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.


View 'up' Westwells Road, Hawthorn before the arrival of Basil Hill

June 2021 update. The Wiltshire Council decision for the go-ahead on the ex-RAF Rudloe No. 2 Site (planning application 19/07339/REM) was dated 11th June 2021; I believe that the 3-year rule still applies so Bellway will have until 10th June 2024 to commence work on the site.

2nd August 2019 - at long last and just days before the 3-year expiry of outline application 14/11354/OUT, Bellway Homes has submitted a 'reserved matters' application for ex-RAF Rudloe No. 2 Site in Westwells Road. The application for 168 homes, including 50 'affordable', and 864 sq metres of office space has received the designation 19/07339/REM. Application documents may be found on the Wiltshire Council planning pages here: 19/07339/REM. The last date for representations is Thursday 29th August 2019 (* see below).

This Bellway brownfield development should have been undertaken some time ago - before green fields were swallowed up by the 88-home development on the Bradford Road at Rudloe. However, I guess there is insidious method in this, in that it would have been much more difficult to justify an undesirable greenfield development following a 168-home brownfield development just a quarter-mile away (it's the same developer).


This development will, no doubt, get the green light. The two Bellway developments will be providing 85 affordable homes, a figure way in excess of the supposed requirement for the local area. The argument from GreenSquare for affordable homes through an increase in density of Rudloe Estate is therefore completely invalidated - see the 1st July 2019 article under 'News', 'Rudloe', 'Rudloe Estate' here: 1st July 2019 article.

12th September 2019 update - Corsham Town Council's representation (on Wiltshire Council's planning pages - link given above) illustrates just how incapable local councils are. Having recommended approval of the outline application, they now recommend refusal of the reserved matters application stating that "a large number of other developments had been completed in the local area". Having raised no objection to the Bellway (formerly Hannick) 88-home greenfield development at Rudloe, they now recommend refusal of a brownfield development. This situation has been raised in numerous articles on rudloescene, vis that this brownfield development was inevitable sooner or later and that green fields should not be swallowed up in a precipitous rush to satisfy unreasonable government demands for sustainable development. We now have the ridiculous situation whereby government and local policy of prioritising brownfield development has been lost in a madcap rush for development at any cost (and the cost to the environment of such calamitous decisions is enormous - see the 1st March 2019 article below).


* the final date for representations has been extended to 24th September 2019

1st March 2019 and the abomination visited upon the people of Rudloe by the architect of the monstrous development at Corsham Science Park is taking shape. I cannot imagine that Chris Watt would countenance such a development in his back yard at Wellow. But further, this monstrosity was sanctioned by Wiltshire Council's Northern Area Planning Committee with local members Philip Whalley (Corsham) and Sheila Parker (Box) voting in favour. Box Parish Council, whilst under the chairmanship of Pauline Lyons who was also the vice-chairman of North Wiltshire CPRE, raised no objections to this greenfield development (ironic as CPRE's letterheads avow 'Protect Wiltshire'). Corsham Town Council, similarly, rubber-stamped the development. All this in the face of the Wiltshire Landscape Character Assessment (2004) pronouncement that important views from Rudloe should be protected and that such (commercial) buildings should be on low-level, brownfield sites. These declarations are affirmed in Wiltshire Core Strategy Policy 51. But see (below) what the guardians of our precious landscape have visited upon us ...                                                                   

View over the Clay Vale to Oliver's Castle and the western escarpment of the Marlborough Downs from the footpath behind Springfield Close
Look what they've done to our views; an outrage sanctioned by our local representatives
Before the abomination, Mrs French's (Slaughterford) ponies used to overwinter in the meadows
Look what they've done to our views; an outrage sanctioned by our local representatives
Another view of Mrs French's ponies at the start of their overwintering period
Look what they've done to our views; an outrage sanctioned by our local representatives
A zoomed view, now lost, of the western escarpment of the Marlborough Downs and Oliver's Castle
This is sunrise but it's sunset for the precious views over the Clay Vale to the Marlborough Downs and Salisbury Plain; views lost not just to our generation but to all future generations

20th November 2017 - Hawthorn Post Office and Stores

The owner, Lesley (Harris), has submitted a planning application (17/10151/FUL) for conversion of the former Hawthorn Post Office and Stores to two flats. Representations regarding this proposal should be made to Wiltshire Council by 21st November (so rudloescene is somewhat 'behind the curve' in reporting this!).

