FOREST residents are up in arms about plans to build a 152-home housing estate on farmland to the north of Melksham, and a campaign to try and stop the build began just days after the proposals were revealed.
Developer Waddeton Park Ltd visited Melksham Without Parish Council last week to announce plans to build on nearly 35 acres of farmland near Woodrow Road.
People living nearby have taken to social media and written to Melksham Independent News to voice their anger.
Some residents have joined a Facebook group, named ‘Woodrow Road building houses on our field’, to discuss their feelings on the proposals.
Sue Carter, who lives on Woodrow Road and created the group said, “Myself and so many other people are devastated about this. I have lived next to the field for almost 40 years and use the field every day to walk my dogs, as do a lot of people.
“People have said there’s no way we can stop it from happening but I have to try because if we do nothing then they will definitely go through with it.”
15-year-old James Dobbin wrote, “My family and I live along Woodrow Road and there are many reasons why I think the proposals are not viable. Primarily, the roads leading to Woodrow Road are already congested and it often takes a while to travel into town. I believe further houses will increase this problem.
“This site is reasonably close to the river, which already floods on the Beanacre side and surely this development will increase the potential flooding which could occur. I would also question the housing estate being so far away from the local secondary school and any amenities.
“Lastly, many people use these fields for dog walking and to enjoy the beautiful scenery and countryside which seems, in Melksham, to be slowly depleting and always taking second place to housing.
“There seems to be little consideration for residents who will be widely affected, many of whom have lived in this area for decades.”
The pre-application information suggests there would be a mix of two to five bedroom homes, with road access from Woodrow Road and footpaths to the north and south. The company said the development would be in keeping with local character, and that public open space and new habitats would be created.
A planning application has not yet been sent to Wiltshire Council, but full information and a feedback form are available online at www.woodrowroad.co.uk