These are my personal comments which have, naturally, been influenced by input from the Civic
Trust consultation but have the advantage of taking into account, information
that has subsequently become available.
I have noted, particularly in analysing the received comments, that many close their
eyes to what is actually written and proposed and stick to a personal prejudice.
I hope I do not fall too deeply into that category!
The future of MNSG.
I am wholeheartedly behind the MCT comments which I will not repeat here; MNSG does
not need to be involved in planning minutiae but should be held “in reserve”
when wide community consultation is needed. Towards 2026 (anno domini will
preclude my own involvement!) community assessment of its own needs should be
made before County or Central Government imposes arbitrary targets.
Malmesbury has delivered its housing requirement over the whole 2006-2026 period ahead of
schedule. The remaining 270 or so dwellings therefore need to be delivered
towards the end of the remaining period, to give the rest of the community needs
time to catch up. The Town Centre Improvement section (Vol. I Page 57) phases
the items over time. We should also do this in respect of housing. I suggest the
following sentences be added to 1.1.2 on Page 9.
“Malmesbury has to date delivered more than 2/3 of its housing requirements to 2026. The
remaining 270 dwellings should therefore be phased towards the end of the
planning period while other community infrastructures adjust to this
There are many arguments against this site; access not being the least. However, others
have presented the case against, which I generally endorse without further
comment. The recent news from Cowbridge, where the developers wish a Change of
Use from business to housing at Cedar House does not bode well for the proposed
small business units on this new site. The “Live/Work” idea at Cowbridge has
long been abandoned. These facts need to be taken into account in evaluating the
Much will depend upon the outcome of the Gleeson appeal. Two chilling statements appeared
in the “leaked” report:
a) That we could consider BOTH Site 22 and Site 3A/15. This would represent
b) That an “advantage” of the Gleeson proposal was its quick delivery, which would
sacrifice our needs for others’ statistics.
My main concerns lie in Vol. II. Some are niggles but in some places I find that we have
been overly influenced by the Prince’s Foundation. One can have too much of a
Up to 8.1.4 I have no problem.
8.1.5 “Task – Development Proposals..etc” (Page 8) “Where possible, open views towards the
countryside, or across open spaces, must be maintained from key existing routes
within the town. For example, a view along an existing street can be maintained
by continuing a new street along the same
Try as I might, I can find no suitable example in Malmesbury, neither in the preferred,
selected sites nor in any others. Please delete. The rest of the section sums up
the real situation excellently.
Page 9“Where segregated routes are unavoidable, they should be provided alongside the
vehicular carriageway.” I do not understand this statement. Are we saying that
pavements are bad? Many of our citizens already have bruises received from wing
mirrors along Abbey Row. Even cyclists can startle (especially elderly)
pedestrians by silently and swiftly overtaking from
“Dead-ends and cul-de-sacs should be avoided.” Why? Children play more safely in
a cul-de-sac than on a through route.
Page 11 “In many of the town’s public spaces monuments provide a focal point”. Not that
many. We should name them. Please note current damage to bollards around the
Triangle War Memorial.
Page 11 “8.1.7. Objective: Realise high
quality place making and design. “Malmesbury has a rich legacy of high-quality
development within its historic core area.” Much as love this town, I feel this
is an overstatement. Apart from the Abbey and Market Cross (which can scarcely
be described as “Developments”) there are perhaps a handful of noteworthy
buildings. The bulk of our listed buildings have their listing based on
antiquity rather than architectural merit. I admire and applaud those who have
chosen to cherish and modernise them while keeping their patina intact. But can
we REALLY use them as an ideal for 21stC living?
have already argued that the typical 3-storey nature of central Malmesbury gives
then carte blanche to build unsuitably tall houses on tiny footprints.
The whole of this paragraph is an idealist’s dream. Ideals can be so easily
On the other hand (Page 12): “TASK: Design of new buildings should draw from and enhance the
character, form and identity of Malmesbury through high quality bespoke
responses which are specific to the site” I couldn’t agree more! But “bespoke”
and “affordable” are rarely synonymous.
“TASK: The use of continuous frontages is encouraged wherever appropriate...”
Surely this personal taste rather than policy? I have owned and lived in both
terraces and villas for the past 70-odd years and have no doubt which I prefer.
Whatever the Prince’s Foundation tells us (and what the Workshop is recorded as
favouring) I cannot willingly impose on others what I would not choose for
myself. Let’s have some of both!
Materials, etc. Great. And I like the use of the picture of Gloucester Street.
Even the Medical Centre, which uses a bit of every surface used in Malmesbury,
is beginning to grow on me.
Page 14 –
“Varied Skyline” Care needed. Look at the horrible efforts on the eastern edge
of Cirencester to see how not to do it.
Page 17 –
Courtyard / Mews and cluster parking. Such arrangements are theoretically
incorporated in Abbey Heights. In practice, the discreet “V” on visitor spaces
is only visible if you explore on foot. And they’re rarely free. I have my
doubts. That picture is not Malmesbury, is it? Please
That picture certainly isn’t Malmesbury. Nearest equivalent in Malmesbury is the
Maltings; see picture attached. For the record, I had my back to a derelict van
that has been there for as long as I can remember. Oddly enough, no-one has
mentioned whether they like the Maltings as a 20C
Again, not a picture of Malmesbury. We should therefore identify where it is.
(To hark back to 8.1.7 – Are we really saying that ALL modern Malmesbury is
bad?) We can certainly learn from good urban design elsewhere, but let’s not
forget that we are mostly a 20thC town: good, bad and indifferent though it may
Pages 20 onward. As part of the team that assembled these pages, I am hardly likely to
criticise them. If there are flaws, that is for others for others to point out.
matter does arise: that of the relief road. I appreciate that the Gleeson threat
is probably a killer as far as the Staines Bridge to Whychurch road is concerned
but I must point out that if the Silk Mills site becomes a Supermarket, this
will increase town centre traffic from Reeds Farm and White Lion Park.
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.