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Controversial Damask 'on the Cusp' Plan Rejected Locally

(January 29, 2018)

Controversial plans to build 34 houses on a field on the 'cusp' of the Smallbrook Nature Reserve in Warminster have been unanimously opposed by the town.

The application provoked scores of residents to attend the meeting tonight at the Civic Centre including a year seven Kingdown student Toby Fryer who described 'being shouted at by motorists' for being on the narrow road.

During the public say part of the meeting resident after resident spoke about their concerns and behind the councillor photographs were projected onto a huge screen to illustrate their concerns and included dashcam footage.

A public right of way is under threat, trees have already been lost, the narrowness of the access point below the intended development site entrance and failures to meet previous planning conditions on landscaping  were aired by the public.

"I propose that Warminster Town Council objects on the three grounds that our working group have put forward and add a fourth reason," said Cllr. Paul Macdonald.

The three objections in the town council Planning Advisory Committee agenda were the land was outside housing site allocation policy, the access point would be 'disastrous', and impact on the local environment.

"I wish explain the need to add a fourth reason," said Cllr. Paul Macdonald.

"This is an important relatively safe route for cyclists like myself to travel from one side of the town to the other.

"It is not just locals that use it. It is used by visiting cyclists as a major part of the Wiltshire Cycleway who will not realise they could be in danger.

"It has always been popular with horse riders and pedestrians and there is an old people's home nearby.

"The addition of a wheelchair friendly path through the Smallbrook Nature Reserve means that it can be used by Henford House residents to visit the town and they have to use a long ection of this narrow road.

The objections were unanimously supported by councillors. County Councillor Tony Jackson has 'called the application in' so the decision will be taken by Wiltshire Council sitting in public.

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