Town Councillors to debate sale of amenity land off Rabley Wood View for housingMarlborough Town Councillors will discuss Wiltshire Council's plan to sell off the amenity and playing field land off Rabley Wood View for a housing development , at their Full Council meeting on Monday (December 11).
The Town Clerk has prepared a background paper - as there are seven new councillors on the Council who may not have followed in detail the planning process for this development.
Objections to Wiltshire Council's proposed sale of the land can be sent ahead of the decision to be taken at a January meeting of the cabinet. (The address is given below.)
Local residents Mr and Mrs Baker, who have been leading the campaign against the plans, have written to all Marlborough Town Councillors. They remind Councillors that the Town Council has voted against the two planning applications - which were also rejected by Wiltshire Council's own Eastern Area Planning Committee.
Jayne and David Baker have sent Councillors a copy of their letter of objection to the sale of the land. They register their 'very strong objections' for two main reasons.
First, regarding safeguarding of children - one of the Council's prime responsibilities:
"Wiltshire Council could be accused of dereliction in their duty of care towards safeguarding children if they allow this sale to proceed."
"A very well used and safe amenity area for local children will be replaced with a totally unsuitable area which is liable to regular flooding and is close to open water hazards (the River Og and the planned SUDs Pond). The current open space/play area has excellent natural oversight from surrounding housing on three sides."
And secondly, Wiltshire Council's failure to adhere to previous planning conditions.
Kennet Council (now subsumed into Wiltshire Council) approved the building of houses in the Rabley Wood View area and placed a condition on development:
“Condition 4. The areas defined on the approved plans for public open space, amenity land, and play areas, shall be retained in perpetuity for those uses and not incorporated into private garden land or other uses.
Reason: To ensure that these areas are not fragmented and remain to fulfil their original functions.”
The Planning Officer's report brushed aside the 'in perpetuity' requirement. And the government planning inspector overturned Wiltshire Council's own decision to reject the development proposal without mentioning the 'in perpetuity' requirement at all.
Letters of objection should be sent to Ian Richard Gibbons, Solicitor to the Council, Wiltshire Council, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8JN. Letters should clearly include: REF: 20194.
NOTE: SUDS = Sustainable Drainage System - the SUDS pond will assist drainage of the water meadow that is planned to be part of the replacement of play areas for the open space land that is to be sold off and built over.