The proposed multi-storey car park for Chippenham would be a monstrous carbuncle on the face of Monkton Park, according to objectors.

Chris Caswill, chairman of the Friends of Monkton Park, said they would be making their views known to Wiltshire Council, in the face of a planning application to build a car park at Sadlers Mead with four floors and a roof, providing 255 parking spaces.

Although architects revealed designs that aim to hide the structure from view from nearby Monkton Park using timber cladding and semi mature trees, Mr Caswill described this as a fig leaf that would do little to mitigate the impact on the park.

“It will have an extraordinarily unpleasant impact and will seriously affect what is the jewel in Chippenham’s crown,” he said. “It will be detrimental to the view of the park.”

Mr Caswill said while the Friends’ priority was Monkton Park, as a former Wiltshire Councillor, he was also concerned about the impact of increased traffic on Station Hill, with the car park, a retirement home and around 200 new houses on Rawlings Green all going to add to congestion.

“It will make Station Hill into a constant traffic jam,” he said.

If approved, the car park could be built by 2020, in time for the electrification of train lines in the town which is expected to increase footfall to the town. Improved train services will mean London can be reached town within an hour.

Coun Nick Murry, Wiltshire and Chippenham Town Council ward member and chair of Chippenham’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group said:

“This is simply the wrong place for a five tier multi-storey carpark. What most people (and local councillors) agree is needed is expanded commuter parking alongside the railway, particularly on the north side of the station, as well as expanded town centre parking on the Bath Road site, as part of a new retail and leisure development.

"What certainly isn’t needed is a multi-storey carpark looming over our central and historic park and river front, in a conservation area and adjacent to residential properties."

He added:

“With 295 spaces proposed for the site, and about 100 spaces scheduled for the retirement complex opposite, there would be almost 400 vehicles entering and exiting onto Sadlers Mead and adding to the existing congestion and air pollution on Cocklebury Road and Station Hill, not to mention exhaust emissions settling into the park and children’s play area below.

"Wiltshire Council needs to start thinking strategically and developing long term solutions for the town, which avoid sending yet more station traffic into the town centre, and include an effective bus-rail interchange and modern, safe cycle and walking routes to the station. This car park proposal is yet another example of short term thinking and unsustainable development.”

Wiltshire Council says moves to combat increased congestion have also been included in the plan, which is part of the overall Chippenham Station Hub rejuvenation development.

The work is part of phase two of the rejuvenation project that has already seen the station get a new café, waiting space and ticket machines.

The application for Sadlers Mead is now online and can be seen at,893561