September planning committee meeting

The weather forecast says cold and rainy for tomorrow, so that seems to mark the official end to summer! OldSarumGirl is settling in well at Old Sarum Primary School, and a new phase of life begins. We haven’t tried out the new little play area outside school yet. To be honest, I’ve heard the people living opposite have had a horrible time with noisy kids in the school holidays, and I feel a bit self conscious about letting mine play in there. It really is awfully close to the houses. It’s a shame to complain though, as it has taken a long time to wring anything like this out of Persimmon.

Some of Persimmon’s planning applications come up before the Wiltshire southern planning committee this evening. I see both are recommended for approval, so I wonder what will really happen? One application is for the shop buildings, which everyone is so desperate for. The other is a small area of housing in the north-east corner of the estate. The only objection to that seems to be the fact that Persimmon have already used up their agreed housing numbers. It kind of sounds like a technicality, until you realise that they have no practical way of compensating for over-populating the estate. They can’t do anything now to improve Sherbourne Drive. It’s completely useless as a bus route, people park on it and builders’ vehicles are still using it every day. More houses will mean even more traffic for the road.

The school could be challenged too. As we live in an older house, we are technically outside the catchment area. This year, there was space for OldSarumGirl so no problem. Another year that might not be the case. I can see it causing a lot of anger if those catchment rules ever start being put into practice. So much has been done to integrate the old and new communities, what a step backward it would be to segregate our children at school. More new houses means more children moving in and being put ahead of established families on the list.

I look forward to hearing the outcome of the planning committee.

 

*** Do read Wiltshire councillor Ian McLennan’s comment below!***

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2 Comments

  1. Wiltshire Cllr Ian McLennan

    Hello again Old Sarum Mum. You are right on the money again!

    The good news is that a decent bunch of Residents Assn and Parish Council reps turned up on Thursday and made their thoughts very plain.

    I was therefore able to put the case to reject areas 9a and 9b (despite being up for approval) and I am pleased to say that we won the day! No doubt Persimmon will appeal but it is a good test for the 630 dwellings versus the how many can we squeeze in view of Persimmon.

    Next was the Local centre and this was a dilemma. In the end, I took the steer from the Resdents Assn and other speakers, which was “This is not what we would want but we need the shops desperately and will live with the not so good aspects”.

    I adjusted the opening times of the convenience store to 10pm – that seems more amenable than 11pm. It is a convenience not an al lnight shop like Tesco! In time, if residents (not visitors from afar) want an 11pm close, then the condition can be varied.

    Also, no deliveries 3-4 owing to school time turn out.

    There was some affordable dwellings which they wanted to say were from 9a and 9b’s allocation. I kept them in but asked for all reference to a connection to 9a and b to be deleted, as we had already knocked that out!

    There was also some land allocated for a possible school overflow, to WC Education. I got that amended to state that if the Ediucation was not required, WC can keep the land for recreation and pass it to the parish Council!

    All in all, a good night but Persimmon are persimmon, so who knows what will happen.
    They don’t seem to care about people, just how many boxes.

    Good input from John Wilkinson on behalf of the Res Assn and Ron Champion the PC Chairman. Also an articulate speech from a resident claiming to represent the military families. (Hope that’s not devisive – we want one community from the old and the new.

    Finally, on the school, I still froth at the mouth. The school governors voted (when I was one0 to make Old sarum the catchment for Old sarum school. However, there are education rules which are not simple to explain, so technically, WC do not see that as official…it is the policy though. The task of all the parents from the original housing at Old Sarum, is to apply a year in adbvance and get agreement from John Jones in writing, as confirmation. if it comes to a choice, WC would step in and new house children would take precedent. That’s not what it should be at all.

    Long term (not so long0, I have got WC to agree a double form entry primary school at Longhedge with the 2 school Old sarum and Longhedge sharing a catchment of Old sarum/Longhedge.

    That will sort it! No more bussing about!

    Hope that helps.

    Best to all

    Ian

  2. Wiltshire Cllr Ian McLennan

    Sad news. I have just been informed that Persimmon, the eternal scumbags, have appealed the ‘Approval’ given to the Local centre (shops). No reason given.

    They really are the pits and appear to care not for the community they supposedly help build.

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