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Summary of Wiltshire Core Strategy responses

At the tail end of 2009, I was involved in responding to consultation being run by Wiltshire Council on the future deveopment of Wiltshire, and the towns and villages therein. The headline presentation from Wiltshire Council picked out three places - Chippenham, Trowbridge and "West of Swindon" as places where major development should go, and then listed 10 "Market Towns", the largest of which was Melksham, for rather less development. So we ended up with Melksham listed alongside towns a fifth of its size and said to be sharing the same model, but being lisetd for treatment as a "second class town" when compared to towns that are only a little larger.

The responses that I helped write and submit are available for reading as follows:
Melksham Chamber of Commerce at http://www.melkshamchamber.org.uk/core.html
Melksham Railway Development Group at http://www.wellho.net/mouth/2557_.html

An extension of the deadline has been allowed for certain organisations (and, indeed, there is a further stage of consultation and fine tuning later in the year). Tonight, I'm at a Melksham Community Area Partnership meeting that will discuss the matter further. Tomorrow night, I'm at a further meeting with the Melksham Town Council and Melksham Without Parish Council. And there's a public meeting scheduled for 23rd January too. The Chamber of Commerce and Melksham Railway Development group responses are complete, but other are not ... so this article (which I'll print out and have available for distribution tonight) may help set the scene and ensure the responses are co-ordinated.

You may feel that I'm being negative at the positioning of Melksham in the heirarcy; yes, I am (at least at the top) and we already have indications that we need to be careful to get ourselves classed as a town that wants to retain its position and grow with others. However, the headlines of Wiltshire Council's document hide a much better and far less stark set of detailed proposals that ARE broadly sensible.

In response to a request for a precise of what I was going to say for The Chamber and the railway group, so that the Community Area Partnership could put in at least a direction indication by 31st December, I submitted the following:

I would suggest that the bullet points I made are:

a) Melksham should be allowed to grow as a complete community, with good housing, jobs, education, health and leisure facilities with appropriate economic conditions, transport connections, law and order. Some services may be shared with neighbouring towns, with neighbouring towns using some of its facilities. Bearing this in mind, it should be put into the same category / use the same model as towns that are slightly larger, such as Chippenham and Trowbridge, and not lumped in with towns that are many times smaller - down to about one fifth of the population.

b) Melksham is ideally placed for this major role for the future, with a section on the A350 for high quality business development, for housing already under way to the East of the town for those who want a suburban way of living, and the area between the river and railway (and just beyond) for a more urban life style. The trunk road runs through this latter area, and it's close by good (or potentially good) public transport links, and the town centre too. Leisure facilities can be provided on the land between the A350 / A365 junction to the south of the town and the industrial side of Bowerhill. There is alreay a small lake and golf there, and it's a natural centre to attract visitiors from Melksham and further afield. A green belt should be left between Melksham itself and Bowerhill; there are strong inputs from Melksham Without to keep this separation, and it forms a welcome barrier and leisure / walking area

c) The alternative to allowing Melksham to grow is to try to maintain a status quo - there are elements of this in the core strategy, but if you talk to people of Melksham they reject (70 : 2 vote on one issue) this, fearing that it will lead to stagnation and ultimately decay and the problems associated with that. "Do you really want Melksham to grow?" asked Jim Sherry at the public consultation. "Yes please - the alternative isn't what we want" is the definitive answer.

d) In order to grow as part of a community of linked town in an intelligent urbanisation, and sustainable, way there need to be a number of transport and access considerations. (i) Limited road building is needed - to link Bowerhill to the A350 at Hampton West, to dual the A350 past Chippenham, and to rearrange town centre car parking to that the short term car parks are ones which have good infrastructure allowing high volumes of traffic in and out, with longer term parking in those which are accessed via town centre / cul de sac / one way system. (ii) Melksham's public transport connections to the outside world need improving - as already recommended by WC and Network Rail, the train service should increase to about a half of that at Chippenham or Trowbridge, with improvements to the station, which is uniquely placed in the area as a "park and ride" accessible without using congested town roads. (iii) The local bus service, adding in the setion 106 service to be provided by Asda, should be revised, and through buses adjusted, to give a truely integrated public transport system that encourages end to end journeys to, from and through the Melksham area

It is noted that none of the proposals suggested is unduly expensive when compared to alternatives, and the package as a whole (when wrapped in with the rest of Wiltshire works very well for the sensible development of the area, and its life styles, services, jobs and standards for the next 20 years.

