Campaign against the College's downland housing development launches its website
The proposal by the College to build a hundred houses and new buildings for Preshute School on land it owns - a green-field site on the Marlborough Downs north of Barton Park - has produced stern opposition from local residents.
Their main complaint is that the only access to the site will be through an amenity area of grass and trees.
The campaigners have launched a website and over the next few days leaflets will be delivered to homes in College Fields, Barton Park and Manton outlining the case against the development and urging people to keep an eye on the website.
The group's aims are: "To protect the character, visual appearance and habitats of that part of the Marlborough Downs located behind Barton park, College Fields and to protect our open space from being taken away and used for an access road."
On Monday (May 18) the group applied to have this open space/amenity area registered as a village green.
The website says that information about the proposals is in the public domain but is not widely publicised: "We aim to bring these facts to public attention."
The group explains that it opposes the proposals in order to protect the landscape, environment and public open space.
They have recently had a Freedom of Information request turned down by Wiltshire Council on the grounds of commercial sensitivity concerning the College. They wanted to see documents relating to any discussions between the College, the Council and Preshute School.
One of the key issues is expected to be that the Council owns the open space that would be used to access the new housing and the school. And under planning rules, the owner of land used to access a new development is entitled to one third of the increase in value of the land being developed.
It very much looks as though, as with the 'Land off Rabley Wood View' planning application, Wiltshire Council will have an internal conflict of interest as both planning authority and recipient of a potentially seven figure sum for use of its land as access to the College's development.
While the College and the Council have now announced that consideration of this site is underway, no planning application has yet been lodged.