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Warminster Town Council: Delivering a brighter, greener future for all

Warminster Town Council objects to Grovelands Development

26 January 2022

Warminster Town Council has strongly objected to a proposed development at Grovelands.

Cllr Phil Keeble, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Advisory Committee said:

“In June 2018 Outline Planning Permission was granted by Wiltshire Council for a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).  Although the site was outside of Warminster’s Settlement Boundary identified in the Neighbourhood Plan the development was considered to be an acceptable exception under Core Strategy Policy 46 “meeting the needs of Wiltshire’s vulnerable and older people”.

The Outline Planning Permission granted was for:

  • 45 Age Restricted Bungalows
  • 48 bed Care Home
  • 46 Extra Care Apartments
  • 39 affordable Extra Care apartments
  • A Medical Centre
  • A Pharmacy

“Only one of the six elements of this scheme has any prospect of being delivered, namely the Care Home. The rest of what was to be Continuing Care Retirement Community is no longer going to happen.  Wiltshire Council sees no current requirement for the 39 affordable extra-care apartments, the NHS will not be funding the permitted medical centre and pharmacy.  The developer says there is no demand for assisted living and age restricted bungalows.”

“It is evident that the developer, Wainhomes, is only interested in open market housing. They should not be proceeding with the roads and other infrastructure designed for a quiet retirement community.  This is obvious to the developer as the plans submitted anticipate the need for future revisions to accommodate their housing applications. If infrastructure works commence, future possibilities for the use of the site may be unduly compromised.”

Cllr Keeble also led the opposition to the planning application for a 62 bed care home on the same site.

“Under the original proposals, the care home would have been located in the heart of a retirement community. Should the current Wainhomes proposals for 131 houses be permitted the Care Home will be surrounded on all sides by a busy family housing estate.”

“A stand-alone Care Home on this site cannot be justified as an exception to normal planning guidance, as it can no longer form part of a comprehensive Continuing Care Retirement Community.”

“I have no confidence that the flood mitigation measures identified for this site are fit for purpose. They will inevitably increase the run-off of surface water both in terms of quantity and speed. The elevation of the land to raise it above the floodplain flies in the face of Environment Agency advice that this is a totally unacceptable practice that should not be permitted.”

“The Wiltshire Council Ecology report objects to this proposal stating further information is required as the submitted.  The Ecological Impact Assessment and Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment submitted with the application are all dated April or May 2017 – with surveys undertaken 2012 to 2016 and as they are only valid for a maximum of 2 years need to be updated”.

“Wiltshire Council estimated there would be a need for 67 additional Extra Care units of accommodation in Warminster by 2026. This requirement has been more than adequately met by the opening of the Order of St. John, Ashwood Care Centre that provides 82 beds for specialist dementia care.”

Town Councillors voted to send objections to both planning applications to Wiltshire Council. who are the body that will either grant or refuse the planning applications.

Last modified: 26 January 2022

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