Marlborough Neighbourhood Plan
MARLBOROUGH AREA NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
Notes of the second informal consultation regarding possible housing sites held in Minal on 9 September 2019
Informal public consultations were made during July 2019 in Marlborough and in the parishes participating in the Neighbourhood Plan regarding the proposed approaches to be made in the Plan, and to specified sites that could be earmarked for stated community needs. Following the Minal consultation on 24 July 2019, in which two potential sites for housing were discussed, two further sites were offered. The Steering Group felt that this merited further consultation, so a second public session was set up on Monday 9 September, in which maps were made available showing all four sites.
Attendees and process
Three members of the NP Steering Group (NPSG) were present: Sir Nigel Thompson, Deirdre Watson (both representatives for Minal on the NPSG) and Guy Singleton (Savernake PC member, and providing professional expertise on planning issues).
Forms were not provided for members of the public to note their views; NPSG members were asked to gather the views of the members of the public (without leading any decisions) and to note them down.
C 20 members of the public attended, which included 4 Parish Council members and the Clerk. They were invited to view the maps and to ask any questions.
Views and questions
NT referred to the fact that Wiltshire Council would not generally approve the building of new houses in villages such as Minal, but a section 44 exception site (ie one offering affordable housing only) might be acceptable, if certain criteria were met. Such a site was less valuable to a developer than a site for market value housing, especially if costs were to be incurred in creating acceptable access; three of the 4 sites would need new road access. Therefore it might be difficult to find a developer willing to build such housing. NT asked for views to be given to NPSG members or to the Parish Council who would be discussing the proposals after this meeting.
Several people were not familiar with the NP and wanted reassurance that housing was not being imposed on the village. There were questions relevant to all sites – namely would they all be affordable; how could you ensure that they would remain for local people only; would the houses be for rent or sale; how many would there be.
Comments on specific sites included:
- Affordable housing was needed if it could be used for locals only
- Those nearest to proposed sites (especially site M4) did not support them as their view/quiet would be affected
- Site M4 was too big, but part of it for affordable housing only would be the easiest from an access point of view
- Site M2 was small and discreet and could provide affordable housing with less impact on the view of the river
- A small number of market value houses (along with affordable on a mixed site) would help to support the viability of the village and help the social mix
- There appeared to be no easy access to site M3 without going through site M1
Parish Council View
The Parish Clerk reported on the Parish Council meeting following the consultation as follows:
The sites were discussed by the Parish Council and the view of Councillors is that any of the sites would be acceptable for building 5-9 additional houses for the village. The most logical site would seem to be the site adjacent to Berryfield although these would have to be single-storey to avoid blocking the view of residents across the road.