Plans to demolish a popular used car dealership in Marlborough and replace the site with houses have faced multiple objections.

Elm Tree Motors, on Pelhams Court in Marlborough, has been serving motorists in the South West for more than 30 years, but in October 2023 owner Mark Lovelace announced his plans to relocate.

A planning application submitted by Mr Lovelace on January 1, 2024, details plans to demolish all buildings currently on the site, including four residential flats, and replace them with 13 houses and a new office building.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Lovelace, a spokesperson for RCC Town Planning Consultancy explained:

"The business and wider site are now at an important junction in their future, with some buildings requiring significant investment into their upkeep.

"The site is underutilized by the car sales business and given its central location within Marlborough, a more efficient use could be found.

"The intention is therefore to redevelop the site for a mixed-use development and relocate the car sales business elsewhere within Marlborough."

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Elm Tree Motors has been a trusty used car dealership for over 30 years.Elm Tree Motors has been a trusty used car dealership for over 30 years. (Image: Google Maps)

Despite this reasoning, locals and councillors are now fiercely objecting to the current proposal for multiple reasons.

"The featureless rear wall of the proposed two-storey office building planned to be at the bottom of my garden would be physically overbearing and extremely unattractive for all concerned to live with," said Gordon Hardwick Nelson, a property owner in the area.

"The provision of nine new parking spaces at its entrance will also create a bottleneck," pointed out Mr and Ms Lacey, who live near to Elm Tree Motors.

"The residential dwellings are all three to four-bedroom properties designed as family homes.

"This means traffic movement and public safety will be compromised when accessing the residential area."

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The proposed site plan for what it currently Elm Tree Motors.The proposed site plan for what it currently Elm Tree Motors. (Image: Wiltshire Council)

Marlborough Town Council is among those objecting to the application, due to concerns over lack of affordable housing and land use.

According to the Neighbourhood Plan, developments of 10 dwellings or more need to be made up of 40 per cent affordable homes.

But because proposed plans for the Elm Tree Motors site show only nine new dwellings on top of those four being demolished and replaced, it is unclear if the site is excluded from this rule.

Currently, no affordable homes are planned for Pelhams Court.

The site is also listed in the current Wiltshire plan as designated employment land, and if the current proposal for the site goes ahead, it will become an almost entirely residential area, bar one office building.

Locals now have until March 1, 2024, to have their say on the future of the current dealership site before a final decision is reached by Wiltshire Council.