Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Saturday July 10, 2004 Southfields housing application update.

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Newland Homes stumble at the first hurdle.
I have received the following e-mail from the district council planning department.

"Just to let you know that Southfields has now had a delegated decision. It was refused on the following grounds:- Outside Policy Limits for Hilperton and Trowbridge. Harm to setting of Conservation Area. Harm to character of countryside. Lack of archaeological evaluation."

I would anticipate, however, that the developer will take this decision to appeal. If they do everybody that objected to the original application should be notified and will have the right to make further representations to the planning inspector.

For your information I repeat below the text of the objection document lodged with the district council by Hilperton Parish Council.

"This Council hereby objects to outline planning application 04/00887 (Southfields, Devizes Road, Hilperton) on the following grounds:-

a) The application site lies outside the Village Policy Limit of Hilperton as shown in the West Wiltshire District Plan 1st Alteration (adopted 04 June this year). Accordingly new dwellings should not be permitted unless justified in connection with the essential needs of agriculture or forestry. As the proposal obviously lacks this justification it is therefore contrary to adopted policy.

b) The diversion of "Paxcroft Lane" would cause inconvenience and nuisance for the residents of Southfields Lodge by causing them to have to effectively drive through an housing estate to access Devizes Road.

In support of our objection a) this council wishes to make the following observations :- 1) Your attention is drawn to the letter dated 17 November 2003 from your officer Mark Russell to Martin Lanfear Esq. 2) The 'supporting statement' from Pegasus Planning Group contains many mischievous statements which are either incorrect or pure supposition. A selection of these are :- a) 2.1 This quotes PPG3 relating to urban areas. As Hilperton is classed as 'rural' all references to this PPG are totally mis-leading. b) 2.7 The 1996 plan is no longer relevant as it has been superseded by the First Alteration. c) 2.9 "The application site falls outside the village and town limits defined on the Proposals Map". This statement from Pegasus is true and the remainder of the paragraph should be dis-regarded. d) 2.10 Quite how Pegasus thinks that the application site as "within the built up area of Trowbridge" is, frankly, amazing and shows the level to which they are having to stoop to try and justify this vacuous application. e) 2.16 Again, reference is made to H1 and proposals relating to the five towns. Why? f) 2.17 "The Hilperton and Trowbridge Town (sic) Policy Limits do not withstand close scrutiny as in combination they omit the application site". Hardly an un-biased view. On the contrary the limits do withstand close scrutiny as they were drawn with the intention of preventing 'development spread'. g) 2.20 Policy H17 is irrelevant as the application site is not within the Hilperton Village Policy Limit. h) 2.21 As this is a reserved application for 'means of access' only the final sentence should not even appear in this document. i) 4.1 "The assessment of the planning policy background for this application reveals that the exclusion of the site from either a village or town policy limit boundary is an anomaly". Total and utter rubbish. We would draw your attention to our comment under f) above together with the Inspector's Report on the District Plan 1st Alteration in which Mr. Mumford appreciates that Paxcroft Mead has been constructed such that it meets or virtually meets Hilperton in certain places but goes on to state that Hilperton should retain a separate identity. This application would 'infill' to Paxcroft Mead and so go against the Inspector's statement.

To close we would finally bring the following points to the attention of the local planning authority :- i) The application site has never been within Hilperton Village Policy Limit and no application was made to include it when the 1st Alteration went out for public consultation. ii) When the Urban Capacity Study was carried out a few years ago two sites were commented on within Hilperton. Although not sure why Hilperton was included in this study the fact is that Southfield was not one of those two sites. iii) In his report Mr. Mumford 'opened up' a couple of sites within Hilperton parish for residential development - Southfields was not one of them. iv) The County Structure Plan states that West Wiltshire has over-provided some 600 building plots. Accordingly no further allocation needs to be made. v) This council notes that the design and finish of the houses, internal road layout, general layout of the site, drainage, affordable housing, education provision, open space provision etc.etc. did not form part of this outline application and so no inference should be drawn that any matter other than 'access' will not meet with an objection at a later date. vi) This council is disturbed by the cutting down of an healthy tree just before this application was made, particularly as the district council had been asked to place a tree preservation order on it."

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