Couple horrified to discover plans to surround their isolated cottage with 700 new homes – and they weren’t even informed
A couple are horrified after they discovered their dream farm cottage is set to be surrounded on all sides by a 700-home estate – despite never being consulted.
Cheryle Walton, 56, and her partner Paul Jones, 50, were completely unaware of plans to build the mini town until a passer-by mentioned the development.
But the 507,500 square metre development in Chippenham, Wilts., is set to completely encompass their detached cottage, which currently sits in miles of green fields.
The devastated couple’s £425,000 home doesn’t even appear on the submitted aerial drawings of the proposed new estate – despite being right in the middle.
If it goes ahead, they will be totally swallowed by the estate – complete with schools and offices – joining up their rural home with the rest of the town.
Development company KBC Developments LLP has submitted plans to Wiltshire Council but did not invite Paul and Cheryle to register their objections.
Devastated Miss Walton said: “It’s just soul destroying.
“We have lived here for five years and we worked so hard to buy it and get everything done, like extensions.
“It’s our dream home and this has happened behind our backs.
“They are just developing is around us and we’ve never had anyone come to us.
“I heard about it from a lad when we were walking our dogs.
“We had no notification, we have no letter, but we are the only cottage there.
“Our cottage isn’t even on the plans.”
Miss Walton and Mr Jones, her partner of 17-years, bought Rawlings Farm Cottage around five years ago for approximately £300,000 and embarked on extensive renovations.
But the pair had no idea consultants Framptons had submitted an application for outline planning permission on behalf of KBC Developments LLP, last month.
The plans propose 700 homes on the 50 hectares site to the north east of Chippenham.
It also includes 4.5 hectares of ’employment space’, 10 hectares of public open space, cycle paths, ‘retirement living’, a primary school and a nursery.
The application for outline approval was submitted to Wiltshire Council on January 6, with comments invited until March 4, before a decision set to be made in April.
Framptons claim it held a public exhibition on the plans in December 2014 – but admitted Miss Walton should have been informed.
Director Peter Frampton said: “When a planning application is submitted to the local planning authority normal protocol would be that they [Wiltshire Council] would normally send them a notification.
“We did hold a public exhibition in December 2014 and notified a lot of people and put an advert in the Gazette and Herald.
“Miss Walton should have been informed and if that didn’t happen, I apologise.
“The planning application has a long way to go.
“It’s in, she’s now aware of it, and has sufficient time to send in her comments.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Council added: “The developers carried out public consultation events on these planning proposals and should have ensured all residents were told.
“We understand from Miss Walton that she was not informed and was only made aware when she received a letter from us in January stating a planning application has been submitted by the developers.
“We’ve suggested the developers call Miss Walton to explain what they are planning to do and why she was not involved earlier in the public consultation events.”