Boreham Mill application - gagged - not enough space(June 10, 2014)
INDEPENDENT COUNCILLOR Steve Dancey will not be able to speak on the Boreham application on Wednesday as all slots have been taken up. Here's what he would have said.....
'Thank you for allowing me to address you on this important application.
The fact that this is the first time I have chosen to speak in this chamber in more than 20 years is evidence of the importance of this application.
Warminster along with other market towns is under siege by developers anxious to rush through inappropriate schemes before the gate is bolted when the care strategy is adopted.
I am speaking against this particular scheme for three reasons.
Firstly it is totally unnecessary
Secondly it is within your powers to stop it
and thirdly as it is hugely unpopular with fellow townsfolk.
Many people who lodge objections to applications are labelled NIMBYS - but I cannot be accused of that as I live more than a mile from the site. Although the site is within my ward I do not set out to look after the interests of one side of the town against the other.
I used to represent Warminster West when I sat in the predecessor authority Wiltshire County Council in the 1980s. I've lived in the Warminster are for 55 years and I'm genuinely concerned at the needs of the whole town not suimply the part I represent.
In Warminster we need to find space for at least 1,500 homes in the current plan period and your officers have achieved this by identifying sites within the agreed settlement boundary of the town as set out in the adopted WWDC local plan which remains in force until it is replaced.
Agreeing to this application will provide just 38 homes - a drop in the ocean in comparison with the number required.
In terms of numbers it is insignificant but in terms of its impact on the attractiveness of Boreham Road, one of the best entries into any town in west Wiltshire, it is immensely damaging.
Couple this with the potential of development to disrupt the nature and hydrology of the area and the impact on Bishopstrow.
You have the power and duty to stop this application. It is outside the settlement boundary and is not an exception site - so no great need for it. The applicant has spent huge sums on PR and engaged a Bath based PR firm to schmooze and ease this unwelcome application through.
Finally this application is massively unpopular. In the space of a few days an on-line petition has amassed 300 plus signatures. Please listen to the objections and to cllr Andrew Davis who I hope will hammer home some of these points. and more during his address.
"I believe that a member of that committee should call for standing orders to be suspended to allow Steve to speak on behalf of the town council ward members and their residents," adds fellow Independent town councillor Paul Macdonald.
"This is a another example of the unusual way this planning application has been handled. I have written to the MP about all of this."