On Friday, October 3, Wiltshire Council signed off planning permission – with conditions – for Beechcroft Developments Limited to build a 64-bed care home and 28 assisted living units with associated access, cycleway, parking and landscaping at the Old Council Depot site east of Salisbury Road and south of Priorsfield.
The day before the Council had signed a 32 page 106 agreement which included the payment of £17,332 by the developer to the Marlborough Bowls Club for “improvement and/or maintenance of facilities at Marlborough Bowls Club”.
This is presumably because the Council expect many of the occupants at the care home and assisted living homes to become members of the club.
Some work is already underway at the site. This is necessary exploratory work with a drilling rig that needs to done to check for possible ground contamnination before building can begin. However, it is expected that building work will start very soon.
On June 9, the Town Council’s Planning Committee objected to this development on the grounds of “insufficient infrastructure being in place, specifically with regard to water and drainage, and overdevelopment of the site with insufficient parking provision”. Since then some small changes have been made to the plans.
One of the conditions was requested by Thames Water to ensure proper arrangements for waste water. The company told Marlborough News Online at the end of June: “We cannot allow residents in other areas to be put at risk of sewer flooding so it’s important that the sewers are of a standard that can deal with the increase in waste water which will come from the new homes.”
Apart from the payment to the Marlborough Bowls Club, the 106 agreement included the following:
• £30,000 towards a cycleway between the site and the Business Park.
• £20,000 towards a cycleway between the site and the land to the east of the development.
• £3,000 to Wiltshire Council towards their expenses in “administering, monitoring, reviewing and implementing the relevant obligations” of the 106 agreement.
• An unspecified sum of money to pay for ‘road improvements’ connected with access to the care home and assisted living homes. This work includes the re-surfacing along 55 metres of Salisbury Road north from the entrance to the site and 25 metres south from that entrance.
The agreement involves no other payments towards Marlborough’s infrastructure – such as a payment towards the increased burden on the Marlborough Medical Practice.
One of the most contentious aspects of the development and the consultation has been Wiltshire Council’s plan to make the road narrower by the entrance to Priorsfield and to the site and opposite the on-street parking for the homes on the west side of Salisbury Road.
With traffic (including heavy vehicles) coming north towards the town down the Salisbury Road that swings out into the centre of the road to get round the parked cars, it is feared this will limit this A road to one-way traffic – with resulting hold-ups and tail-backs.