Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.


Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.


Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!


Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.


Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.


Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.


The demolition of Copenacre in March and April 2016

(see the foot of the gallery for a 1968 Australian Army report on the ADP facilities at Copenacre)

* There is a fascinating report on the organisation of the ADP facilities at Copenacre between pages 27 and 38 of the Australian Army Journal of March 1968 here:

15th December 2015 - planning application 15/11889/REM for 58 homes at the Copenacre site


This 'new' (2nd December 2015) application is for the eastern part of the Copenacre site - see the diagram below. Representations (objectons etc) should be made by Thursday 7th January 2016. As indicated in the diagram caption, this application details the 'reserved matters' (REM) regarding applications 14/07171/VAR (a 'variation' on the original proposal) and N/12/00836/OUT (the original 'outline' application).


Also see 'Archive', 'Copenacre' (http://www.rudloescene.co.uk/archive-1/copenacre/) regarding the potential loss of significant industrial archeology through this planning application.

Planning application 15/11889/REM for 58 homes at Copenacre at the eastern end of the site. This covers the 'reserved matters' (REM) for planning application 14/07171/VAR which itself was a 'variation' (VAR) of N/12/00836/OUT (the 'outline' application)

31st October 2015 - planning application 15/00058/OUT for 40 homes at the Copenacre site approved by Wiltshire planners on 27th October 2015


This planning application from January 2015, the 'masterplan' for which is shown below, is for the westernmost part of the Copenacre site only. It slipped under the rudloescene radar, and the radar of many others it seems, as only two 'representation' letters were received for the proposal, one from Mr & Mrs Arnall of Halfway Firs and the other from Corsham Civic Society. Both letters make valid points about the proposal.

Planning application 15/00058/OUT for 40 homes at the Copenacre site was approved by Wiltshire planners on 27th October 2015

18th October 2015 - planning application 15/10111/FUL for bat barn at the Copenacre site


This application references the 'original' planning application N/12/00836/OUT which, under the 3-year rule, will expire on 14th November 2015. 

The main Copenacre office building seen suffering from increasing vandalism in July 2015

This 'bat barn' application will result in the loss of nine trees, four ash and five others, which were identified in the tree survey of N/12/00836/OUT here:

However it isn't possible (without much work) to relate the trees to be lost to the original schedule.


I wonder also, with badgers having been made the scapegoats for the spread of bovine TB by the industrial farming lobby (hiding the 'real' reason - modern industrial practices and poor animal husbandry - see file and article links below) and with the licensing of badger culls in adjacent counties, if the following mitigation and compensation recommendations from the ecology report of N/12/00836/OUT still hold:

  • Complete closure of a main badger sett and provision of an artificial badger sett. A mitigation licence for sett closure would need to be obtained from Natural England prior to the works commencing
  • The prevention of harm to badgers using the site during the decommissioning and construction phases
  • Construction of an artificial sett to compensate for the closure of the sett

The Pickwick Association made good points in their comments on N/12/00836/OUT. These included the observations that:

  • This site is in open countryside and outside the settlement boundary
  • The site is unsustainable as it does not benefit from local services and facilities with the affordable housing element particularly isolated from these
  • The design appears to be a standard house builder's estate layout. More thought needs to be given to the design principles to achieve something akin to local, traditional construction (not pastiche).
  • The development is urbanisation of open countryside and closes the gap between Corsham and Rudloe

But better here than in pristine, greenfield locations between Corsham and Rudloe, however ... we now have the worst of all worlds with greenfield locations falling prey to speculative developers Gladman (150 homes at Pickwick) and Hannick (88 homes at Rudloe).

Bovine TB Infection - Scotland.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [681.7 KB]

1st May 2015 - Copenacre, variation of condition 2 and modification of legal agreement for N/12/00836/OUT

It remains quite difficult to discern exactly what has been applied for and what has been approved but the planning 'decision notices', dated 20th April 2015, for planning applications 14/07172/VAR and 14/07430/106 have, apparently, waived the condition that plans for all proposed elements of this development be submitted as a whole (ref planning application N/12/00836/OUT). Plans for the proposed housing (100 homes?) and the hotel (?) can now be submitted separately. I believe that the requirement for a care home has been dropped as there is sufficient capacity, both existing and planned, already in the local area.

