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Country Park

The Environment Bill ensures that development will need to achieve at least 10% biodiversity net gain and the Council is promoting 20% in its emerging Local Plan. The Bill ensures future large scale development can be good for wildlife; without a demonstrable and measurable gain for biodiversity it cannot be permitted.

Agricultural practices have often been no friend of the natural environment, in many cases driving a decline in Wiltshire’s flora and fauna. Much of the canvas for Great Whaddon is very green but this is modified grassland or cropland and therefore scores poorly in terms of its habitat value. There are of course hedgerows and trees that form part of the ecological network, which are of higher value.

Our proposals include more strategic open space than was proposed by the Council in 2021. We are planning a country park on Hag Hill between the A361 and A350 and another strategic lung of recreational open space next to the Kennet & Avon canal.

There is a masterplanning debate to be had about the size of each area, but the combined parkland strategy would be of a comparable scale to the hugely popular Southwick Country Park Local Nature Reserve. Since Wiltshire Council purchased former agricultural land at Southwick (in 1989), the value of that land has increased significantly for people and nature. Great Whaddon can deliver such an asset which will benefit both existing and new residents living in the area. Our landowners also own land to the east of the A350 which can be deployed as part of a nature recovery strategy.

The Local Plan proposes 65ha of country park, enough to accommodate the requirement of 3,400 homes; only 10ha is needed for the 600 homes proposed at North East Trowbridge, with the remainder safeguarded for future development.