There is the outline planning application PL/2023/02331, which will add another 340 houses just off Abberd Lane, within the Calne WIthout Parish. Calne Town Council will be discussing this at the Planning, Licencing and Consultative Committee to be held on 19th April 2023, I would encourage all members of the public who have a view on this application to attend to make their feelings clear!

This morning I wrote to all the committee members of the Calne Town Councils Planning, Licencing and Highways Consultative Committee. I have stated that it is my belief that we should be objecting to this planning application in the strongest terms. I have highlighted a number of policies within Wiltshire Councils Core Planning Strategy, which this application clearly goes against.

Core Policy 1 – Settlement Strategy

Calne comes under the Market Town definition, which states “Having the ability to support sustainable patterns of living, through their current levels of facilities, services and employment opportunities“.

Facilities

  • Calne is seeing its town centre facilities being reduced, with the closure of a number of retail outlets, including two significant ones in recent years (CO OP and M&CO)

Services

  • The water and Sewage system is already overwhelmed and continues to be with a lack of investment by Wessex Water
  • GP Services and Dentists are already oversubscribed with no sight of any new facilities being commissioned.

Employment Opportunities

  • We have lost three major employers in recent years, COOP, M&CO and Fabrinet.  Loss of hundreds of jobs. There are significantly reduced employment opportunities within the town, and other than temporary employment whilst construction is in progress, there are no permanent employment opportunities offered by this proposal.

Core Policy 2 – Delivery Strategy

Core Policy 2, limits the need for development on green field sites and limits development outside the defined limits of development.

  • Calne has already seen development on significant areas of green field such as Regents Park, Spitfire Rd and Chilvester Hill, just to name a few.
  • This Site is a greenfield.
  • This site is outside of Calne Towns’ defined limits of development being in Calne Without, and there has already been significant development outside these defined limits of development in contradiction of core policy 2.

Core Policy 3 – Infrastructure Requirements

4.37 “The Timely delivery of new infrastructure to support the development proposals must be secured”.

  • There is no evidence within this proposal that indicates the timely delivery of needed new infrastructure including new GPs, Dentists & Schools.

4.38 “protect and enhance appropriate services and facilities including health facilities, flood protection measures, water treatment infrastructure, wastewater treatment works”

  • Recent and repeated flooding, including raw sewage on the Regents Park estate, has already shown that these facilities are not capable of supporting current development and are overwhelmed, let alone the ability to support any additional development without significant investment.

Core Policy 8 – Calne Area Strategy

5.28 – “Further opportunities for re-generation remain and further development in Calne should be focused on supporting investment in services”

  • I see nothing in this development that focuses on supporting investments in services, such as GPs, Dentists, Cemetery provision etc

5.39 – “The strategy for Calne is to ensure housing growth is carefully balanced with job creation and town centre improvement”

  • Calne is losing employment opportunities (see above) and whilst there will be some jobs, during construction this is limited and only temporary.

5.41 “Specific issues to be addressed in planning for the Calne Community Area include:

infrastructure requirements include the need to expand the existing GP surgeries and provide additional cemetery capacity”

  • I see nothing in the proposal that contributes to this.

“non-strategic growth should be brought forward in accordance with Core Policy 2 and phased throughout the plan period to deliver homes in a balanced manner”

  • The repeated granting of permissions for large developments such as this is neither phased or balanced.

With the AQMA having already been declared in the town and the mandatory limits set by European Directive 2008/50, already being exceeded. I see nothing in this proposal that includes measures to improve air quality in Calne (just a few more trees isn’t the answer).

Calne and Calne without is already well over 1605 (1440 + 165) houses it is required to supply in accordance with the Calne Area Strategy.

Core Policy 50 – Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Protection

“Development proposals must demonstrate how they protect features of nature conservation and geological value as part of the design rationale”.

  • I see nothing in the proposal demonstrating how this protection is achieved

Core Policy 55: Air quality

Air quality in Calne is very poor and already exceeds the mandatory limits set by the European Directive 2008/50.  The additional vehicle movements in and around the town, that this development would create, will only further exacerbate the air quality issue.

One thought on “No More Houses!”
  1. I agree with all the arguments not to build, but equally important the council should be making a green stand too.. There should be no additional planning permission granted for any new houses unless the developer agrees to build every single property with a full solar installation ( ie they become carbon neutral and sustainable housing)

    It’s about time the council made a stand to central government to sway what is arguably the most simple policy to instigate across the country. NO NEW HOUSES SHOULD BE BUILT IN UK UNLESS THEY ARE SUSTAINABLE AND BUILT WITH FULL SOLAR SYSTEMS AND HEAT PUMPS.

    It’s really that fundamental, but no one has the ball to implement such a policy at local level .

    Come on council make a stand for what is right and put the town on the map for the right reasons. The technology is there to do it at low cost, it’s just the developers and power companies have the politicians in their pockets.

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