Wednesday 24 September 1986

Warminster Civic Trust


At the September meeting of the Executive Committee of the Warminster Civic Trust, members first of all discussed the damage done to Arn Hill by the temporary excavations for a road-way up to the wireless mast.

The contours of the hill have been restored but the track is now a scar of weeds because the promised re-seeding with chalk-loving plants has not yet taken place. The Chairman, Elisabeth Collyns, agreed to refer the matter to the Environment Services Committee of the District Council as the seeds should really be planted within the next month in order for the plants to become established before the winter sets in. The Nature Conservancy Council should be asked to advise on the correct plants to use.

The Committee then discussed the Warminster Local Plan and also heard that a new draft County Council Structure Plan for West Wiltshire is also in circulation and comments were invited. Mrs. Collyns agreed to write to the senior local plans officer of the District Council to discuss the next move in connection with the proposals for pedestrianisation and improvements to the town centre of Warminster and will invite him to a meeting with the working party of the Trust.

Mrs. Collyns mentioned that she had taken up the gauntlet thrown down by Mr. Baylis about the protracted delay of the Bypass and she, on behalf of the Civic Trust, had written to the Prime Minister, with a copy to Dennis Walters, M.P., along the lines suggested.
In the same letter she took the opportunity of objecting strongly to the policy of central Government in overturning District Council planning dissent after an appeal is lodged with the Secretary of State as the over-riding priority is apparently for more and more houses on every open space and there was great concern locally about any proposed development between the town of Warminster and the longed-for Bypass.

She asked: "What is the point of spending years producing local plans after numerous public inquiries if the whole democratic system is continually being overthrown by central Government?

On behalf of the Prime Minister the letter had been sent on to both the Departments of Environment and Transport, the latter had replied as had Dennis Walters, similar to the coverage already given in the local press.

Committee Members finally discussed the possibility of the Trust becoming a building preservation trust limited company, in order to establish a revolving fund which could be used for restoring one of the listed buildings. This practice is now considered very worthwhile with civic trusts and preservation societies around the country.

Report by Danny Howell.