CONTROVERSIAL plans for 650 houses on land at Blackmore Farm, off Eastern Way, have been revealed, despite Melksham already exceeding its current housing target by nearly 500 houses.
Developers, Gleeson Land, will be hosting a public consultation event at Melksham Assembly Hall on Tuesday 26th April, 2pm to 7pm, for people to find out more about their proposal.
News of the proposed development comes at a time when Melksham has an adopted Neighbourhood Plan, which sets out where a community would prefer to see housing built, and protects against unsustainable development until July 2023.
The plan has recently been successfully used in fending off an unsustainable housing development of 231 houses on land south of Western Way. The plans were refused by Wiltshire Council, who cited the Neighbourhood Plan as a key factor for its refusal. Wiltshire Council officers also said in the refusal that there will be no need to consider any future housing supply in the Melksham Community Area for at least several years.
Figures published by Wiltshire Council this month state that the Melksham Community Area has exceeded its 2,370 housing target for the 2006-2026 period by 459 houses – which includes 2,235 houses built between 2006-2021 and 594 houses with planning permission yet to be built.
However, Gleeson Land is hoping that their proposal for 650 houses will be considered as part of Melksham’s new housing target, which is yet to be confirmed by Wiltshire Council in its emerging Local Plan.
It was reported by Melksham News in February last year, that Wiltshire Council has earmarked Melksham for potentially another 2,585 houses in their emerging Local Plan, which is due to be published later this year.
“Wiltshire Council is in the process of identifying where future housing growth will go at Melksham as part of the new Wiltshire Local Plan,” say Gleeson Land.
“Land at Blackmore Farm is one of the areas being considered by Wiltshire Council. To date, Gleeson Land have responded to the site search consultation stages to advise the council that this land is available to accommodate future housing growth for the town.
“Wiltshire Council is due to publish its draft Local Plan, including sites allocated for housing, during 2022.”
About the upcoming public consultation, they say, “We would like to offer the local community the opportunity to view and comment on these emerging proposals in advance of any planning application being submitted.