Damaging planning application threatens nature reserve and river system (May 20, 2012)
A MAJOR planning application in Warminster threatens to damage a river system of acknowledged importance and overshadow an important nature reserve, says an experienced former councillor.
Paul Macdonald has joined residents in condemning the application in Damask Way which
not only flattens a perfectly good home but bulldozes its way
through planning rules.
"I am pleased that the current local
member Andrew Davis has called this one in," said Paul Macdonald. "If he
has called it in to oppose then great. If not then I think he should."
A quiet cul-de-sac surrounded
by quiet fields where horses graze, foxes and rabbits are amongst the
natural inhabitants, and a long established nature reserve as a
neighbour is now under threat.
"Enough is enough," claims former
planning committee member Paul Macdonald. "This is a fishing expedition
that could open the floodgates.
"Currently district planning demands a sustainable balance between the demands of speculators and environmental protection."
Paul is a respected former councillor
for the work that he put in to planning that is now the bible when
deciding planning applications in Warminster. Land off Damask Way is the
"John Syme and I recognised that we
needed a rural buffer zone to protect the town and the Smallbrook Nature
Reserve and the River Wylye were important factors.
"I cannot attend the town council
meeting night when they discuss this housing application which
as it is 'outline' could open up a can of worms that others can then use
to use for other fishing expeditions.
"The district plan has plenty of ammunition with phrases like 'views into and out of
the settlements ...Warminster' and 'other natural features of the
landscape which are of value to wildlife' for Cllr. Davis to use.
"Another is 'permission will not be granted for works affecting a river."
There is another issue that Paul has
always championed. Unbalanced development for which there is no current
policy for Warminster but for which he has argued for as co-author of
visionforwarminster for years.
"More housing to the west," challenges
Paul. "Inadequate community services to the east. Recipe for a planning
disaster. We do not need 900 more homes in the shadow of Cley Hill let
alone the floodgate this application will open if approved.
"There is an emerging 'Wiltshire Core Strategy' that calls for the 'potential
for nutrient enrichment of aquatic systems; Warminster was identified
as an area where this was a particular issue in the context of future
How will this help that strategy?"
The current planning document is very clear on an important issue.
"I know it says permission will not be granted for works affecting a river as the rivers and watercourses are important for water quality and nature conservation,
"Do we want to save the River Wylye and River Were or not is another question I pose.
"It feels like goundhog day to me twenty years on!"
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