Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Work has now started on the extension to Adcroft Surgery to accommodate the Bradford Road Practice, new access road of Seymour Road now under construction. see Wiltshire Times tihs week.  Planning application details here :,837087

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Pavilions Trowbridge - The battle for the Article 4 Direction

Wiltshire Council's Article 4 Direction to prevent The Pavilions being turned into flats is now with the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who can decide to order the Council to withdraw the Direction.  The confirmation of the Article 4 Direction is strongly supported locally and by our MP and the Parish Council.  Below is  a summary of Transforming Trowbridge's response to the DCLG.  The potential owners of the site have hired a barrister to make their case and this is referred to in our response.

Article 4 Direction – The Pavilions White Horse Business Park Trowbridge
You will see from the website we are a private sector led partnership, supported by the largest businesses in Trowbridge, committed to winning investment and creating jobs in Trowbridge at a time when the town is expanding rapidly.

You can see from the ‘Opportunities’ page of our website that we have identified the building the subject of the Article 4 Direction as one of our priorities

The White Horse Business Park is the most important, and high profile, employment site in the town.  Its loss to residential accommodation would be disastrous.

 We have been shown a copy of the submission made to you by the barrister on behalf of Three Pavilions Ltd and we want to record our concerns about the conclusions drawn by that submission.

Wiltshire Council has made this Direction, because, and only because, the development to which it relates is prejudicial to the proper planning of the area.  It is absolutely necessary to protect the wellbeing of the area.  The potential harm that the direction is intended to prevent should be clearly addressed has been identified.  It is the loss of the most important employment opportunity in the town
(Note the words in italics are quotations from National Planning Guidance)

The sophistry in the barrister's submission cannot escape these obvious conclusions.  Whilst the building has been empty for several years now, this was the case when Barclays Bank left in the nineties and Virgin Mobile arrived several years later and became Wiltshire’s largest employer.  Transforming Trowbridge have been very disappointed with the marketing of the building and we are now involved in taking initiatives to draw the availability of the building to, in particular, the call centre industry.
The Government’s motivation for giving Permitted Development rights was surely not intended to transform Trowbridge’s most prestigious Business Park into a residential area when local housing need is being met through the Wiltshire Core Strategy. Within a few hundred yards of The Pavilions, the Core Strategy has identified a development site - Ashton Park Urban Extension - that will provide some 2600 dwellings (30% affordable) with a suitable mix of housing in line with Core Policies 45 and 46. With the large number of new residents these homes will attract, the pressing need will be for an increased supply of employment opportunities. Trowbridge, being Wiltshire’s County Town, with excellent transport connections, has for many years functioned as a major employment location for a wide catchment area. Significant housing proposals in all the neighbouring market towns will inevitably result in even higher demand for more jobs. The loss of a major employment site at such a critical time, when all efforts are being directed at building expanded, balanced communities is unthinkable.         

We trust that the Secretary of State will consider it is inappropriate to intervene in this matter.  It is essentially a local issue.