PLANS to build an artificial 3G pitch in Hilperton have been rubber stamped by Wiltshire Council.

Doric Park, which has become a major talking point for Trowbridge Town Council, has been approved by the local authority’s Western Area Planning Committee.

Ernie Clark, the council member for Hilperton, said Doric Park would be a “jolly good” proposal if only it was in Trowbridge and not Hilperton.

The plan for land next to Doric Park in Hilperton

The plan for land next to Doric Park in Hilperton

Chief amongst the Independent group leader’s concerns was the loss of “high-quality” agricultural land, an increase in traffic attributed to the 158 parking spaces and the lack of suitable public transport – a combination of these factors leading to the necessity to use private cars.

Speaking as the applicant, Trowbridge town clerk, Lance Allan said the plans were supported by Wiltshire Council through its leisure and recreation policy – which seeks to encourage new sports facilities.

Cllr Andrew Davis moved to approve the bid but was reluctant as he sympathised with the issues raised by Cllr Clerk. Cllr Pip Ridout seconded the motion. The motion was passed with five councillors voting in favour of Doric Park and one abstaining.

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After the meeting, Trowbridge council leader, Stewart Palmen said: “I’m pleased now we’ve got permission for Doric Park we can go on and apply for the public works loan to finally get work started.

“It’s been a long-planned scheme that we’ve committed to give to the people of Trowbridge and now we can finally get on with it.”

The artificial soccer pitch could be built on land next to Doric Park at Hilperton

The artificial soccer pitch could be built on land next to Doric Park at Hilperton

Antonio Piazza, who represents Drynham, said now Doric Park is approved the town council needs ensure it is a success.

“I’ll be paying close attention to the finances,” he added. “We need to make sure we’re protecting the pockets of the taxpayer.”

Cllr Edward Kirk, like Cllr Piazza does not want the taxpayer to foot the £2.2m bill for the scheme and is concerned about the rising cost of building materials against the budget.


“What does it tell you about the ‘real’ local community benefit of a project, when the parish council receiving the project investment objects and doesn’t want this £3.1m facility in their parish for free?” he told the Times.

“The residents of Trowbridge are the ones funding the project and will be responsible for the multi-million pound loan over 30 years to fund it.”

The next step is for the town council to apply for the loan and begin construction of Doric Park.

“This project has been going on for a long time in the planning,” Cllr Palmen continued. “We got past all the ecological aspects – the bats, the flood lights – so all the obstacles have been overcome.”