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Melksham Bypass 

 

The Melksham bypass is all part of Wiltshire Council's idea that the A350 should be the new fast route to Poole, as explained in their presentation. The route is approximately nine kilometres long with a series of large roundabouts, opportunities for development, and underpasses for pedestrians on countryside walks. The idea is that lorries travelling north-south from all parts of the country will be attracted to using this road.

 

Selected and progressed as a priority for the county by a body called the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the cost is between £50.2 and £135.8m, depending on the route selected.  See the mock-up of the road on tube and the presentation given to the Melksham Area Board.

 

Public consultations in 2020 and 2021 indicated that a majority of local people did not want the proposed bypass but this has not deterred the Wiltshire council. In January 2021 the council obtained £1.3m from DfT towards the estimated £1.8m cost of an outline business case (OBC) for the road, with the remaining £530,000 to come from Wiltshire council's own funds. 

 

The road would impact at least eight farms, severing Little Bowerhill Farm and cutting Bowerhill off from the canal. Little Bowerhill Farm will resist compulsory purchase, leading to an inquiry the council will have to pay for.  Campaigners believe the road could harm as many as 12 farms; they have asked the council for the total number of farms it expects to be affected.

 3,950 new houses are proposed by Wiltshire Council for the town up to 2036, and it would receive more growth than other areas.

The report by Wiltshire Council on the public response to the Local Plan review said: “The scale of growth would lead to a coalescence with Bowerhill and Berryfield and could not be supported by local infrastructure. Wessex Water suggestsed further investigation regarding sewerage infrastructure. The report also explained:. See page 26 of Wiltshire's site allocation document. 

“There was generally a mixed response to the possibility of an A350 bypass – some believed it is urgently needed, others that it will adversely impact the natural environment and was no longer a priority because of changing work patterns.”

 

 

A 9 km (5.5 miles) bypass through virgin countryside, including a 400 viaduct across the lovely Avon near Lacock National Trust property. Imagine the roar of traffic!

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Click on the cover to see Melksham housing developments. 
 
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The bypass at Sandridge.png
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