NINE new homes could be built in the centre of a picturesque Wiltshire village.
D C Li (Builders) Ltd has applied to Wiltshire Council for permission to develop land at Cuckoo Pen, on Winterslow Road, in Porton.
The scheme would see nine new homes – one two-bed, five three-bed and three four-bed – built on the site, with a house already on the site also retained.
In the planning application, the applicant says the site is ‘in prime location’ and that it consists of two ‘areas’ totalling some 0.932 hectares.
“The land with the residential property of Cuckoo Pen comprises a fairly flat, linear site of 0.473 hectares, which is occupied by the dwelling and its gardens, together with a rough area of more elevated scrubland, which has been used for past chalk and flint extraction,” it said.
“The latter is a sort of triangular shape and extends towards a public footpath, which runs parallel with the River Bourne.”
Together, the sites add up to 0.932 hectares, it said.
“The applicant’s ownership extends beyond the footpath, to include an area of woodland which runs down to the river and forms part of an extensive wildlife corridor,” the application went on.
“This is to remain as such and does not form part of the application site.”
The application said the site had formerly been owned by a family for more than 60 years, who were ‘concerned to secure a suitable developer, with the ability to deliver a guality housing scheme’ that ‘has the support of residents’.
Built in 1937, the house already on the plot would be retained and refurbished, the plan said, with homes built to either side.
As many ‘healthy trees as is practicable’ would be retained, it said, with the plans also including an intention o create a ‘belt of new planting’ to replace lost trees.
The main access would be off Winterslow Road, the plans said, with a junction near the burial ground of St Nicholas’ Church.
The application also outlines plans to create off-road parking for the church, in a bid to improve the dafety of Winterslow Road.
“It should be noted that there is no off-street car parking provision for the church, which can result in significant congestion on the Winterslow Road when events are taking place at the church and church hall, such as weddings, Christenings and funerals,” it went on.
“This compromises the safety and efficiency of existing junctions.
“To address this, it is proposed to provide car parking for church use between the proposed access road and the burial ground.”
An area adjacent to the church would also be kept free of development, it added, so the ‘green appearance of the site will remain largely unchanged’.
The public footpath elsewhere on the plot would be resurfaced, with public access remaining ‘as it is today’.
However, despite the stated intentions of the applicant, a number of residents have objected to the plans.
In response to the application, Gerald Cuthbert wrote: “My objection is that part of the proposed development – the area closest to the River Bourne and the Limes – is outside the designated plan policy.
“It is also one of the few areas in Porton where you can walk and enjoy the countryside and wildlife, which includes, at dusk, bats.”
Ian Green objected to the plans on a number of grounds, including the loss of ‘one of the last remaining wild spaces within the centre of the village’ and the potential loss of mature trees.
Andrew Minting also said the plan should be ‘refused’.
“Without firm details of the proposed dwellings and landscaping, we cannot properly assess the extent of all impacts and I can therefore only suggest the application should be refused,” he said.
“Even with the details, as in a full application, there are elements that would be of significant concern.”
For more details, and to comment on the plans, log on to www.wiltshire.gov.uk and search for application reference PL/2023/07027.