Some thoughts from Steve Dancey on the Boreham Mill application(June 13, 2014)
Thoughts by Steve Dancey
THERE'S no doubt that the community has been badly let down by the planning officers at Wiltshire Council and also by a number of our local councillors in Warminster - mostly those elected unopposed with no democratic mandate by the way.
After seeing what the planners allowed to be buillt on the old Hillside site in Boreham Road, Warminster where there is a looming huge building dominating the entrance to the town I was not surprised that the planners would swallow anything the wealthy developers of Hab forced down their throats 200 yards further down the road.
The official who read out the case for approval on Wednesday afternoon looked pretty embarrassed by what he was saying- he knew it was wrong. He knew that the plans he was agreeing would cause significant degredation to the street scene on the approach to the town but he clucked out the party line as he is well paid to do.
I spoke againt the scheme as I am against development on this site in principle but I was amazed and staggered to see that the three Warminster councillors there to back it Cllr Ridout (elected unopposed), cllr Sue Frazer (elected unopposed) and cllr Keith Humphries (elected against UKIP opposition only) were happy and didn't mention the elephant in the room.
No it took Bradford Lib Dem Trevor Carbin to notice that under the plans there would be a looming three storey block built at the corner of Boreham Road and Bishopstrow Road (I presume to house the social housing for Selwood). One small crumb of comfort is that this huge structure has been reduced to two storeys but it is a very small crumb.
It was also a concern that a director of Selwood was allowed to speak and vote at the meeting. Others, with deeper pockets, may well take this matter up through the judicial process but whatever the outcome of this, planning has to be seen as being whiter than white and not sullied but last minute communications between councillors and housing associations. If not Wiltshire Council will lose what little goodwill it has left and not be suitable to operate in a democratic state,