Anger over second anonymous neighbourhood plan leaflet

AN ANONYMOUS leaflet urging residents to stop hundreds of houses being built in Malmesbury is doing the rounds of the town six months after a similar incident.

The pamphlet, which bears the logo of the Malmesbury Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, appears to have been designed to encourage readers to think it comes from the Malmesbury Greenfield Campaign.

It criticises the site scoring process carried out by what it calls “a few locals” and says proposed sites at Burton Hill are unsuitable for housing. It also suggests there is an alternative Sainsbury’s supermarket option at Malmesbury Garden Centre to the preferred Waitrose plan on land behind Avon Silk Mills.

Posted to houses across the town from a distributor in Birkenhead, has been cobbled together with a copy of an official MNSG feedback form.

It concludes with “Residents opposed to Waitrose and concerned about the effect it will have on the area have formed the Malmesbury Greenfields Campaign, find us on Facebook."

It also urges recipients who do not agree with the plans to fill in the form and hand it in at the town hall or post it to steering group member John Gundry.

As members of the steering group turned detective in a bid to find the source, Clare Davies from the green fields campaign stressed: “I wish to make it clear that this is not official correspondence from the MGC, someone is diverting attention from their anonymous communication.

“It is a known fact that the MGC is against development of green field space and particularly the field behind the Avon Mills but all comments and objections have been submitted in the correct manner ie to the Wiltshire Planning officers and through MNSG consultation process with ownership.”She added: “We do not know who has commissioned this leaflet but they are entitled to their views and have clearly spent a significant amount of money to voice their concerns.”

The incident echoes a similar anonymous leaflet drop back in October that was linked to a public relations company.

The draft plan is currently going through one of several official consultations and is expected to be revised several times before it is put to a referendum in Malmesbury, St Paul Without and Brokenborough.

A question and answer session is being held at the town hall on Saturday between 10am and 3pm.

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