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Holt – development at Melksham Road emphatically refused

April 10, 2015 10:37 PM
Gladman site

The proposed Gladman Homes development site

A proposal from Gladman Developments Ltd to build 98 homes at the Melksham end of the village next to Great Parks has been refused by Wiltshire Council.

Wiltshire Council has now approved the 'Core Strategy' which sets out planning policy for the county, and means that speculative development outside village policy limits will not be allowed. Planners were hence able to give firm reasons for refusal. They've also told Gladman that if they have the effrontery to appeal the council will seek costs against them on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour on their part.

Here are the full reasons for refusal:


The site is located in open countryside outside the limits of development defined for Holt in the Wiltshire Core Strategy. The proposal would therefore conflict with Core Policies 1, 2, 7 and 48 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy (Adopted January 2015) which seeks to properly plan for sustainable development of housing sites in Wiltshire.

The proposal conflicts with the Council's plan-led approach to the delivery of new housing sites outside of the identified Limits of Development, as set out in Core Policy 2 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy which seeks to provide new housing sites to deliver the identified needs in a community area through a Site Allocation DPD and/or Neighbourhood plan. This strategy is supported by the Wiltshire Core Strategy Inspector and the Secretary of State in several appeal decisions and the site has not been brought forward through either of these processes.


The proposal would have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area by significantly expanding the built-up area of the settlement into the surrounding rural landscape. This would be highly visible, particularly from viewpoints to the north and south, and would conflict with a core principle of the NPPF to take account of the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and with policy CP51 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy.


There is not enough evidence to support the conclusions in the Desk-Based Assessment carried out at the site. Further evaluation is necessary which has not been supplied by the date of determination of this application. The Council is therefore unable to properly assess the impact on any potential archaeological remains on the site which would be contrary to paragraph 128 of the NPPF.


The proposal by reason of the inadequate conflicting information in regard to facilitating a robust assessment of surface water drainage and flood risk assessment are contrary to policies CP 3 and CP 67 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy (Adopted January 2015) and the National Planning Policy Framework 2012.


The proposal does not provide for the delivery of the necessary infrastructure (e.g. affordable housing, education provision, open space, recreation and cemetery provision) required to mitigate the direct impacts of the development and fails to comply with Core Policy 3 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy, the Wiltshire Core Strategy and Policy LP4 of the West Wiltshire Leisure and Recreation DPD (February 2009), Regulation 122 of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 and paragraph 204 of the National Planning Policy Framework.


Reason for refusal 6 relates to the failure of the applicant to secure affordable housing & financial contributions for the site. The Council acknowledges that draft heads of terms were submitted with the application. Had the application been approved the draft heads of terms are considered to be broadly in line with the Council's requirements. Should the applicant wish to appeal the Council's decision they are requested to contact the Council to agree heads of terms and resolve this reason for refusal prior to the submission of appeal statements.


As the proposal is in clear conflict with the policies of the up to date development plan, for the reasons set out above the applicant is advised that the Council believes that any appeal against this decision would have no reasonable prospect of succeeding.

Accordingly, the applicant is advised that if an appeal is submitted the Council will be making an application for a full award of its costs incurred in dealing with the appeal, based on substantive grounds. The applicant's attention is drawn to paragraph 053 Ref ID: 16-053-20140306 in Planning Practice Guidance which sets out government guidance on this matter.