I am a strong supporter of neighbourhood planning; in
letting people have a say in the development of the town. It presents us with a
great opportunity. I do, however, raise a number of observations from which I
believe the NP would benefit. 1 Gleeson's application.
I believe the opportunity is there for the NP to work with Gleeson to
the benefit of the town. Expansion in Malmesbury to the north has long been
planned. Road access is good. Why not include the 180 homes in the NP with the
condition that Gleeson allocate certain number of te180 to self-build sites (
see below)? Their planning appeal success is a salutary lesson of the strength
and the expertise they can marshal. Better to have them on our side, working
with us. I do not follow the assumption that 180 Gleeson homes actually means
800 homes. Wiltshire planners have to consider the viability of any such huge
expansion and must surely oppose it within the 2026 timeframe given the
infrastructure of the town and the significant contribution Malmesbury has
already made to house building in north Wiltshire. The NP plan needs to state
that this level of expansion is unsustainable. 180 yes, 800 not acceptable. 2.
Concern re the Primary Care Centre. I have lived in Milbourne for forty years
and in that time I have seen the doctors' surgery outgrow its premises twice.
We know that Malmesbury has a disproportionate number of old people. How the
PCC might wish to develop to serve future needs is uncertain and it would be
most unwise to surround the PCC with private housing which appears to be a
possibility under the present assessment of possible sites. Current medical and
government thinking moreover points to more resources being allocated to PCCs
as primary care becomes more important to communities and money shifts from
hospitals to primary care. Demands on the PCC will thus continue to grow
irrespective of the rising population of the town. Circumspection is required
from the NP. We have seen the problems caused to Malmesbury Secondary School
through having to operate a split site. It is crucial we avoid similar
problems with regard to health provision. 3. Self-builds, small builders and
the local economy. We know that
self-builders are renowned for incorporating a higher level of sustainability
into their dwellings. They will also use local merchants for supplies and
employ local people. Large developers merely focus on meeting existing
regulations and profit , and only a fraction of their 'spend' feeds into the
local community. In contrast the 'spend' of local, small builders is good for
local merchants and the profits are returned to the local economy of Malmesbury
and its environs. The proportion of houses built by small and medium size
builders has declined markedly over the last twenty years as major developers
have increased their share. I believe that it is essential that the NP should
incorporate these ideas. 4. The threat to the High Street. I am very pleased to
see the NP recognising the threat posed by Sainsburys. Their business plan aims
for 45% non-food sales by 2020, less than 7 years away. This is not just a food
supermarket but a major retail proposal which would decimate the High Street.
It should also be recognised that the Co-op, which traces its values back to
the great philanthropist Robert Owen, gives us a business owned by its
shareholders (the general public) and is therefore the most ethically focussed
of major food outlets. It deserves support from the NP. I thank you for all
your hard work in developing these proposals.
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.