More Houses for Downton?


The Society is preparing itself for the fact that up to 200 more houses are being proposed for Downton. Persimmon Homes has expressed interest in building up to 100 houses on the site next to Bishops Mead, and Formula Land are working on plans for a development of ‘about 100’ homes on a site just south of Catherine Crescent. Both estates would have single access on to the A338.

For more information and details of how you can respond to these proposals please see the report under “Current Issues”.

These proposals are at a preliminary stage and much will depend on Wiltshire council decisions about where to allocate more housing in the county.

Meanwhile, the Downton Society is supporting the PC in their aim to review and, if necessary, update and strengthen our Neighbourhood Plan, which was strongly endorsed by the community in a referendum at the end of 2016. We will need a robust plan if community preferences about housing are to be recognised in the planning process.


Involvement

 

From time to time, we ask members to get involved in  village litter-picks, bridge cleaning etc - and, when his happens, we look forward to your support.   We expect to be increasing these initiatives greatly in the run -up to "Downton In Bloom" early next year.

 

Traffic Flow and Parking


Traffic flow and parking in Downton remain problematic and although a Parish Council working group, in which society members were involved, found that there were few ways of improving the availability of parking in the village, we address this issue whenever a planning application is made for new development. We are particularly keen to identify suitable parking to meet the needs of the newly enlarged Memorial Hall.


Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV)


The HGV weight limit of 7.5 tons is routinely flouted. The problem is largely down to poor signage and attempts to address this at various levels (including Area Board, Highways, County Councils and our MP) have failed. We feel strongly that, unless there is clear signage at major access points (especially from the M27) lorry drivers will continue to use the B3080 through the village as a short cut. 

Those reading this who are new to the village should note that  there are some HGV's legitimately using the B3080 (for nstance,  to/from Trafalagar Fisheries or the Steel works); but although the Downton Industrial Estate is excluded from the weight restriction area, their  heavy vehicles should not be using the B3080.  Some of the businesses say they advise drivers to use the A338,  but the delivery chain often involves different companies, so this does not work in practice.  Others argue that the weight limit is (apparently) too complicated to be programmed into commercial SatNav systems. 

The Society had been battling this issue for nearly a decade - to no avail - so in 2019, Downton Parish Council was asked to take it on. The PC offered support for a Lorry Watch Scheme but, no progress was made and the aim was, in any case, limited. The Society and the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group, have therefore pushed for a full traffic survey t o be carried out on the B3080 through the village. New planning applications from developers (which, if successful, could add substantially to traffic density in the village) as well as the need to provide evidence for an update of the Neighbourhood Plan, has led to Parish Council agreement to fund and support a professional traffic survey which we hope will be carried out in the early summer 2022.

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