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Warminster and the Wylye Valley

Warminster is a garrison town between Salisbury Plain and the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). War Office / MOD interests ensured that the remarkable landscape of the Plain and its escarpment would not enjoy the protection recommended by the Hobhouse Committee in 1947. Campaigning by the White Horse Alliance persuaded Natural England to list an extension of the AONB round the western escarpment of the Plain as a candidate for AONB status. [Link to Alan James landscape report on website] Designation is unlikely without the support of Wiltshire Council (see Westbury).


 The A36 and A350 corridors converge at Warminster and share the bypass which carries both routes for a few miles round the south of the town.  Warminster is on the line from Cardiff to Portsmouth via Bristol, Bath, Trowbridge, Westbury, Salisbury and Southampton.  


Wylye Valley and the A36 Codford-Heytesbury ‘improvement'

Located near the head of the Wylye Valley, this 5km road project was a Wiltshire County Council (WCC) plan. The council was forced to withdraw it after the Department of Transport (DfT) re-assessed its Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR). DOT found that a corrected weighting of the landscape impact of the road - located in the Cranborne Chase AONB and between the edge of Salisbury Plain and the Avon SAC - made the road very poor value for money. It was culled by the Secretary of State in December 2001.   WCC had by then spent about £3m on scheme preparation.  

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