Good Evening


You will recall that on 22nd September 2019, the EBRAG committee informed everyone that Wiltshire Council had eliminated Home Farm from the proposed Wiltshire future development plan, following an examination by a Planning Inspector. Home Farm will therefore not be included by Wiltshire as land suitable for future development.


The EBRAG committee is delighted to report they were informed this afternoon the developer has also formally withdrawn the planning application 16/10502/OUT to develop Home Farm.


Wiltshire Council concluded that unless the developer withdrew the Planning Application, the Council would refuse the application for 9 separate reasons. These are listed below but the detail supporting each reason is available on the Wiltshire planning portal under the above application number. This information is also available through the above email address if required. The reasons for refusal that are cited are:


1. Principle - The development of up to 135 dwellings and associated development on land outside Warminster’s settlement limits would not meet the Wiltshire Council plan.


2. Heritage - The unwarranted development would result in adverse harm to the significance and setting of the Bishopstrow Conservation Area and to the wider setting and significance of Bishopstrow House (both designated heritage assets) and other heritage assets.


3. Landscape - The unwarranted development would have a detrimental urbanising effect on this sensitive site located outside of the limits of development. 


4. Form of Development - The unwarranted development of 135 dwellings and its associated infrastructure would represent an inappropriate form of development on this sensitive part of the town's periphery.


5. Loss of High-Quality Agricultural Land - The unwarranted development would result in the loss of the best and most versatile agricultural 3A land which would conflict with NPPF.


6. Drainage - The development does not fully comply with the adopted Wiltshire Core Strategy (WCS) in terms of establishing a wider understanding of the downstream hydrological and flood risk conditions. 


7. Conflicting Plans - The outline application is supported by several plans and supporting statements which contain numerous anomalies and conflicts.


8. No Habitats Regulations Assessment completed– An Appropriate Assessment (AA) under the Habitats Regulations is required to be completed pursuant to this major residential development to establish the effects on the River Avon SAC.


9. No s106 Obligations - The application is not supported by an agreed mechanism or signed unilateral undertaking that would secure all the relevant and necessary developer obligations which would be necessary for this development. For example, for a 135-house development, 41 affordable housing units (i.e. 30% of the scheme) would be required.


Wiltshire Council Conclusion Should the applicant appeal the Council's decision, they would need to contact the Council to agree on the Heads of Terms and to advance with a unilateral undertaking for an appointed planning inspector to dutifully assess as part of any appeal determination. Wiltshire Council consider the application is now closed and will not spend any more time on it.


EBRAG Conclusion.

1. Home Farm development has now been refused as a recent planning application and also as land suitable for future development by Wiltshire Council. This does not stop the developer appealing Wiltshire decisions, although Wiltshire has laid down some pretty hard terms to be met before an appeal will be considered. In addition, the developer could reapply for a different planning application (entry thorough the Dene) which will take considerable money and effort against a background of refusal.

2. Thank you to the 10 members of the EBRAG committee who have worked tirelessly for the past 8 years through long, unsocial hours, and often at weekends, to contribute by verbal and written knowledgeable comment against this development, representing your concerns on the proposed Home Farm Development.

3. Please pass on this information to anyone who may not have access to an email account.


Yours faithfully

EBRAG Committee