200 new homes to be built in Wiltshire

Despite the news receiving fierce opposition from local councillors, 200 new homes have been given the go ahead to be built near the Kennet and Avon Canal in Devizes. 

On 3rd November 2022 authorities from Wiltshire Council refused plans submitted by developers to build new homes off Coate Road as they claimed them to be an eyesore. However, on 24th May this year the proposal was approved by a government inspector after the developers appealed against the local authorities claim.

concrete road between brick wall buildings

The new homes will offer 30% affordable housing and provide £500,000 towards funding works to the canal towpath in a bid to improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

As well as creating new homes, the application also includes room for shops, a hot food takeaway, a ‘commercial business centre’ and a ‘drinking establishment’ but local residents and politicians objected.

Councillors from the local authority who refused the application argued the proposal area was outside the development sites allocated in the Neighbourhood Plan so should not be allowed.

However, a government inspector ruled the benefits the new estate will bring, such as affordable new homes, outweigh the impact on the landscape which lies 125m from an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Against this backdrop, the inspector overruled the council’s objection as they do not have a five-year housing land supply. This means the local authority has not shown it will be able to provide enough sites for the development of the required number of houses over the next five years and so the submitted plans will help make up the housing shortfall. 

MP for Devizes, Danny Kruger, tweeted in response to the approval, ‘Wiltshire needs a lot of new homes – we don’t need ugly inappropriate imposed developments like this.

‘[…]the application was approved despite objections by me, CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England), the town council and all. Why? Because of the arbitrary Five-Year Housing land Supply rule.’

In response, the plans from developers Robert Hitchins Ltd argue: ‘The proposals respect the local character but also move the community towards a more sustainable future, through an increase in housing choice.’

Image: Ivy Barn


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top