The empty shell that was Hawthorn Stores

Yours truly submitted the representation shown in the following .pdf file on 20th November.

Planning Application 17-10151-FUL - Hawt[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [115.4 KB]

21st September 2017 - the following representation on Bath ASU's 'reserved matters' planning application 17/07028/REM for 'land south of the Bradford Road at Rudloe' is also provided in file format below this article. Given the significant effect this application will have on our environment, I would urge readers to make representations on this matter to Wiltshire Council, and perhaps to the local MP.


Note that, as this development straddles the Rudloe/Hawthorn boundary, this article can also be found under 'News', 'Rudloe' here: 21st September 2017 article

As indicated in the opening text, the following file contains the subject representation:

Representation on Bath ASU 17-07028-REM.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]

19th September 2017 - photos follow of the residuum of the fire which destroyed a commercial laundry at Fiveways Industrial Estate on the night of 7th September 2017

19th August 2017 and the structure of the Flamingo Club and the apartment above are in their death throes to be replaced by ten homes (planning application 17/02313/FUL).

Under the ownership of the Petty family and latterly under the stewardship of former Bath RFC stalwart Chris Lilley, the Flamingo Club was the destination of choice for late-night drinkers from far and wide (certainly as far as Bristol) over many decades.


In its days as a cabaret club, the Flamingo hosted some quite famous (is that damning with faint praise?) acts. For example, on my stag night in 1972, the headline act was Danny Williams (no, not the former Swindon Town manager) who had a No 1 hit with a cover version of Andy Williams's Moon River. And along with the headline acts, there were the strippers ... aaah the good old days.

25th April 2017 - Hawthorn Stores departing from Westwells Road on 13th May after 28 years in the platform under the canopy of Lesley and Tony Harris. Excuse the railway analogy but here's another nail in the coffin of west Corsham (Pickwick, Rudloe, Hawthorn) services - Hawthorn Stores will close on 13th May 2017. Apparently a third party will take on the newspaper delivery aspect of the business so deliveries will continue. Good luck to Lesley and Tony - a summer of steam engines and cricket beckons.

5th September 2016 - Hawthorn Post Office closed last week after 27 years under its current postmistress, Lesley Harris, and husband Tony. This is, effectively, well-earned retirement due, in part, to Tony's current ill-health.


Lesley and Tony will continue to run Hawthorn Stores so your newspaper delivery is still secure! The Post Office could (could!) re-open in the future if a 'new' postmaster could be found to take on the business. In the meantime, the nearest Post Offices are at Box, Corsham, Atworth (Bear Garage) and Chippenham (the 'main' Post Office has now moved to the One Stop shop in Market Place and there are others in New Road and at Redlands).

Lesley Harris, the Hawthorn postmistress, outside Hawthorn Post Office. Lesley and husband Tony moved from Cardiff in 1988 to take on Hawthorn Stores and the Post Office (in 1989). Lesley will now be able to devote more time to steamy pursuits!

2nd August 2016 - there's been no reported 'news' in the 'Hawthorn' section for over a year so let's liven things up a little with a competition! HAWTHORN COTTAGE is shown below but it's not in Hawthorn. There's a bottle of wine (delivered) on offer for the first rudloescene reader who is able to pinpoint its location.

INCREDIBLY, this competition was won within about ten minutes of it going online, by Phillipa Mullins! So, there's another (harder I hope) competition now - see HOT PAGES - SUMMER 2016.

19th July 2015 - just a reminder that planning application 14/11354/OUT for the ex-RAF Rudloe No 2 Site (see the 12th December 2014 article below) is held up for bat consultations and reports.

