Projects

Glenmore Farm, Westbury

LinkedIn

CSA have been involved with ecological survey and assessment at this Site for many years. In 2020, we were instructed by Land Value Alliances (LVA) LLP to update the ecological information in support of a proposed planning application for 145 homes at the Site.

The Site contained a typical mix of grassland and hedgerow habitats as well as a very small area of remnant orchard but the biggest single ecological issue was the relative proximity of Bath and Bradford-on-Avon Bats SAC. Local planning policy is strongly geared towards preserving known roosts and foraging/commuting areas used by greater horseshoe, lesser horseshoe and Bechstein’s bats which occur locally. This guided the comprehensive survey work, assessment and mitigation measures prepared by CSA, which were vital to support the proposed development.

The situation was not straightforward however as, although the town of Westbury is covered by local guidance on bats and the SAC, the proposed development at Glenmore Farm represented unplanned development outside of the Trowbridge Area where mitigation measures set out within local policy would be delivered (i.e. through the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy SPD). CSA was involved in lengthy discussions with both Natural England and ecologists within Wiltshire Council to determine an appropriate way of mitigating for the proposed development. A suite of on-site measures (e.g. habitat buffers and greenspace provision) along with financial contributions were ultimately agreed upon.

Separate to this, Natural England also raised a concern about potential recreational impacts on ancient woodland at Picket and Clanger Wood SSSI (c. 1.2km north-east of the development site), which was perceived to be under increasing pressure from residents of Westbury and Trowbridge. With no existing mechanism in place to address this issue, and with the woodland being owned and managed by the Woodland Trust, it was not straightforward to address Natural England’s concern. However, CSA doggedly pursued discussions with Natural England and were ultimately able to negotiate a suitable contribution, agreed with NE and the local authority, which could be secured through the planning consent to feed into woodland management and enhancement measures.

Our thorough survey work and considered ecological assessments, together with determined and persuasive consultation efforts were critical factors in unlocking objections to the development and in overcoming ecological concerns. We are delighted for our client, Land Value Alliances LLP, that the culmination of everyone efforts over several years ultimately resulted in consent for the scheme at the Strategic Planning Committee in November 2023.