Developer feels left out of neighbourhood planning process
2:04pm Friday 25th January 2013 in News
HOUSE builders Gleeson have claimed they were “cast aside” in Malmesbury’s neighbourhood planning process.
The accusation came as chairman of the steering group drawing up the blueprint for future development, Simon Killane, was cross-examined at an appeal hearing today over the firm’s bid to put up 180 homes on the edge of the town.
The company, which contends that Wiltshire cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of land to meet housing needs, complained that it had been excluded from community workshops run by the Princes Foundation.
It also suggested the plan, which is at the first draft stage, had not reached the point where it could offer deliverable alternative sites.
Defending the process, Cllr Killane attacked what he described as Gleeson’s soul-less approach, telling the hearing of the firm’s early request to meet him in a hotel to discuss plans for 800 houses for the site at Filands.
He pointed out that the steering group was examining prospective sites on a sequential basis and it could be that the Filands land could eventually be chosen.
“I’m arguing that we want to continue the process to get the best site,” he said. “At the moment there is a lot of other evidence to suggest there are better sites.”
The appeal has been adjourned until February 12 at the civic centre in Trowbridge where it is scheduled to last another 4 days. A site visit is being made in Malmesbury on Monday.