1st May 2015 - this planning application has been made by the Flamingo Club owner, Mr Wayne Petty:


Application Number: 15/03363/OUT

Site Location: The Flamingo Club Westwells Road Hawthorn Corsham Wiltshire SN13 9RA

Mr Wayne PettyApplicant: Grid Ref: 384764 169184

The Flat The Flamingo Club Westwells Road Hawthorn Corsham Wiltshire SN13 9RA

Proposal: Demolition of Existing Building and Erection of 13 Residential Dwellings

Case Officer: Sam Croft Direct Line: 01249 706669 Registration Date: 21/04/2015

Please send your comments by: 21/05/2015

View towards Neston from the 'top' of Westwells Road. The landscape should improve considerably with the removal of the security fencing

12th December 2014 - RAF Rudloe No 2 Site


A planning application, 14/11354/OUT, for "180 dwellings and up to 0.25ha of economic development" on ex-RAF Rudloe No 2 Site, Westwells Road, was submitted, by planning consultants Framptons, to Wiltshire County Council on 1st December 2014.


All submitted documents (master plan, planning statement, ecological appraisal etc) may be found at the Wiltshire County Council planning pages using the 'button' (link) shown below this article.


Given that much recent development has somehow been forgotten by the planners in their housing requirement calculations, this proposal, along with the upcoming, revised proposal for 112 homes at the former RNSD Copenacre site (also from Framptons) will completely satisfy the wider Corsham housing requirement to 2026 (see Paul Turner's 'speech' to the Northern Area Planning Committee, the 'link' to which is given in the 29th October 2014 article in the 'News Archive').


The two brownfield development proposals from Framptons also obviate the need for any greenfield development in west Corsham - this includes the already granted, outline permissions for 88 homes from Hannick at Rudloe and the 64 homes from de Vernon at Potley. The total requirement to 2026 identified through the Wilts CC Housing Land Supply Statement (HLSS) is 330 (but should be 328). The Rudloe No 2, Copenacre, Rudloe Renaissance, Pound Mead ('forgotten' in the HLSS), Spring Tynings and Old Dairy (Pickwick) developments alone (will) provide 370 homes. There also are, or will be, other developments at the police station and library sites.

16th October 2014 - significant earthworks now at the site of the speculative planning application 13/05724/OUT (see 8th October 2014 article below and 2nd & 4th October 2014 articles in 'News', 'Archive'). Update - 24th October 2014 the following information has been received from Wilts County Council Enforcement:

Thank you for your e-mail and attached photographs. I can confirm that I visited the site on the 20th October 2014 and inspected the land and adjacent construction site. I also spoke with the site manager. I can confirm the following:

Materials have been excavated from the construction site to profile the land in accordance with the planning permissions that bind the land. Stone has been removed from the excavated materials and will be processed on the site to use for the slab of the building that is under construction. This will minimise the amount of material that will need to be removed from the site as well as minimise costs in importing materials to form the slab of the building under construction. The use of the adjoining land is in connection with these works and this is what can be seen in your photographs. The land is being used to store the separated soil from the separated stone. The use of the land for this purpose does not require planning permission because it is classed as Permitted Development. Adjoining land can be used in connection with a construction site for the storage of materials, plant, site porta-cabins, parking etc without the need for planning permission. The use of the adjoining land will have to cease when the development has been completed and the land restored to its former condition.

As no breach of planning control has occurred, because the use of the land is lawful, then there is no action that the Council can take on this matter and I have closed my file accordingly.


I note, with interest, the penultimate sentence, "and the land restored to its former condition". We will see what happens.

8th October 2014 - response from Bath ASU regarding the 2nd and 4th October articles

The works are temporary to store materials associated with the consented works alongside Park Lane. It is perfectly permissible to store aggregates and materials on adjoining land in the way we are during our development. This work has been planned to make it possible to restore the site should planning consent you refer to not be granted by the time we complete the development alongside Park Lane.

We notified the council via the planning officer* that we would be doing this. In fact, in doing so, we are making good on our commitments to reduce the impact of the development on the local community by reducing lorry movements and landfill. A simple practical and ecological move that one would have expected to be welcomed. One that also supports work that removes 300 lorry movements from our local roads. You obviously missed this article on our website: https://www.bathasu.com/capacity-expansion-project/

The topsoil has been removed and placed in a separate bund close to Bradford Road. That is specifically to keep it separated from the materials from the site below in order that it can be replaced should the top site not be granted detailed consent.

* When I contacted the planning officer, he knew nothing of this work and invoked 'enforcement' which precipitated the 2nd and 4th October articles (see 'News Archive' for these) PT

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