Redrow Refused - 28 July 2017

Save our Southwick are delighted that Redrow's planning application to build upto 100 houses on land South of Blind Lane has been refused.

The proposed development is located outside of the identified village policy limits for the large village of Southwick and has not been brought forward through a Site Allocations DPD or a Neighbourhood Plan. In addition, the large scale nature of development is considered to be unacceptable and inappropriate on the outskirts of a large village which has a limited range of facilities. The proposal fails to promote a sustainable pattern of development and results in an unwarranted encroachment of the open countryside contrary to Core Policy 1, Core Policy 2 and Core Policy 29 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and Paragraph 17 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

View the full decision from Wiltshire Council

Thank you to everyone who objected.

Plans to Remove the entire Hedgerow between the Redrow Development and Blind Lane

A number of new Consultation Responses to Redrow Homes Planning Application No. 16/12279/OUT, have appeared on the Wiltshire Council Planning Website since it closed for objections in March.

Of particular concern is the HIGHWAYS – SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT MEMORANDUM, the section headed planning conditions.

To summarise, each of the three access points shown on Redrow’s development plan require extensive VISABILITY SPLAYS, areas of no more than 600mm high that extend 43 metres in both directions and between 2-2.4 metres back from the edge of the carriageway. Unfortunately, at no point is this hedgerow even as much as 2 metres back from the edge of the carriageway.

To conform to these ‘VISUAL SPLAY REGULATIONS’ will necessitate the removal of almost the complete length of hedgerow that borders the Redrow Development and Blind Lane. Not only will we lose this ancient hedgerow and valuable wildlife corridor, it will also mean the removal of all visual screening between existing properties in Blind Lane and the proposed development, surely this is UNACCEPTABLE!

Gladmans Outline Planning Proposal 17/03269/OUT

Outline planning application for the demolition of agricultural buildings and the erection of up to 140 dwellings - off Wynsome Street and behind Chantry Gardens

We all knew this was coming. It was always just a question of when.

All the objections raised against the Redrow proposal apply equally to this proposal raised by Gladmans.

Although all the proposals for large scale housing development in Southwick are speculative, it is still vital to voice and raise objections.

To initially make your points felt, I suggest that you attend the Open Forum at the next Parish Council meeting, Tuesday 18th April.

For if any one proposal for large scale development in Southwick is granted planning permission, this will then become an 'open door' for other proposals

More proposed building in Southwick - 13 March 2017

We now have three large scale developments being proposed in Southwick. In addition to the Redrow application for 100 new homes, we now have a proposal from Gladman for 150 new homes to land east of Wynsome Street and a proposal from Waddington Park for c200 new homes off Firs Hill, Frome Road.

All three proposals have the following in common: they are all in-fill; are all on greenfield; are all outside the Southwick Settlement Envelope and are all speculative ventures. There is absolutely no justification for any of these unplanned large scale developments in Southwick.

What's more important though is that if one of these proposals achieves planning consent from Wiltshire Council, chances are that all three will succeed.

So our fight to save the greenfields of Southwick must intensify. This is especially true in terms of understanding and making best use of planning law/regulation.

The date for objection letters has now passed - 7 March 2017

Our final tally of objection letters was c170. This included objections from Andrew Murrison MP, Wessex Water, Campaign for Protection of Rural England and Southwick Parish Council.

In addition, we have been advised by Wiltshire Planning that the Housing Land Supply target for North and West Wiltshire has been met in full.

As a result of these two achievements, Redrow have requested that Wiltshire Council grant them more time before a decision is made on their application to build 100 new homes on arable farmland in Southwick. The decision target date for a decision is now 31st May (previously 21st March).

However, we are working hard in order for Wiltshire Council to fully reject Redrow's application now.

Southwick Parish Council Meeting - 18th October 2016

SOS have been attending Southwick Parish Council meetings for the last 6 months. Each month we ask questions to the Parish Council. Although the public presence is recorded, what we ask or say is not recorded in the minutes. Many Parish Councils do record points and questions raised by the public. We have asked many times to have our questions minuted to no avail.

We have asked that we set up a Working Party to work alongside the Parish Council. A Working Party is a group or committee appointed to study and report on a particular question and make recommendations based on its findings. The minutes from a Working Party would have to be minuted.

