Proposals for a huge housing development of up to 650 new homes outside Melksham have been turned down by Wiltshire Council.

The outline planning application was submitted by Gleeson Land in March 2023 and concerned fields at Blackmore Farm, on Sandridge Common.

The site is just over 30 hectares in size and is located on the eastern edge of Melksham.

The housing development would have required the demolition of the agricultural buildings on the land and the reservation of a section for a new primary school.

The application stated: “The new development includes significant areas of accessible public open space providing for informal recreation, allotments, orchards, wildlife habitat areas, sustainable surface water drainage features and formal children’s play areas.”

It added: “The proposed development would create approximately 2,015 jobs across the local economy.”

Melksham Town Council, Melksham Without Parish Council and Lacock Parish Council all objected to the plans.

107 representation letters were sent to Wiltshire Council regarding the application.

Residents expressed concerns about the size of the development, the impact on the environment, the lack of existing infrastructure and the increase in traffic.

Wiltshire Council concluded that the plans were contradictory with a number of its core policies and that the applicant had not demonstrated that the proposal could “satisfactorily accommodate the quantum of development proposed.”