PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IN PICKWICK
Gladman v. Wilts Council (strongly assisted by Pickwick Association)
It’s well over six years since Gladman early in 2013 launched their opportunist proposals to put 150 houses and 2 office blocks on this grade-two agricultural site opposite the Catholic Church north of the A4 in Pickwick.
UPDATE: 3 March 2021
The seemingly never-ending Public Inquiry into Wiltshire Council’s consistent refusal to allow development over a licenced stone mine in Pickwick has resumed – and again been adjourned.
The Inquiry, chaired by a senior Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, heard last week from our own expert witnesses how Gladman’s attempts to mitigate the noise from mining a few metres below the houses proposed to be built on the site were likely to fail and how water logging within the foundations would guarantee failure. Matters, of course, disputed by Gladman.
Both the Council’s and Gladman’s planning officials also rehearsed their opposing views as to whether specialist foundations were required for the office blocks proposed for the site. Having listened intently to the proceedings, the Inspector then adjourned the Inquiry to allow each party to complete their summing-up statements. These will be heard when the Inquiry resumes (virtually) on 6 April.
UPDATE: 30 January 2021
Firstly thank-you to all those who ‘attended’ last week’s Planning Inquiry proceedings – some twenty to thirty each day for at least some of the time. It is very comforting to see that the Association’s ongoing activity on this matter has considerable support amongst our community.
Four days of intensive legal scrutiny led us closer, but the definitive conclusion – the Inspector’s decision – is still a fair way away. A further two days’ public hearing are needed (scheduled, 24/25 February) with possibly a third – likely to have to be in April. The Inspector has determined (quite properly in our view) that he must visit the site before hearing final submissions from all three parties and only then will he make, write and publish his final conclusive decision – appeal allowed or dismissed. The finishing post is within sight.
This week saw exchanges on the geology of the site, the presence – or otherwise – of endangered species (of bats) and, critically, whether the Inspector would be able to be certain that noise and vibration from mining activity just a few metres below any building on the site will cause no nuisance at all at any time in the future.
We hope that those able to listen to any of this week’s proceedings were impressed by the highly professional performance of our team, which we modestly suggest has been a credit to us all.
David Taylor & Tony Clark
UPDATE: 1 January 2021
A Public Inquiry was originally planned to take place in July 2019 to decide on the merits and legal compliance of Gladman’s three appeals against Wiltshire Council’s repeated refusal to approve their proposals. That Inquiry was postponed when the Inspector hearing the case fell ill. It was resumed under a different Inspector in January 2020. But immediately adjourned – at Gladman’s request to enable them to ‘tweak’ the foundations they proposed for the buildings.
The coronavirus then struck – and following repeated attempts to get it re-started is now set to take place from 26 January 2021.
The Pickwick Association will continue vigorously to support the Council in defence of this unwarranted and entirely speculative appeal.