Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Planning update on Area 9a/9b and Local Centre

Two of Persimmon’s planning applications, one for shops with flats above (Local Centre), and one for 40 houses (Area 9a/9b), went before the Wiltshire Council planning board on 5th September. Both were recommended for approval. I attended the meeting, along with Residents' Association committee members Matt Pallas, Sally Pryke, John Bryant and Penny Joyce, as well as other residents, to make the voice of the community heard. 

For Area 9a/9b, I spoke against approval, as it would increase the number of homes in the new development above the agreed 630, stretching our resources. Though it would release additional funding for facilities, that money wouldn't increase the width of our existing roads, or the size of the school. The committee considered the arguments on both sides and made the decision to REJECT the application. Persimmon have the right to appeal.

As the most frequently asked question of the Residents’ Association is “when will we get a shop?” our formal position was to support the application for the Local Centre. It is true that the flats would increase housing numbers, and that three storey buildings in this location would overshadow the school. These aspects are not ideal for Old Sarum. However we have all been waiting for so long for shops that further delay would be painful for all of us. The committee’s decision was to APPROVE this planning application, with restrictions on the opening hours and delivery times of retail units. There is also the condition that building work must commence within one year of this approval. 

Latest update, see Ian McLennan's comment here.