Including Southwick, North Bradley, Hilperton, Semington, West Ashton, Staverton and Waddon
The Trowbridge Community Area is much affected by the County Council's concept of the A350 Growth Corridor - expanding a whole swathe of countryside on the back of road building. Although Trowbridge town centre remains in need of much regeneration and has a number of large brownfield sites, the choice of development land is usually greenfield. The situation is compounded by very high housing numbers for Wiltshire. Trowbridge is an easy target for often ugly development - the 'cookie cutter' estates and ugly tin shed-land, while the town centre economy languishes. See also our concerns on total traffic from developments at Trowbridge and Melksham.
West Ashton - Yarnbrook relief road
The most recent initiative to achieve both massive housing numbers and strategic road 'improvements' at the same time, is the West Ashton - Yarnbrook relief road, which comes with approximately 2,500 new houses, roundabouts and new junctions, partly paid for by the developer and partly by the government and county.
This project is in limbo after belated revisions by Wiltshire Council - needed to overcome a potential threat of extinction of rare bat species. This raised its estimated cost to £25m and caused expiry of a Local Growth Fund grant of £5.5m. The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership took the Local Growth Fund money back and the West Ashton - Yarnbrook relief road is no longer on its list of projects. Any replacement funding will have to come direct from Department for Transport. The planning application for the massive development has a transport assessment dating back to 2015. This shows just how many thousands of new journeys will be generated across the wider Trowbridge area including neighbouring towns.
We do not know if a HIF grant of £8m provided in 2018 for raising the road to allow installation of bat underpasses is still available from Homes England.
Concerns that the urban extension and the road would cause the extinction of rare bat colonies in ancient woodlands to the east of Trowbridge delayed this project from the first planning application in 2015 until 2018 when a revised application was approved by Wiltshire Council’s strategic planning committee.
Further delays and haggling between council and developer Persimmon over the S.106 agreement caused the expiry of the original Local Growth Fund (LGF).
Yet another planning application was approved by Wiltshire Council’s strategic planning committee on 15 June 15th June 2022. The Strategic Planning Committee met and gave Ashton Park and the A350 West Ashton Yarnbrook Relief road the green light. However there was a proviso: whether to give Persimmon a three or six math extension of time to sort out legalities with Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
Read Wiltshire Council's Planning for Trowbridge
Above: Large brownfield sites in Trowbridge await development. Meanwhile we develop greenfields around the edge, around new roads. However the many large and small sites in the town, and its regeneration moves forward at a snail's pace.
Growth again and again on greenfields, while the town is left behind.
Rail instead of road
Rail: Trowbridge is on the Cardiff-Portsmouth line and within the Bath Travel-to-work area. The transport plan has for many years included a bus-train interchange at Trowbridge Station. We proposed that this could include new homes and a station on the now-derelict Bowyers site but the council has not supported this idea, preferring to seek a developer interested in developing standard commercial property
You can read a report by a consultant's report for the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership recommending a West Ashton station as possible for the new developments to the South east off Trowbridge.