Thursday, 29 September 2011 18:06

Gleeson admit to new strategy in Malmesbury Featured

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Our Wiltshire Councillor for Malmesbury, Simon Killane recently put a number of probing questions to developer, Gleeson who controls the land at Filands and Gleeson responded with a five page letter. He asked...

  • Who will fund the proposed two form entry school?
  • Would the school be fully funded by developer contributions?
  • How would it be possible to viably build 200 houses with the added cost burden of the school?
  • What contribution, if any, would you expect Wiltshire Council to make?
  • Why does 200 houses require a school of this size?
  • What was the purpose of considering an environmental assessment on over 30 acres of land when you are only proposing to build 200 houses?

Gleeson have responded with with a five page letter to Cllr Killane, which you can download here.

The letter outlines how changed circumstances have 'forced' them to change their strategy in order to protect their commercial interests. They say they have little choice but to submit a planning application.

Managing Director, Scott Chamberlain went on to explain how the Core Strategy and Neighbourhood Plan could have little impact on their application and that the general 'presumption in favour of sustainable development' will work in their favour, citing various legal aspects to their argument.

Whilst the draft Core Strategy for Wiltshire referred to delaying development until towards 2026 in Malmesbury, Gleeson refer to what they see as a clear thrust towards development right now.

Gleeson say that they will offer a site for a proposed primary school to the Local Education Authority (LEA) on 'favourable' terms and in response to Cllr Killane's question about funding, say they propose to make a financial contribution 'reflecting the scale of housing development proposed'. What Gleeson do not make clear is how the building of a new school could be funded to an extent that building could actually get started.

Additionally, they have a site in mind for a new supermarket. Whilst Wiltshire Council show in the draft Core Strategy that town centre, followed by edge of centre sites are preferred for what is known as 'convenience retail' (supermarkets), in order to protect the future of our town centres, Gleeson's letter goes on to confirm their support for a new supermarket at West Filands, specifically keeping traffic away from the town centre shops. Maybe Filands is the future centre of a 'new town'?

Do take a look at the letter in full (click here) as there is much more detail than we've covered here.

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