The Public Inquiry into Wiltshire Council’s refusal to allow development on farmland opposite the Catholic Church in Pickwick will resume ‘virtually’ on 26 January.
Speculators Gladman Developments obtained outline planning permission back in 2015 to build 150 houses and two office blocks on this green field. This was against the wishes of both Corsham and Wiltshire Councils, and Pickwick Association.
Permission was conditional on their being able to satisfy the Council that they could insulate each and every building from noise and vibration from licenced stone-mining activities beneath the site:
Gladman has made three attempts to meet the conditions. Each time they have failed culminating in their appeal to the planning inspector to over-rule the Planning Authority’s refusal. The resultant Public Inquiry started in January last year – and was adjourned on the opening day when Gladman realised that their plans would not work.
Gladman have subsequently come back with revised plans and hope to convince the Planning Inspector that their updated plans will, as the condition demands, ‘ensure that noise and vibration from underground mining activity shall not give rise to a noise level within any dwelling or noise sensitive building in excess of……. (precise, technically defined parameters)‘.
The Pickwick Association engaged acoustic and geological consultants to examine the new plans and will be represented throughout the Inquiry by a barrister.
We are advised that if the problem remains unaddressed, approval would leave residents living with potentially unwelcome effects of mining activity as little as 9 metres below their living rooms. The mining licence is valid until 2042.
Pickwick Association is a party to the Inquiry and will support Wiltshire Council in opposing this appeal.
Also, remember to let us have your views on Pickwick’s Conservation Area Appraisal. You have until 28 February. Find out more…