Proposals in Jan 2019
The green spaces in North Bradley are being selected by developers to build housing despite our Parish exceeding its housing obligations, while more housing is being built within the village boundary (Elm grove Trowbridge on Drynham Lane Farm North Bradley) and within sight of the village boundary (Former Trowbridge Council site).
As per our North Bradley Neighbourhood Plan issued January 2019, our Parish Council are proposing to offer developers to apply to build mixed housing in the village fields on Park Farm (behind Orchard Way) and also on Woodmarsh (to the East of the progressive Hall) please see copy of the North Bradley neighbourhood Plan Public Consultation January 2019, page 3, Policy 3.
Whilst we understand our Parish Council are proposing to offer these fields for Development to prevent losing our village boundary to buildings on the strips of green space between Trowbridge & North Bradley, we acknowledge that there are already plans to build 250-280 mixed homes and a new school on Drynham Lane North Bradley
Appropriate alternatives to environment loss
As a community of Wildlife enthusiasts and Environmentally conscientious citizens, we recognise there are more acceptable alternatives to meet any future housing obligations within our parish that simultaneously protect green spaces and wildlife from dying due to habitat loss.
Should the development of elmgrovetrowbridge.com not go ahead, we propose that our Parish Council seek to offer the vacant Brownfield sites in accordance with the National Brownfield uses. Any of the Long-Term Vacant buildings within the Village's White Horse Business Park, which have been empty for many years and are still for sale ought to be considered for development before more loss to environment is permitted.
Leaving these sites empty for years while destroying biodiverse green spaces is unconscionable given the vast wildlife habitat that was lost to create the business park originally.
To highlight some of the available buildings and their accompanying land:
One of these vacant spaces which is appropriate as a renovation/ housing project is the extensive 3 Pavilion building of Barclays Global securities services (Bgss) which was later owned by Virgin Mobile (Vm) and has been sat vacant for nearly 2 decades excluding Virgin's short occupation. This building is vast and can be remodelled into 98 X 1&2 bedroom apartments with parking allocation for 600 cars. It is surrounded on all sides by grassy hills, framed ponds, ample trees and foliage offering a peaceful setting that overlooks open pasture to the south and west. The site could easily be turned into sleek modern apartments / secure retirement apartments with ample space to include warden accommodation if it were used for retirement purposes or the entire space including the parking could be remodelled to provide typical mixed family housing.
We are concerned that under current laws, the myriad species of endangered and protected wildlife which live in North Bradley will be compromised. These species include many invertibrates, Butterflies, Bats, Great crested Newts, Barn Owls, Tree Sparrows as well as species such as Kestrels, Buzzards, Heron, Deer, Badger, Fox to name a few. If more of their habitat is lost, they will not have alternative habitat for feeding and reproduction and although they may not be directly killed during build works, they will die off if there is nowhere for them to live, hunt and reproduce.
The UK Parliament Declared a 'climate emergency' this year part of halting the damage humans are collectively doing to the climate, environment and all the other species who share the planet with us, is to stop destroying the green spacesand the biodiversity they sustain.
After discussing the issue of Development on Green fields with the Ecology department of Wilts Council (prior to the granting of permission & start of development of the unwanted 2nd Petrol Station), the Ecologist agreed that although the developer's plans outline mitigation to prevent direct killing of protected species, "Wildlife would obviously die indirectly" due to the permanent removal of their habitat and food sources which were all going to be destroyed by the build with no wildlife areas of equal size, age and biodiversity provided in compensation.
We are also concerned that the value of our homes will reduce if we become housing estates, something we are unwilling to accept given the higher premium paid to purchase homes in rural villages.
Traffic and Speed limits - We have serious concerns regarding traffic along Ash Drive and Orchard Way for the Park Farm proposal and Woodmarsh and Westbury Road for Woodmarsh proposal. These narrow village bridle paths and roads cannot safely provide emergency vehicle access and services into these proposed housing estates, the larger Westbury road, Woodmarsh and Southwick Road are inundated with speeding traffic already.
We understand the volume of private and commercial traffic on our village roads can no longer be challenged due to the route now being part of a Primary Route Network (PRN) but we are aware that the roads in our village are appropriate candidates to have their speed limits reduced and self enforced with cushions, bumps and signage, due to:
*High volume of walkers (traffic on foot)
*Vulnerable foot traffic (Elderly and children)
*each of the the roads are used as access routes to the Village Primary school.
What we do NOT want to do is increase the traffic on these already dangerous roads without first assessing and ensuring the safety of villagers and visitors.
Orchard Way residents struggle to safely navigate the narrow road. Extending these roads and adding housing would pose a real danger to the children, pedestrians, horses and wildlife that use them daily, as well as making it very difficult for emergency services access. Losing a Child to traffic is regretfully something this village has already experienced.
Waste water - When Orchard way was extended slightly in the late 1990's, the additional 9 houses caused great difficulty to the existing sewage works; buyers were asked to purchase additional waste surveys and sadly some have had raw sewage surfacing up and over their cloakroom toilets, due to the existing sewage work's inability to cope with additional housing. Some have had drains dug up no less than 15 times in their gardens during the first 10 years of living here and in some cases residents have had their entire garden dug up to replace waste pipes and they continue to pay for specialist insurance to cover the ongoing maintenance necessary for the waste water system in the village.
Our request to our Parish Council
* Acknowledge that we are against any development of important biodiverse fields and farmland BEFORE all Brownfield sites have been utilised.
* Acknowledge that the proposals of Elmgrovetrowbridge.com 's 250-280 new homes and school on Drynham lane will more than adequately fulfill both the WHAP 190 homes & NBPC's 60 home proposals of new mixed houses and therefore there is no need to further destroy green fields.
* Ask for our help to support the Parish Council in requesting WHAP employ the Brownfield Policy
* Ask for our help to support the Parish Council in requesting WHAP meet new targets of the newly declared 'Climate emergency' which will ensure we as a parish meet housing needs in a more environmentally conscious way.
Thank you from the Residents and friends of North Bradley.