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Westbury business park campaigners urge Wiltshire Council to think again
Campaigners from Hawkeridge Action Group are asking Wiltshire Council to reconsider the proposed site for a 35-acre business park in the village, after carrying out a study of other available development sites.
Land at Mill Lane opposite the entrance to the West Wilts Trading Estate has been identified within the draft Wiltshire Core Strategy for employment use by developers HPH of Bath for a business park called Hawke Ridge.
The council recently stated at the Core Strategy hearings that there was no further development land available, which is why it supported the new development.
However, a recent study carried out by the action group indicates that 83 acres are currently available for industrial usage, within a three-mile radius of the proposed site.
Chairman of the action group William Wilson said: “There is little market at the current time for more industrial development land. I cannot see why they want to take more green fields when there’s over 80 acres of land that they haven’t started building on.
“These 80 acres already have all the drainage and infrastructure connected so that they can build immediately, and all of it is far more accessible than Hawkeridge.
“Wiltshire Council should come up with a proper thought-out plan for Westbury instead of taking what developers hand to them.
“The Hawkeridge site is not suited for development. It has no services and you can see it clearly from the White Horse ridge. The site is also very historic, with archaeological interest, a listed farm and most importantly it is currently an agricultural residential area.”
Residents were invited to look at the plans for the business park during a public exhibition held at The Laverton on July 4, with an outline planning application yet to be submitted.
A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said: “We have consulted widely on this core strategy to make sure all views are considered. This area has been identified for employment use and the inspector will ultimately decide if this is an appropriate use of the land.
“In the future, any planning application for this land will need to go through the usual processes, which include consultation.”