To the Neighbourhood Plan Team -
I strongly disagree with suggesting that the Avon Mills site is acceptable for a
supermarket. This conclusion appears to have been reached because it is the
'least worst option' that is currently presented by developers. That is not a
good basis for planning - we should be aiming for the right solution for Malmesbury.
The right solution for Malmesbury and its high street is a development of the existing
Co-op site into a bigger supermarket, or development of the adjacent Station Rd
site at the bottom of the Abbey steps. This was identified by the Princes Trust,
and is close enough that the supermarket parking provided can benefit the Hight
Street rather than detract from it, and that the supermarket customers might use
the high street cafes or more niche shops. This site has not been proposed by
developers because it is far easier and cheaper to develop on a green field or
edge of town site. If we accept that we just have to choose between what
developers propose then you end up with a poor solution that will damage the
town - people visiting the Waitrose proposed will drive in and out to it from
the bypass and never go near the town centre.
If the Neighbourhood Plan very clearly says that edge of town supermarkets will not be
countenanced, then I am certain that a developer will find a way to make a
Station Rd / Co op site option viable. They will not do this unless they are
left with no choice. I urge the Neighbourhood Plan to remove the cheap choices
from developers who care nothing for the things that make this town wonderful -
Malmesbury and its Market Town and High Street driven character is extremely
precious, and does not deserve being given a 'cheap' solution. This
Neighbourhood Plan acceptance of the edge of town Avon Mills site (in your words
'we prefer the land behind Avon Mills') lets Malmesbury down for the generations
Despite this criticism of one key aspect, I would like to say thank you to the people who are
investing much time in the Neighbourhood planning process.
Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group
What others are saying about our Draft Neighbourhood Plan Over 500 residents have already looked at the draft plan. These are the comments that they have made about it.
Our consultation runs from the 5th of March 2013 to April 26th 2013. These are the published comments received up to 08/03/13.
All comments below were submitted to this online feedback portal. We hold the identity and addresses for each submission and have decided not to publish them unless specifically requested by the person who submitted them.