The Parish Council has been advised that the Green Square planning application for the 13 new homes at Briar Leaze has now been submitted to Wiltshire Council. They are currently still waiting for the application to be formally registered and will advise when an application number has been issued. All Briar Leaze residents should have been informed directly by Green Square but the three pertinent documents can be dowloaded below.
On a rainswept Wednesday evening Greensquare held their drop-in at the village hall to show and get feedback on the latest proposals for the development in Briar Leaze. After the previous meeting, which left many feeling angry, and in several cases people had complained of feeling bullied, many who attended were looking to see what, if any, of their complaints and concerns had been taken into account.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the biggest concerns appear to have been addressed! The biggest concern was the apparent disregard for our Neighbourhood Plan, currently going through the final stages with Wiltshire Council. The Neighbourhood Plan has laid out a well reasoned argumenht that the total number of new houses required for the Calne area, when applied proportionatly to all the parishes within that area, left the amount for Compton Bassett at seven new properties.
With the exception of Brair Leaze the rest of Compton Bassett is covered by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other classifications rendering all property development impossible elsewhere. The contention had been that with provisional plans for 'phase one' to contain eight extra properties, Greensquare were announcing their intention to disregard the plan. Although the plans on display still showed eight extra properties, the Greensquare staff were at pains to point out that it was their intention to scale back the development of phase 1 to seven extra properties inline with the Neighbourhood Plan. This, they assured me would also help deal with another concern at the previous meeting over off road parking. I have since recieved from the architect the proposed site layout showing just such a reduction. The proposed plan can be viewed on the link immediately below!
Given that the current plans are generally referred to as 'phase 1', clarification was sought over the likelihood of there being a 'phase 2' or more to follow as soon as the dust had settled over 'phase 1'. The responses were from "There is no phase 2 planned", to "Nothing further can happen until your Neighbourhood Plan expires". This is not due to expire for another 25 years and a new plan would be formed in 23 years time and submitted to allow the plans to smoothly run consecutively under current legislation. Greensquare have since confirmed their intention in writing.
Greensquare were asking those who attended to fill out a short questionaire and have invited villagers to download the questionaire, fill it in and send it back to them. The link for that form is below. Item 4 in their questionaire speaks of allowing 8 new houses whereas the new proposal and the Neighbourhood Plan allows for just 7. If you would like to send a copy to the Parish Clerk also they can use that as further confirmation of your wishes to better enable them to represent you properly.
The existing plan of Briar Leaze The properties not highlighted in blue are privately owned and cannot be included in any scheme unless agreement can be achieved with the owners for purchase of their property.
We have been asked to post a leaflet on the website on behalf of Green Square concerning their proposed redevelopment of Briar Leaze. This can be done by clicking on the link below.I urge you to attend this meeting!
This 'consultation' process seems to me anything but a consultation. There were several points raised at the last Parish Council meeting and as far as I can see none of these points have been addressed, which makes me rather suspicious that in fact the intention is to keep holding meetings, both public and privately in your homes, dressed up as consultation when in fact, the only intention is to pay lip service to such a process.
If you choose to not attend this and other meetings and make your opposition count you will finish up with the intended 48 homes in a plot that currently houses far less. What you will get will not be the pretty picture of vast space that you see in the leaflet, but the kind of high density housing association estate you can find in any inner city.
The Parish Council held a special meeting with Green Square at the village hall Thursday 30th July. As it is a parish council meeting it was open for any to attend who may have an interest.
The minutes are displayed on the Parish Council section of this site as a record or the meeting for your perusal.
Listening from the sidelines one could not avoid the conclusion that GreenSquare has very much underestimated the anger and frustration that their propsals are generating throughout the village and greatly over estimated the support and agreement their consultations had gained. It also seemed that GreenSquare are quite intent on displaying an arrogant disregard of our neighbourhood plan!
The neighbourhood plan is currently with the planning inspector and in the final stages of carrying the full weight of the law. It states that we are prepared to allow development of up to seven extra houses and yet with that knowledge in mind, GreenSquare are proposing that phase one will carry nine extra properties immediately exceeding the plan. Unless of course stages 2, 3 and more are going replace with less than they take down. It was also suggested that after phase one was completed they are expecting the village to then urge them to return amid adulation on some palm strewn pathway to sweep through and override the plan completely.
I don't think anyone would deny that at some point in the future all the current properties will require replacement, but I left with the feeling that compromise is not anything that is on GreenSquares mind. I also felt that any further consultation would contain questions carefully scripted to demonstrate only support and not a true reflection of opinion.
I came to the meeting with an open mind but left feeling very disturbed by what I saw and heard. I think, no matter what, the only outcome GreenSquare anticipate is the 48 houses they started out to build and they expect to find a way to sweep any opposition aside or render it irrelevant.AE
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