Plan for 125 houses at Marden Farm raises flooding and traffic fears

Louis Warnett and Aran Greig, at the front, take part in a demonstration about the proposed new housing development at Marden Farm, Calne

Louis Warnett and Aran Greig, at the front, take part in a demonstration about the proposed new housing development at Marden Farm, Calne

First published in News by

South Calne residents will voice concerns over plans for a care home and 125 houses at Marden Farm, near Rookery Park, at a public meeting.

A planning application to build on the land, submitted by Gleeson Strategic Land and Notaro Care Homes, has raised fears over potential traffic problems, air pollution and flooding.

As well as 125 homes, of which 30 per cent will be affordable housing, the plan includes space for parking, a public open space and a community orchard.

The care home will provide facilities for 75 dementia patients and ten assisted living units.

The site can be reached from The Rise, a residential road with around 50 houses, but developer Gleeson plans to demolish a bungalow at Stockley Lane to create a main access road.

Residents first heard of the plans in October when Gleeson arranged a leaflet drop. After this, South Calne Residents’ Association, which organised today’s meeting, re-formed.

Vice chairman Derek Warnett lives next to the bungalow that will be knocked down if the application is successful.

Mr Warnett, 61, said: “My big concern is that the bungalow they’re going to change into an access road is within 60 yards of a very dangerous corner.

“Although there’s a 30mph limit just as cars enter the bend, we know that cars come round that bend often in excess of 30mph.

“There will be additional traffic having to access the new development and the rest of the town, which is going to exacerbate an already challenging air quality issue in the town.

"We have also experienced and seen the little river down Stockley Lane flooding onto the road, which will increase if they build there.”

The planning application is also being opposed by Calne town councillors, who said the town had already met its housing criteria for 2026 according to Wiltshire’s core strategy.

Alan Hill, Wiltshire councillor for Calne South and Cherhill, said: “This is a housing application on steroids. It’s over development in my view and the intention to create a dementia unit is merely, I believe, a sweetener to the pill.

“I believe I am right in saying previous applications always wanted to access the site at the western end of Rookery Park.

“Gleeson will gain access by demolishing a bungalow at the eastern end. I think that would create another quite busy access point onto the Stockley Lane at a very dangerous point in the road.”

Calne mayor Roy Golding said: “We have seen this before in a number of different guises and this town council has always considered that it was not a good idea to develop on the area.

"Our main objections were because of highways issues. From what I’ve seen I don’t think any of those highways issues have been addressed.”

Peter Grubb, of WYG Planning and Environment, said: “This has been many years in the making.

“We believe it meets the needs of Calne without any significant harm arising. We believe it will be a credit to the town and hope that local residents will be able to support the proposals.”

The meeting will be in John Bentley School at 6.30pm today.

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