Protesters fight to save Chippenham beauty spot

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Campiagners  are angry at plans to build homes on one of the last remaining woods in Chippenham Campiagners are angry at plans to build homes on one of the last remaining woods in Chippenham

Plans to build houses on one of Chippenham’s last remaining woodlands has sparked fury among people in the town.

A group of developers has approached North Wiltshire District Council to seek clarification on what issues would need to be addressed to develop the 46 hectares.

But the news has riled people in the town who see Birds Marsh wood as one of the town’s few remaining beauty spots.

Sheila Davies, 77, who lives on Hill Corner Road, said: “This would be an abomination. This is a beautiful part of the town and a real jewel in the crown when people drive in from the M4.

“It is very popular with dog walkers and families on a Sunday afternoon.

“It would be a crying shame if the wood was torn down for yet more housing.”

The woodland is home to a number of protected species including the marsh tit.

Protesters have now set up an online campaign group on the social networking site Facebook to raise awareness of the plans.

To date more than 500 people have signed up.

Simon Main, who lives in Broomfield and set up the Facebook group, said: “I just want people to know that things are happening, and a large part of green belt is under threat.

“The last thing I want to happen is that a planning application goes through without the majority of public being aware.

“I and many people who have signed up on the Facebook group spent most of their youth visiting Birds Marsh. Even today hundreds of local people visit the place every day.

“Birds Marsh is a stunning place 365 days a year, and so is the land that surrounds it.

“Let’s not let this get steam rollered through.”

Leader of North Wiltshire District Council Dick Tonge said: “At this stage we have only been asked to rule on what impacts and issues a possible development in this area of Chippenham might cause.

“We have not received any planning application.

“If an application is received, they have to supply the information we have asked for and we will then consult with local people for their views as part of the normal planning process.”.

Comments (5)

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10:59am Thu 1 Jan 09

kla says...

I have tried to find this group on Facebook so i can join and give my support, but i dont know what the group is called, can a link please be posted here then many more people will be able to join and give support, thanks :)
I have tried to find this group on Facebook so i can join and give my support, but i dont know what the group is called, can a link please be posted here then many more people will be able to join and give support, thanks :) kla
  • Score: 0

11:14am Thu 1 Jan 09

Grumpy Old Cynic says...

This proposal for housing at Bird's Marsh is quite outrageous. Whatever are our local councillors thinking of??
Be warned - any councillor who even sniffs at this will almost certainly and entirely rightly lose their seat at the next election!
Tell the developers to go build on a brownfield site.
This proposal for housing at Bird's Marsh is quite outrageous. Whatever are our local councillors thinking of?? Be warned - any councillor who even sniffs at this will almost certainly and entirely rightly lose their seat at the next election! Tell the developers to go build on a brownfield site. Grumpy Old Cynic
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Thu 1 Jan 09

Paul Tucker says...

Search for Birds Marsh on facebook...

http://www.facebook.
com/s.php?q=birds+ma
rsh&init=q&sid=35e90
c336591226f75e142219
3f94177#/group.php?g
id=62854749008
Search for Birds Marsh on facebook... http://www.facebook. com/s.php?q=birds+ma rsh&init=q&sid=35e90 c336591226f75e142219 3f94177#/group.php?g id=62854749008 Paul Tucker
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Thu 1 Jan 09

kla says...

Thanks.
Thanks. kla
  • Score: 0

6:03am Mon 5 Jan 09

The Maxter says...

Two reasons we need more houses in southern England are to offset population migration due to work prospects and compensate for the increase in solo living. The houses already exist in the north, thus wealth distribution by encouraging employers to open facilities elswhere will help. As for the divorce/single living rate - I don't have an answer to that one.
Two reasons we need more houses in southern England are to offset population migration due to work prospects and compensate for the increase in solo living. The houses already exist in the north, thus wealth distribution by encouraging employers to open facilities elswhere will help. As for the divorce/single living rate - I don't have an answer to that one. The Maxter
  • Score: 1
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