A good example of why we want this is, during the September Southwick Parish Council meeting, SOS presented the Parish Council with information on an Operational Flood Group. We asked if anybody had read it, and after lots of blank looking faces, and paper shuffling, it was clear no one had. So another month goes by. If this had been minuted, at least it might have been given some attention.

Public Meeting - Wednesday 5th October

A public meeting attended by over 130 Southwick residents, was held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 5th October 2016. Thanks to all of you who attended. There were lots of interesting questions and hopefully some interesting answers from us.

We are thrilled to report that we have already begun to receive generous financial pledges towards the cost of analysis and reserach, which is key to the success of our mission.

We are now in the process of arranging a Community Trust account to be opened in our name so people can donate to the campaign financially very soon.

The meeting minutes can be read here.

Please attend the next Parish Council Meeting at 7:30 on Tuesday 18th October at the Village Hall.

Public Meeting 5th October 2016

August 1st 2016

Archaeological dig underway on land adjacent to Blind Lane and Poles Hole. Apparently a pre-requisite to any building development proposals. Team of five expected to be there for a week with portaloo and heavy plant machinery - how much is this costing and who is paying/benefitting? What financial arrangement is already in place on this land? SOS will be asking questions, please message this page with yours.

Digger in fields

Neighbourhood Planning

"Neighbourhood Planning is a right for communities, introduced through the Localism Act 2011. Communities can shape development in their areas through the production of Neighbourhood Development plans,Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders. It must be stressed that the policies produced cannot block development that is already part of the Local Plan. What they can do is shape where that development will go and what it will look like.." The Parish Council has been asked to apply for a plan by our group, however little has been done to start the process. Please watch the video & have a search online - `Neighbourhood Plan'

If you feel Southwick would benefit from a Neighbourhood Plan, please email :

Please click for a sample letter : Sample Letter

And the role of Southwick's Planning Representative goes to ....

At the PC AGM on 15th May, Cllr Doel was re-appointed as Planning Representative for Southwick Parish Council. SoS are totally bemused by this appointment. Despite this appointment, Southwick Parish Council have again repeated their message that they are opposed to large scale developments in Southwick. As we all know, Cllr Doel is in the middle of trying to sell his farmland to Redrow Homes for large scale housing development in Southwick. Given the position with Cllr Doel and Redrow Homes, this message has a hollow ring to it. Also, depending on the outcome of Wiltshire Council's review of SHLAA applications, there are likely to be numerous Planning Applcations for other large scale housing submitted into Southwick Parish Council. Some smaller scale applications outside of the existing settlement boundary are also possible. The revelations concerning Cllr Doel's relationship with Redrow brings into question his role on the Parish Council & whether he is now viewed by Parishoners as being an appropriate representative for the village.

Flooding in Blind Lane

Flooding the Housing Market

An example of flooding - Gardens in Blind Lane after heavy rain - with new housing comes more floods....It was mentioned at the `Open' meeting that Wessex Water may have information on development for Southwick, they currently have no schemes in place so flooding to houses, roads & fields will only get worse. Picture supplied by 9 Blind Lane

See the Flooding Page for more examples of flooding in Southwick.

Bechsteins Bat

Sighting of The Bechstein’s bat have been made in Southick Country Park, it has gone from being one of the commonest UK species after the last ice age to one of the rarest, due largely to the destruction of ancient woodland that once covered the UK. This is good news for the village as it is classified as vulnerable & therefore its is protected by the Habitats Directive. Species map below.

Bechstein Bat habitat map

Funding Request

SoS requested that the Parish Council organise independent analysis of Redrow Homes surveys. Although the Parish Council has repeatedly stated "Southwick Parish Council is against any further development & does not support any of the proposed SHLAA sites" our request was rejected. We also asked for:

  1. A timescale for the 'Village Plan' which, still has no deadline & little funding.
  2. Information on a 'Conflict of Interest' within the Parish Council.
  3. Clarification on the `Unanimous' feeling of the Parish Council towards Redrows plans.

Concerns have been made that these questions & our attendance has not yet been 'minuted'. View Parish Council Minutes May 2016