RESIDENTS of Warminster are being given the chance to say whether they would like the site of a controversial housing plan to be designated as local green space.

The move could mean that Damask Way off Smallbrook Lane in Warminster could be protected from future housing development proposals.

Earlier this year, housing developer Backhouse Homes (Warminster) Ltd withdrew plans to build 28 new homes on the site after a five-year battle.

Hundreds of residents opposed the company’s revised application to build the new homes on land east of Damask Way and east of Upper Marsh Road and north of Smallbrook Lane.

The plans had all matters reserved except for a new access road proposed off Upper Marsh Road.

But the company's application was closed on May 24 and a separate application for the steep entrance route was refused by Wiltshire Council in July 2022.

Afterwards, Backhouse Homes said it was considering its options for the future of the site.

Harriet James, of Sustainable Warminster, welcomed the opportunity, saying: “Sustainable Warminster continue to oppose any building on this site which lies between the Smallbrook Meadows Nature Reserve and the River Wylye SSSI and Special Area of Conservation.

“The group opposes building because of the unacceptable impact of sewage and surface water run-off on the River Wylye, which is an internationally important chalk stream which is already in poor condition requiring improvement, and the landscape impact of housing on an elevated site.”

Now Warminster Town Council is inviting residents to help protect the land by asking for their comments on whether it should be designated as local green space.

They are being given the opportunity to have their say as part of the review of the Warminster Neighbourhood Plan.

Wiltshire Times: The site at Damask Way, WarmnsterThe site at Damask Way, Warmnster (Image: Warminster Town Council)

Warminster town clerk Tom Dommett said: “Local Green Space designation is a way to provide special protection against development for green areas of particular importance to the local community.

“Once a site is designated as a Local Green Space, it has the same level of protection as land in the green belt.

"This means it is protected from any development that doesn't enhance the role of the area as a green space, except for in ‘very special circumstances’.”

Since the initial public consultation was carried out, the WNP Steering Group have identified Damask Way as a potential new site, he said.

“The planning permission for this site has recently lapsed and therefore it can now be considered as a potential site to be put forward for designation as a Local Green Space.

“At this stage, the WNP Steering Group are investigating whether this area meets the planning criteria for designation – one of which is to demonstrate if the site is special to the local community for reasons such as tranquillity, recreation, or wildlife.

“As part of this process, Warminster Town Council is inviting the local community to give their thoughts on whether Damask Way is special in some way to them, or not.

“As the Neighbourhood Plan evolves, there will be further opportunities during 2024 to provide additional feedback. This is a community-led Neighbourhood Plan that will have a genuine impact so please make sure you have your say.

“You can find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan review on the Warminster Neighbourhood Plan website, which includes contact details for Warminster Town Council should you have any further comments or questions.”

Residents can leave comments on a short online survey which can be found at

Paper copies of the survey are available from Warminster Civic Centre. The survey will be open until Sunday, December 3.