The public inquiry that was due to be held on May 13th / 14th into the applicaton to build houses on the land north of St George’s Road has been postponed. No future date has been set for it.
Wiltshire Council has rejected the application to build ~20 “entry-level affordable dwellings” on the land north of St George’s Road. The principal reason is:
1. The proposal, by reason of its size and detachment, protruding onto open agricultural land, would have a harmful impact on the character and appearance of Semington and the surrounding rural landscape, creating an urbanised expansion beyond the existing built-up area of the village. This would conflict with Core Policy 51, which seeks to protect the landscape from harmful impacts, and Core Policy 57, which seeks to create developments that create a strong sense of place and are complementary to the locality. Furthermore, it would conflict with paragraph 170 of the National Planning Policy Framework which seeks to ensure that new development enhances the natural and local environment by recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.
The decision letter is here https://unidoc.wiltshire.gov.uk/UniDoc/Document/File/MjAvMDEzMDYvT1VULDEzOTE3MzI=.
This is the same land and the same developer as before. It is certain that the developer will appeal, and it is likely that both appeals will be heard at the same time – whenever that it. The parish council has strongly opposed both these applications, as have a significant number of villagers.
The Inspector appointed by Wiltshire Council to conduct the inquiry into whether Great Lees Field should be granted village green status has recommended to the Council that the application should be refused. The Inspector’s report is here: tinyurl.com/vuj8nzt and the full set of papers for the Western Area Planning Committee meeting on March 18th is here: tinyurl.com/vuj8nzt The planning committee is open to the public.
A new planning proposal has been submitted to Wiltshire Council for the land north of St George’s Road. It is Application 20/01306/OUT and can be viewed here: tinyurl.com/t36byzq
This is for an Entry Level Exception Site. This legislation says:
Local planning authorities should support the development of entry-level exception sites, suitable for first time buyers (or those looking to rent their first home), unless the need for such homes is already being met within the authority’s area. These sites should be on land which is not already allocated for housing and should (a) comprise of entry-level homes that offer one or more types of affordable housing, and (b) be adjacent to existing settlements, proportionate in size to them, not compromise the protection given to areas or assets of particular importance in this Framework , and comply with any local design policies and standards.
The purpose of this is to allow housing in areas where it would not normally be permitted for the purpose of supplying housing for first time buyers or renters. This is the same land that relates to the planning appeal (See February 26th note) in May.
The outcome of the village green application will be decided at the Wiltshire Council Western Area Planning Committee on March 18th at County hall [a 1500 start]. The Inspector’s recommendations have been received by Wiltshire Council and will be available before the meeting. This is a public event and any villager is welcome to attend.
The planning appeal in relation to development of the land north of St George’s Road will take place on May 13th and 14th in the St John’s Conference Centre in Trowbridge. This will only take two days as there are no lawyers involved. The developer and the Council will each make their case directly to the Inspector. The parish council will be represented at the hearing and will be making its objections to this development known to the Inspector.
There will be an update when more detail is available.
January 31st 2020
Wiltshire Council has received the Inspector’s Report on its Housing Site Allocations Plan. This sets targets for the number of dwellings to be built in particular areas. The report will be considered by the Cabinet on February 4th and if endorsed (as seems likely) the full Council will be asked to adopt the Plan at its meeting on February 25th.
The plan includes revisions to settlement boundaries. The Semington boundary has been slightly extended to include all existing properties that were not in before, for example, Turnpike Close and St George’s Court. The forthcoming Hannick Homes development will be included at some point after its completion.
January 24th 2020
Wiltshire Council has now approved Hannick Homes’ final plans for the building of 24 houses and bungalows along St George’s Road. Approval is subject to a number of conditions which can be seen here.
January 10th 2020
The final plans for the building of 24 houses and bungalows along St George’s Road by Hannick Homes are now on the Wiltshire Council planning website. Details shown include appearance, landscaping, layout and floor plans. A final decision on approval is due to be made before January 21st and the latest information the parish council has is that building is scheduled to begin late in 2020.