Former Town Councillor Said His One Wish Now Is To See The Eradication Of All NIMBY And Public Protest Groups In Warminster

Thursday 13th June 2013:

The Town Development Committee of Warminster Town Council held a meeting at Warminster Civic Centre on the evening of Monday 10th June 2013. Sat around the table were 11 people, comprising councillors and Town Council staff including the Clerk Heather Abernethie. Present were Councillors Dancey, Davis, Fraser, R. Fryer, Jolley, Macdonald, Parks and Montagu. Councillor Nick Dombkowski sat in on the meeting. Councillor Steve Welling did not attend. 

There were an equal number of people, eleven, in the public seats. They included Nick Parker and other members of EBRAG (the East Boreham Residents Action Group), Caroline Ham who is campaigning against the Redrow Homes development proposed for Dorothy Walk, and a lady who was interested in the Core Strategy preferred development on the west side of Warminster. Mike Perry, Chair of Bishopstrow Parish Meeting was also present, as was Danny Howell of the website www.dannyhowell.net  Also among the public seats were former Town Councillor Tony Nicklin and his wife Kim. Three members of the press sat at a small table to one side.

After Committee apologies and substitutions, the approval of the minutes of the previous meeting of 25th March 2013, and Chairman's announcements, the Chairman of the meeting Councillor Rob Fryer invited public participation, any member of the public who had signed in with their name and address could speak for three minutes on any item listed on the agenda.

Richard Haes of Warminster Civic Trust spoke first, followed by Mike Perry, and then Nick Parker of EBRAG. All spoke about planning issues in Warminster. Richard Haes and Nick Parker both referred to the west side of Warminster being the preferred option for residential development in the Wiltshire Council's Core Strategy. Mike Perry spoke against the NDO scheme at Boreham Crossroads, saying he had a mandate from Bishopstrow to oppose it.

The fourth and final person to address the Town Development Committee was former Warminster Town Councillor Tony Nicklin. He had not polled enough votes to be returned to the Council at the May election and was now restricted to his 'three minutes' like other members of the public. 

But Mr. Nicklin seemed to have a stronger pro-development view, contrary to the other people sat in the public gallery. Although Haes and Parker accepted the inevitability of hundreds of homes being built on the west side of Warminster as the preferred option of the Core Strategy, Haes and Parker expressed some of their concerns, including finding out beforehand the infrastructure requirement for each new house built: such as the need for sufficient school places, doctors' surgeries appointments, cemetery spaces and effective policing. The need for employment was also mentioned and also traffic considerations.

Tony Nicklin appeared to be very much in favour of the residential expansion of Warminster and the need for it to happen whatever. 

On the question of whether the Town Council should form a new group to deal with planning and the residential expansion of the town, Tony Nicklin said: "I don't think another new group is needed. You have one already. We've already commenced discussions with the developers concerned. The Town Planning Working Group is a good place to start. The Working Group's views were supported by the Civic Trust in 2010." 

Previously the Town Council had rejected being seen to actively support the expansion plans as proposed by developers because they didn't want to be seen 'getting into bed' with developers." 

Tony Nicklin had this to say: "10% growth in the next ten years is needed for Warminster to sustain itself in a rapid changing environment. We have to do this for the children and the grandchildren of the town. I want the Town Council to get to grips with this problem. If you don't you will have one EBRAG versus the WWRAG [presumably he meant a West Warminster Residents Action Group]  and the Bath Road RAG coming up soon. It is my one wish now that all NIMBY and public protest groups be eradicated in Warminster. One of my biggest gripes is the NIMBY groups stopping our town's regeneration. I want this Committee to take back to the full Council this proposal: Are you going to do anything or are you going to sit back and do nothing?