Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan (MANP)
Preshute Parish Council is a member of the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan.
The Steering Group (NPSG) has been meeting since 2014 and comprises representatives from Marlborough Town Council, Mildenhall (Minal) PC, Savernake PC and ourselves, Preshute PC. Preshute PC has not been represented on the NPSG from 2016-2019 for various reasons. We have been attending again since November 2019. There are other stakeholders invited to the meetings, including Unitary Councillor Stuart Dobson (East Ward), a representative from Marlborough College (a major landowner in the area) and other individuals with specific interests.
The objective of a Neighbourhood Plan is to define a vision for the future development of an area, including housing, open spaces, amenities, traffic management and the environment.
Preshute PC file a strong objection to the proposed Housing Plan
In late January, Preshute PC submitted a detailed paper outlining a major objection to the housing section of the proposed MANP and is calling for a review of the whole MANP process and the make-up of the NPSG itself.
Since rejoining the NPSG in November 2019, it has become clear that Preshute PC would have to object strongly to the housing section of the proposed Neighbourhood Plan. The housing section is seeking to identify and define another large scale development in the area on the basis that it will provide hundreds of 'affordable homes'. The most controversial site (and one of the largest) is at Barton Dene - and this encroaches into Preshute Parish and the greenfield AONB. The sprawling site proposal has been proposed without proper consultation with Preshute PC.
We believe there is no evidential basis or justification for this site and the proposal, by landowner Marlborough College. A representative of the landowner sits on the NPSG.
This controversial site selection is part of a general proposed housing policy that Preshute PC finds flawed on many other levels. Unfortunately all the objections are being swept under the carpet by the driving members of the NPSG without proper discussion or objective consideration.
Being a rural community, one of Preshute Parish Council's principal objectives is to preserve and protect the historic greenfield landscape and wildlife of our parish.
Consequently, we believe the MANP housing agenda is flawed and in urgent need of review.
Status as at 9th March 2020
The Preshute PC Objection Paper and other objections have been ignored by the NPSG and these and several key documents and statements do not appear in meeting minutes either in terms of objective discussion on them, or as an appendices.
Preshute PC were unable to attend the meeting where the paper was allegedly discussed after a last minute change of the date. Nevertheless, the meeting went ahead without Preshute (despite our objections to this procedure) and tacked the paper on to the end of a very long agenda. Our objections or the discussion were not even minuted. A subsequent meeting held between The Chair and Clerk of Preshute PC and the Town Mayor and Clerk to discuss these issues proved extremely unsatisfactory.
At a later Parish Council meeting a vote was taken by Preshute PC Councillors to continue membership of the NPSG. This vote was on the basis that a majority of Councillors felt it easier to influence from within than from the outside. Cllr Peter Morgan (Chair of Preshute PC) signified his intention not to attend any further NPSG meetings as a result of the conduct of the NPSG meetings he has attended. We will announce a new representative shortly.
The Objection paper to the proposed housing policy will be shown here shortly.
Preshute Parish Council
Clerk: Sophie Roberts
Tel: 01672 861262
Chair: Peter Morgan
Preshute Parish Councillors