NOTES ON SPECIAL MEETING ON PROPOSED DEVIZES PARKWAY STATION
Monday 30th April 2018 in St James’ Church, Stert
Following a request from Stert PC, Wiltshire Councillor, Philip Whitehead (PW) gave a briefing on planning WC planning policy concerning the proposed Devizes Parkway railway station.
Approx 40 Stert residents, plus representatives from Etchilhampton attended.
PW explained that WC core strategy mentions various new station options, including ones for: Corsham, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilton and Devizes. Building a new train station is a relatively straight forward process. The challenge is ensuring there is an adequate train service to justify the capital expenditure. GWR has been trying to reduce the number of trains stopping at Westbury as they want to be able to advertise a faster train service from London to Cornwall.
Funding for a Devizes station could come from: a government grant, WC, and levies on house building in Devizes, such as the Lay Wood development on Coate road, which will eventually happen. The WC core strategy (valid to 2026) is very clear that there should be no building in open countryside. For example, an application to build 2 houses on an old caravan site at Lydeway was refused as it was in the AONB. In short, the idea of building houses behind the Clock Inn Park ‘would just never happen’ and ‘why would you want to build there, there’s no need’.
In PW’s opinion a realistic time frame for the station to happen would be 10-15 years.
He thought the DDP was mistaken to allow Peter Lay, a property developer, to approach the project in the way he has and to make such public statements, such as those given in Stert church back in February.
Clive Boyes thanked PW on behalf of Stert PC for taking the time to address Stert residents and said the PC and village was left much reassured that the proposal to build on farmland behind the Clock Inn is highly unlikely to proceed any further.
Stert Parish Council.