PEWSEY Parish Council has responded to claims by a developer that sites for affordable housing would not materialise in the village.

Dunmoore Properties had claimed that there were no allocated sites for affordable housing in Pewsey.

This was after a bid by the firm for 50 affordable houses was knocked back by Wiltshire Council and opposed heavily by the parish council.

Parish chairman Curly Haskell, said: “This is the fourth of varying proposals for this site in as many years, submitted by Dunmoore Properties Ltd and has now been followed by another; this time for a 30-house mixed development.

“Dunmoore Properties Ltd are well aware the site is outside the Pewsey settlement boundary, with the only access from a narrow country lane, is Grade I agricultural land in North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and as such, there can be no justification for developing here at this time.”

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In turning down Dunmoore’s proposals, Wiltshire Council’s planning officers said the plans conflicted with the Pewsey Neighbourhood Plan and that 50 affordable homes would go against the council’s policies on mixed housing.

Cllr Haskell said that over the past two years around 20 houses had been built or are nearly finished in the parish.

“Contrary to the developer’s assertion, there are at least two allocated sites available, amounting to a possible 61 houses,” he added.

“The developer is also quoted in saying that “no likely delivery until the plan’s reviewed in 2026”. In fact, the review of the neighbourhood plan began earlier this year.

“This review will include plans for future building within the village boundary, will encourage integrated developments of mixed housing size and type and will be on sustainable sites with good access to village facilities; not isolated from the village hub.

“We do not disagree that we are dealing with “people’s lives” and “they need homes”.

“However, this should be done by a carefully planned development strategy, in line with the Wiltshire Core Strategy and emerging Local Plan, according to need, on the most suitable and sustainable site and in accordance with the wishes and support of the Pewsey community.”

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Dunmoore said that all of the roads in the village were country roads, and that Wiltshire Council had agreed that the agricultural land had not been used in years.

The developer also maintained that “there are no deliverable” sites for affordable houses in Pewsey and that the sites in the neighbourhood plan were for mixed-use and employment development.

A Dunmoore spokesman said: “The inclusion of employment land hinders the site’s ability to deliver housing making it a less favourable option to Wilcot Road which would deliver much needed affordable homes.

“Wiltshire Council’s own Housing Land Supply Statement published December 2020 notes the Marlborough Road site as not being deliverable within in the next five years and is consistent with Dunmoore’s assessment, taking non-delivery to the end of the plan period.

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“Dunmoore’s proposal for 30 homes at Wilcot Road is in line with National Policy on housebuilding and offers a Wiltshire Council policy compliant level of affordable housing. “Dunmoore is conscious of the great need for affordable housing as demonstrated by numerous affordable housing reports that Dunmoore have commissioned. Additionally, a Wiltshire Council “Housing Survey (included in the Pewsey Neighbourhood Plan) which was carried out at the request of Pewsey Parish Council found 74.8 per cent of respondents supported new homes being built in the Parish which Wilcot Road would deliver.

“Dunmoore strongly believe Wilcot Road is in a sustainable location, as it is close to local amenities including a primary school and train station.

“Its location in the AONB is outweighed by the pressing need to deliver homes for local families who are being priced out of the area.”