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Westwood Neighbourhood Plan

Westwood is further development necessary


Westwood village in Wiltshire is located along two unclassified roads. There is a railway station located in the hamlet of Avonclif which is situated beside the river Avon and the Kennet and Avon canal. The hamlet of Iford is situated beside the river Frome.

The village of Westwood has developed from times when agricultural work was labour intensive and people worked in the cloth industry and in the stone mine. Many bungalows were built to accommodate workers at the underground Royal Enfield factory which had been relocated during the Second World War. These buildings were replaced by houses after the war (late 1960s), even though there was little work in the village. Private estates flanked the council development in 1978.

Further development has taken  place but the majority of people have had to seek work in the larger towns and cities. Development has depended on the motor vehicle. Westwood is a dormitory village. The existing development if it involves building more houses is not sustainable. The only development that Westwood needs is what is missing from a sustainable village. What is missing? Nothing, lets list what it has and needs:

·         the village has a shop which is also a post office

·         at least one public house

·         a church

·         a nursery school

·         a primary school

·         a park

·         a playing field

·         a social club/hall


What is missing?

·         The village could have some more green space for children to play.

·         A doctors surgery

·         The Social Club is not exactly a village hall, although the extension of the Parish Room meets that need.

·         There is little local work, so it could be argued that there is a need for places for people to work or for people to leave to live closer to a place of employment.

Instead what Westwood is faced with is an enlargement of the housing stock. Why? There is no need for building houses here. It is not sustainable to provide housing in a place where there is no work. There is a need for local people to live in the village � affordable housing? Except would local people be selected?

Assuming that we will be able to afford to own and run a car we could also assume that it is reasonable to commute to work, provided this is not too far. But how long will it be possible to depend on the motor car? Fuel is derived from fossil sources and is finite.  Even non fossil sources eg. Uranium is a limited supply

Wiltshire County Council (and other local authorities) were under a directive of the previous Labour government to find land for building houses and the government directed that the housing land should be found throughout the country. Quotas would be set. The present Conservative government have clarified this issue. “In contrast to the previous administration that imposed undemocratic and arbitrary targets, the Government has made clear that local councils, in conjunction with local communities, should plan to meet their objectively assessed needs, not more.”

Westwood, surely has little need for more development. Imagine what it would like if we didn’t have cars to get about.


Geoff Edwards  22nd Sept 201






Posted on 22 Sep 2015 by Geoff Edwards

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