I was out walking elsewhere in Wiltshire the other day, and I picked up a copy of a leaflet. It said """Dec 31 2009: New Brynards Hill Deadline. After protecting the area for nearly 10 years, the planners have now earmarlked BH for development in Withshire Core Strategy for 2026". The plan is DRAFT ONLY at present and you can help reverse this part of the plan ...""" But that is Wootton Bassett ... it would seem an excellent move for the planners to do more for Melksham than their draft suggests, do less elsewhere, in each case going along with the requests of local voices and producing a win (Wiltshire Council), win (Wootton Bassett) and win (Melksham) solution.
(written 2010-01-13, updated 2010-01-14)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z301 - Current Affairs
  [3720] Melksham ATC - freedom of the town - (2012-05-05)
  [3646] Exploring Melksham with a film maker - (2012-03-09)
  [3467] Charities v Charitable. The cost of collecting your donation. - (2011-10-06)
  [3385] Do university courses teach the right things for life at work later on? - (2011-08-10)
  [3357] Business, priorities, and volunteering - (2011-07-14)
  [3347] The Anthony trial - Orange County, Florida. Thoughts on conclusion - (2011-07-06)
  [3282] The future of canal management and charities - Kennet and Avon Canal bias - (2011-05-08)
  [3265] Alternative Vote (AV) - cutting the crap - (2011-04-25)
  [3231] Footpath, Bridleway, Byway, Road used as Public Path - (2011-04-04)
  [3228] What can you take on a public footpath? Pram? Wheelbarrow? Dog? Shopping Trolley? Horse? Cycle? - (2011-04-03)
  [3183] Redevelopment on the banks of the Avon in Melksham - (2011-02-25)
  [3126] Car Parking in Melksham - thoughts on the proposed scheme, and wider thoughts too - (2011-01-09)
  [3030] Liquorice allsorts and Dolly Mixtures - (2010-11-05)
  [3028] VAT rise in January - it is really up 14% not just 2.5% - (2010-11-03)
  [2995] A river in Melksham is not just for boaters. - (2010-10-11)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2904] Melksham Area Board meeting of last week - (2010-08-04)
  [2852] Atworth Village Fete - on the Melksham Community Area Partnership stand - (2010-07-04)
  [2776] Regional Spatial Strategy and the next 20 years - Whence Wiltshire under the new government? - (2010-05-22)
  [2666] Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08)
  [2602] East of Melksham - Building Work Starts - (2010-01-28)
  [2514] The road show has been - where now? - (2009-11-27)
  [2508] Community Area Partnership - inaugural AGM - (2009-11-20)
  [2289] pre-Inaugural briefing - Melksham Community Area Partnership - (2009-07-15)
  [2128] Wiltshire - where everybody matters - (2009-04-13)
  [2112] Whatever next ... the joys of being an employer - (2009-04-01)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [1960] Christmas Survivors - (2008-12-25)
  [1275] Incident in Melksham - (2007-07-24)
  [1214] New Serieses for the summer on TV - (2007-06-02)
  [614] News in Ireland - (2006-02-20)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [33] 10 Years of experience - (2004-08-30)

Z403 - Organisations
  [4039] Seed Swap at Well House Manor - (2013-03-10)
  [4020] Melksham Community - Annual Report / MCAP - (2013-02-26)
  [3774] Melksham - a new dawn - (2012-06-23)
  [3712] Some unpublished and historic pictures - Museum of Melksham - (2012-04-28)
  [3704] The Bowerhill Villager - a newsletter for Bowerhill, Melksham - (2012-04-22)
  [3677] Some advise for guest speakers at meetings - (2012-03-31)
  [3604] Melksham Campus - a blog you can read, and a place you can comment - (2012-02-08)
  [3511] Melksham has a heart - have your picture taken and support the defibrillator appeal - (2011-11-06)
  [3484] A Melksham Timeline - Domesday to present day - (2011-10-17)
  [3317] Self Portrait (in words) - (2011-06-04)
  [2902] Community consultation - a true open input - (2010-08-04)
  [2869] Contact Information for Melksham Oak Community School - (2010-07-13)
  [2807] Canal through Melksham - the options and issues - (2010-06-13)
  [2585] Consultation in Melksham, on Melkshams future - (2010-01-17)
  [2271] Dogs Trust, Dog Show, Newbury - (2009-07-06)
  [2236] Alumni - revisiting and supporting the old University - (2009-06-13)
  [2026] Melksham Climate Friendly Group - (2009-02-05)
  [2015] Service Excellence Awards - (2009-01-30)
  [2012] The Wiltshire Police - (2009-01-29)
  [1280] West Wilts - no longer Wet Wilts - show - (2007-07-28)
  [1278] West Wilts Show - (2007-07-26)
  [1258] A day looking ahead for Well House Consultants - (2007-07-05)
  [981] Finalist reception - Wiltshire Business of the Year - (2006-12-13)
  [472] Are you free on 29th October - Charity ball - (2005-10-21)
  [307] Farming yesterday - (2005-05-10)
  [58] Call Centres, selling, and a pause for thought - (2004-09-22)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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