Hostility to Market Lavington housing plan for nursery site

Proposals for nearly 60 new homes on the site of a plant nursery in Market Lavington has been met with opposition.

The Pegasus Group is preparing a planning application on behalf of Persimmon Homes for a development of up to 58 homes where Fiddington Hill Nurseries operates on the Fiddington Clay estate.

It invited residents to an exhibition in the Old School in Church Street on Monday, to view outline plans for a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced two, three, four and five-bedroom houses.

It prompted an immediate reaction to bringing 58 more families into a village that, some protesters claimed, is already bursting at the seams.

Mervyn Smith, who lives on the other side of the village to the nurseries, said: “The traffic through the village is already appalling.

“There is no infrastructure and the schools are over-subscribed as it is. The roads leading in and out of the village are not adequate.

Another resident, Colin Bowler, said: “They will soon find that they can’t get sewage in and out without a lot of expensive work.”

However, former parish councillor Keith Bennett said: “People need homes and they have to be built somewhere.”

PFA Consulting has been retained by Persimmon to find a way around the problems of traffic and drainage.

Its representative, Steve Millard, said his staff were already addressing the concerns of residents.

He said: “We need to understand the numbers of vehicles we’re looking at and our traffic counters started work last week.

“We have already upgraded the transport statement that we are obliged to do, to a more detailed transport assessment, because of the special problems of the village.”

Market Lavington is on the B3098, which has become increasingly busy as the main road connecting Urchfont with West Lavington, Erlestoke and Westbury.

Residents report that, at peak times, the centre of the village can become gridlocked, especially when deliveries are being made to shops in the High Street.

An open meeting at the Old School, on Tuesday, will consider creating a neighbourhood plan. The document would give the community more say in any future development. The meeting is due to start at 6pm.

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