Plans for up to 60 new homes just south of the M4 have been rejected by Wiltshire Council after they were deemed “fundamentally unacceptable.”

The housing development was proposed on land off the High Street in Sutton Benger, a village approximately five miles northeast of Chippenham.

The outline planning application was submitted by Gladman Developments in July 2023 and described its vision as a “sensitively designed and high quality” project.

It stated: “The new homes will be set within a network of connected and accessible green spaces containing a new children’s play area, land for the provision of allotments, wildflower meadows and recreational routes.”

Sutton Benger Parish Council objected to the plans, expressing concerns over the scale of the project.

It said: “Sutton Benger has experienced a high level of growth between 2006 and 2022 - 130 new houses were completed in Sutton Benger, with a further 45 in development and 4 awaiting appeal.

“The application incorrectly states that the population of Sutton Benger is 1,000.

“The 2021 census sets the figure at 1271 and there has been further residential development in the village since that date.”
Over 100 other objections were received from members of the public, raising issues such as the lack of facilities in the area.

Wiltshire Council concluded that the proposal was “fundamentally unacceptable as a matter of principle.”

The case officer report stated: “The proposal fails to promote a sustainable pattern of development and amounts to new residential development in the open countryside that is not related to the essential need of agriculture, forestry or other rural based enterprise.”

It also noted that the scale of the development would lead to “an imbalance within the community between the provision of homes and the available services, facilities and means of employment.”

According to the report, the homes would result in an incremental reduction of the rural gap and open countryside separating the village of Sutton Benger from Christian Malford, which would be of “unacceptable harm to the local character of the area and important public views and visual amenity.”

It also says that the application was not clear enough regarding its ecological enhancement and mitigation measures and failed to demonstrate how essential infrastructure, services and amenities would be provided to residents.

The full details of all Wiltshire planning applications can be found on the planning and building control public register.