Redrow’s ‘Marlborough’ design…not designed specifically for the Salisbury Road development
Having just met with Redrow executives, the Marlborough Town Council planning committee went into formal session and among other business, considered the ‘reserved matters’ application from Redrow for the Salisbury Road development. This would almost certainly be the last chance to influence the development.
Councillors were exercised about the mix of house types – too many large, multi-bedroom houses would encourage people from outside the area to use them as a commuting base. There was a great deal of anxiety that not enough of these homes would be affordable by or suitable for local people.
Councillors were also unhappy about the sixty-seven affordable homes which would be passed on to one of the big housing associations – like Aster, Sovereign and Southern. They wanted some of these to be for sale using Help-to-Buy or other discount purchase schemes.
Councillors had the advantage of evidence collected in the Housing Needs Analysis undertaken as part of the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan. This analysis, which will be published very soon, shows that there is a clear need among local people for smaller, two and three bedroom homes that suit young families.
It was suggested by the Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall, who has a seat on the committee but cannot vote and is Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Group, that a small shift in house types could make a real difference.
He believes that eight of the detached houses should be replaced with a terrace of sixteen two/three bedroom homes of which at least three of the sixteen would be ‘affordable homes’ available for sale.
This idea actually puts the number of homes on the development back up from 167 to 175 – so it should please Wiltshire Council. This suggestion was accepted by the committee and will be passed to Wiltshire Council planners – with the rider that the town council “has no objections to this application and welcomes it subject to…” the change outlined above.
Doubts that any change to the mix would be acceptable to Redrow were raised during the informal Q and A session with Redrow executives. They said they had bought the site based on the revenues from the housing in the outline planning permission granted to the Crown Estate.
But Gavin Hill of Redrow did say that they were prepared to sit down with Wiltshire Council in a roundtable discussion to see what changes might be possible.