Save Wiltshire's Historic Orchard
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Land developers are planning to bulldoze a rare and beautiful historic Orchard in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. It is among the country's few remaining historical orchards, dating back to 1870, and located to the rear of a stunning Grade II* listed property.
Plans to build around around 15 'luxury' homes on the site will cause the irreversible loss of many rare fruit trees, many of which are over 140 years old. Bat roosts, badger setts, bird and butterfly habitats will also be destroyed permanently. Historic England's (previously English Heritage) officer for this protected area was not formally consulted about these plans before they were submitted and stated that it would "destroy the building's historical status and setting" and the proposed plans are "wrong and inappropriate".
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We are calling upon Wiltshire Council and the planning authorities to:
- Reject the proposed plan to build on the greenfield orchard space
- Insist that the housing developers fully explore opportunities for the orchard to be used as community space, e.g. for learning, forest schools, community events, wellness sessions, gardening and horticulture training and wildlife conservation.
- Formally consult Historic England on future proposed plans - ACHIEVED! - read their full report
The site is ideally suited near the centre of the town centre park and could be made easily accessible with a gate. The proposed houses are primarily luxury properties, and will not serve to alleviate a lack of affordable housing. Trowbridge town is a former mill town, with many disused buildings that can be redeveloped for housing.
This is a precious and rare greenfield site near the centre of an old market town, which several non-profit organisations have already expressed interest in managing the site, such as setting up a community orchard. Please help us preserve this precious space.
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