Letter from Peter Curtis - Durnford & Woodford Parish Councils:
Dear Parishes around Salisbury,
I am contacting you on behalf of the joint Durnford and Woodford Parish Councils.
In 2022 we raised significant objections to a 13 acre industrial development on open farmland at High Post in the Durnford Parish. Not only did well over 300 individuals object, the majority of the Council's own formal Consultees either raised concerns or offered outright objections. In fact, only one formal Consultee (the Economic Development unit) was in favour.
This application was withdrawn.
If any of you with concerns for unwanted development over open farmland wished to see the various arguments we made, then I attach a copy of the joint Parish Councils main Objection.
On 31st October 2022 the PCC and Wiltshire Police held a public meeting at the Guildhall to present their thoughts on a new police facility . Despite their clearly stated preference for it to be within the City Centre, the prime site was stated to be at High Post. The PCC is at pains to state how they have involved the "residents" but the fact is that neither Durnford or Woodford Parish Councils or our local Councillor were actually invited to this meeting !
On 7th March 2023 the PCC stated at the Calne Area Board that the new preferred site for the new policing facility was now to be at Old Sarum ( subject of course to the purchase of the land and planning consent). Again, local residents were not the first to be informed.
Just this week Planning Application PL/2022/09262 has been made public. It is for the same 13 acres of land at High Post with detailed applications for 2 hopeful occupiers and outline planning for the Police facility.
Clearly the PCC is seeking to cover as many options as possible . This overall application remains flawed in just about every Core Policy the Council applies. The one Policy the applicant rests upon is the Economic necessity for the 3 parties concerned ; this focusses on economic growth and employment opportunities.
You should all be as surprised (or otherwise) as we are to read that the applicant actually states that this development "will create 475 FTE permanent jobs" and that 225 of these employees will be of Wiltshire police !!! We all know this to be false, but developers will claim what they can to enhance their case.
As Parish Councillors our duty is to the residents we represent. Do you and your fellow residents welcome a new police facility serving Salisbury and surrounding villages to be based 6.5km north of the city centre and even further away from the parishes south, east and west of Salisbury ?
The Chief Constable told the meeting on 31st October that a remote police station worked in Swindon. What he failed to explain is that the Swindon facility is approximately 2.0km from the town centre and that Swindon has a further 3 to 4 dedicated police buildings within the town !
This is your opportunity to express your views on having the new police facility at High Post. Below is a link to the planning application that is "live" for the next 4 weeks.
Please support us by lodging your objections - not just to a police station remote from the main population hub it is intended to serve, but because industrial development should take place on brownfield site or on land already approved for development.
Peter Curtis - on behalf of Durnford and Woodford Parish Councils