Copenacre from Rudloe

14th January 2015 - 'new' Copenacre planning applications (updated on 13th February 2015 - see * below)


Two 'new' planning applications have been submitted, by Framptons, for the Copenacre site - these are 15/00056/OUT and 15/00058/OUT. Being a congenital idiot of the first order, I haven't yet been able to figure out the convolutions of these applications which are for housing only as the care home and hotel proposals have been dropped (the applications show this). But why one application is for 105 homes and the other for 115 homes I do not know. The planning officer is away until the 19th January - hopefully he will be able to clarify on his return (I have sent an email).


Along with the (RAF) Rudloe No 2 Site in Westwells Road, these applications for a total of 285 (or 295?) homes will satisfy the Corsham housing requirement for the foreseeable future (2026 in the Council's reckoning) thereby obviating the 'need' for any speculative, greenfield development in west Corsham.


The applications may be found on the Wilts CC website using the 'buttons' below:


* Having spoken with the planning officer, Mark Staincliffe, on this subject on 13th February 2015, I need to lie down in a dark room for a while. There were problems with the form of the two applications - they were unclear. The essence of the (outline, remember) applications is that the nature of the proposed housing has changed from 4-bed executive homes with double garages to a mix of 2-, 3- and 4-bed homes with (a council requirement for) 40% affordable housing (what a laugh - nothing is affordable these days, with the cheapest homes at a probable 7.5 times the average salary of a young(ish) person wishing to buy a home - this is a factor of three more that the salary/house-price ratio when we were looking to buy our first home in 1972, and consequentially completely unaffordable! The supposed 'Help to Buy' scheme just 'helps' to keep house prices inflated using taxpayers' money) and (still) a care home.


As far as I can make out (but I still may be mistaken), the total number of houses proposed now is 158 (58 added by these two applications to the original 100 proposed in application 12/00836/OUT). The planning officer has stated that those wishing further clarification (!) can call or email him on 01249 706682 or Mark.Staincliffe@wiltshire.gov.uk

The Copenace site remains a derelict eyesore

14th August 2014 - Copenacre planning app. 14/07430/106


This planning application, from planning consultants Framptons, is seeking to modify the section 106 agreement by removing obstacles to housing development on this site in the current legal framework.


It seems that there is now no prospect of a nursing home here as local demand has been, or will be, met through developments elsewhere. Similarly, the proposed hotel development is looking uncertain.


At the Area Planning Meeting on 14th March when the Hannick speculative, greenfield application at Rudloe was approved, the meeting heard from members that bringing forward brownfield sites was fraught with difficulties. However, here we have consultants/developers desperately trying to bring forward the Copenacre site for housing but being hampered by the exacting requirements of (local) planning regulations.


In the opinion of rudloescene, Wiltshire planners should pull out all the stops to enable housing development on this brownfield site so as to avert the proposed speculative developments on farmland between Rudloe and Pickwick. Corsham Town Council and Area Planning Committee member, Cllr Whalley has argued vehemently for the greenfield, speculative, Hannick planning application at Rudloe and (just last night) for the solar park on farmland at Wadswick whilst Corsham Town Council proposes to annex these same Box Parish lands. Greenfield development and annexation in whose interest?


Ninety-three per cent of Rudloeites polled (in about 350 households), in February this year, were opposed to the Hannick speculation and the vast majority of local (Wadswick and Neston) residents oppose the solar park. So, whose interests does councillor Whalley purport to represent? Certainly not those of Rudloe, Hawthorn, Wadswick and Neston parishioners.


Wilts County Council planners invite comments on this Copenacre application by 4th September. My comment to Wilts planners is shown in the link below.

Planning app 14-07430-106 - comment.docx
Microsoft Word document [11.5 KB]
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