A thriving sustainable energy company may not be able to stay in Devizes after Wiltshire Council turned down an application by Redrow Homes.
Redrow Homes is building 118 homes on the former Bureau West Ministry of Defence computer centre on Horton Road, Devizes.
An area had been set aside in the outline planning application for light industrial use but Redrow applied for a change of use so that it could build another 25 houses on the land.
Last week Wiltshire Council’s planning department threw out Redrow’s application, saying: “The applicant has not demonstrated to the satisfaction of the local planning authority that there is no demand for employment use on the site and, as such, its loss for residential development would be contrary to the objectives for sustainable development, economic growth and better levels of self-containment for market towns.”
As highlighted in the Gazette in June, Devizes-based sustainable energy company IDDEA Limited, which installs solar panels and other low-energy solutions, had made an offer to Redrow Homes to buy the land to develop a carbon-neutral plant to manufacture sustainable energy products. But its offer was turned down and, with no similar land to develop in the town, IDDEA was forced to look further afield.
Ian Dunstone, a director of IDDEA Limited, gave a cautious welcome to Wiltshire Council’s decision.
He said: “An independent valuation has been commissioned by the council to see if our offer was sensible and if the asking price was realistic.
“I don’t know exactly what the result of this was but I believe it was close to what we offered, although we have not been asked to negotiate.
“We still want to develop the land into a zero-carbon business centre. We already have a couple of prospective tenants.”
It is understood Redrow Homes is to appeal the council’s decision.