as amenity land "in perpetuity", were particularly appalled by the reference in a recent Council letter about the sale sent to local Wiltshire councillors which referred to the land being included by Wiltshire Council in its "...list of assets declared surplus and to be disposed of."
Residents in nearby houses know very well that the land is far from 'surplus' and is used daily by residents and their children.
Mrs Jayne Baker, who has led opposition to the plans says: "Wiltshire Council could be accused of dereliction in their duty of care towards safeguarding children if they allow this sale to proceed."
"A well used and safe amenity area for local children will be replaced with a totally unsuitable area close to open water hazards (the River Og an the planned pond) with no clear oversight from any nearby housing and no vehicular access for emergency vehicles if an accident occurred."
Members of the group were 'amazed and distraught' that the 'in perpetuity' condition placed on the land was so easily dismissed: "Wiltshire Council pays a lot of lip service to being interested in what their constituents need and want, how important localism is to ensure communities get what they need and how much Wiltshire Council want to hear the opinions of residents on all issues happening in the area.......hmmm."
"So our group of residents joined in with all the consultations and meetings available, the Town Council voted against this planning proposal, Wiltshire Council’s own Eastern Area Planning Committee refused the planning application twice ... and here we are - after all the “local people” have spoken - being totally ignored just because there is a good deal of money to be made by this proposition."