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Campus delay blasted by community

THEnews that Wiltshire Council has fallen behind the timeline given for the development of the Melksham Campus has come as no surprise to the community who have criticised the neglect of the Melksham House site. 

According to the timeline given to the community at the Melksham Area Board meeting in October, the ‘final design concept’ for the new campus was expected to be completed by the end of March.But so far there has been no news from the council as to when the design will be ready and why it has been delayed. In response to the story in the last issue of Melksham News, Catherine Cooper said, “It’s dragged on for too long and I believe Wiltshire Council has been lying to us! Why put road signs up indicating the way to a non-existent campus?”

Elisa Amor added, “It won’t happen, they haven’t even finished building a new perimeter wall at the far end of the cemetery yet. More houses will be built in the time this campus gets started.”

Danny Holland said, “What we must realise is that this is a council project so it’s bound to be delayed like all council projects, and contractors just screw them for all the money due to poor commercial expertise when writing contracts.”

In agreement withDanny, Mark Birkett said, “I have to agree on this. It will happen but it will be over budget, late, and won’t be the facilities that are needed by a town with the population it has.”

Brenda Coupland Harte said, “Absolutely fed up with it. We are a growing town. New housing developments and we cannot enjoy a decent modern fitness centre. The Blue Pool and Christie Miller are directly an embarrassment to the town.”

Whilst the town waits for news on the progress of the campus plans, the historic Melksham House continues to sit empty, which has also come under fire from the community.

“What has happened to Melksham House is an absolute disgrace,” stated John Wiltshire.

Julie Lavery added, “I think they should never have closed Melksham House until they had a fixed date set in stone of when the work was to start. It is so sad that it has been left to rot! And I am assuming it could cost more to put things right.”

Lesley Brooker-Smith said, “What a waste of money this has been. As more people are coming to live in Melksham it would better to build a new hospital on the outskirts to save people going to Bath or Swindon. If you look at the history of Melksham House, it was given to the people of Melksham to use, so what happens? The council close it.”

Wiltshire Council has said that it still expects to submit the campus planning application later this year.

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