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.

Possibly the last cut on the field threatened with development
Possibly the last cut on the field threatened with development

Possibly the last cut on the field threatened with development at Rudloe (Hannick planning application)

10th August 2023 - Land North of Park Lane, Corsham (see 31st March 2023 article below), my objection may be found in the .pdf below:

Objection to planning application PL.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [2.0 MB]

Refer to the 'News', 'Park Lane' webpage (Park Lane) for further information on this issue starting with the 21st November 2023 article.

31st March 2023 - an 8-page leaflet (the first page of which is shown at left) has been dropped through all (with some exceptions) Rudloe letterboxes regarding a 'public consultation' on a proposed development on the last green field south of the Bradford Road at Rudloe.

If this goes ahead, this will be the final piece in the west Corsham conurbation linking Corsham to Rudloe, Hawthorn, Westwells, Moor Green and Neston.

This is a situation that our local representatives at Wiltshire Council and town council level asserted would or should never come about. Corsham Town Council's Strategic Plan 2014-2018 affirmed that green spaces (fields) should maintain a separation between Corsham and outlying settlements such as Rudloe in order to avoid such a conurbation. The Wiltshire Core Strategy also stipulated the same position.

This has become a question of trust. How can we trust anything that our representatives aver, if the very opposite comes about? Councils become worthless talking-shops and their documents worthy only of the bin.

Further, Wiltshire Council documents with the purpose of attempting to justify the Park Place development included "...the application will protect the long term future of the remaining green gap between Rudloe and Corsham...". Ha!

But why is this development proposed? Not only is the existing Science Park development a blot on the landscape with 7.5 metre high steel-clad buildings blocking fine views to the Clay Vale and Marlborough Downs but most of its buildings (six of ten) remain empty three years after their construction. Why then propose another white elephant at Rudloe?

Documents produced for the previous greenfield planning applications between Corsham and Rudloe (south of the Bradford Road) may be of interest to the rudloescene reader. The applications were 13/05724/OUT which eventually morphed into the Bellway Dickens Gate development and 17/07028/REM which produced the Corsham Science Park monstrosity (the white elephant mentioned above). 

Appraisal of 05724 for Planning Committe[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.1 MB]
Representation on Bath ASU 17-07028-REM.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]

7th February 2023 and a tad late with the news that Harry Barstow of Highlands Close has passed. Inter alia, Harry made a significant contribution to the realm of sports literature with his two books on Bath Rugby.

Harry's funeral will take place at St Thomas a Becket, Box on 23rd February 2023. Barbara Perrier, another resident of Highlands Close from times gone by has also passed; Barbara's funeral will be at St Bartholomew's, Corsham at 1:30 on Wednesday, 8th February 2023. 

31st May 2022 - further excavations in the garden have found evidence of reuse/recycling (glass - see below) undertaken by drinks companies half-a-century ago. The plastic cap from a Tizer bottle says "RETURN CAP WITH BOTTLE" (see picture below) - as with the Esso coin (see 29th May article below), this must have been dropped by a builder when our house was under construction in 1970.


The national Big Plastic Count has just taken place in May 2022, organised by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic. This has gathered evidence which will be presented to the Government showing that the UK is not doing nearly enough in tackling the plastic waste problem. As part of this campaign, a handbook on living with less plastic has been published and may be found here: https://thebigplasticcount.com/media/Living-with-less-plastic-handbook.pdf.


But for all the publicity given to recycling today, companies were doing far more fifty years ago. However... this cap must have come from a glass bottle as plastic drinks bottles were not introduced until the late 70s.

29th May 2022 - excavations in the garden have revealed a long-buried coin. A tad later than Roman or Anglo-Saxon, this must have been dropped by one of the builders when our house was under construction

27th February 2022 - Putin's apparent theat of nuclear strikes following his attack on Ukraine has brought to mind the Cold War and the early-warning system and alarm (siren) that used to be tested at Rudloe every Friday morning at 10 o'clock. 

As far as I recall, the Friday morning testing was discontinued decades ago but her majesty reckons it only stopped about ten years ago. My reasoning is that with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the supposed threat no longer existed. So does the rudloescene reader, perhaps with insider knowledge, know when this testing stopped? 

Notwithstanding this question, Putin's actions now make clear that the threat has re-emerged. So will the early-warning testing now be re-established? This warning is particularly relevant as here we have MoD Corsham and its military communications centre including the Airbus site which operates the Skynet family of satellites. We also have the rather mysterious Corsham Computer Centre which the MoD says "processes data in support of Royal Navy operations". According to the higgypop website, CCC is part of the Submarine Command & Control (SMC2) programme, responsible for the maintenance of software linked to the Trident programme. And finally (or perhaps not) there is Ark Data whose substantial data centres in Westwells Road facilitate financial transactions, the internet, the operation of many Government departments as well as everything from local government to charities (what a target this would be).


If this area is a potential target and if an early-warning system (and siren) is re-established, then what? If 'the balloon goes up', do we all pile into our cars and head for the hills? Or, as we have a considerable network of underground tunnels here, should measures be put in place to institute a plan for the safety of the local population?

10th January 2021 - there follows an email sent to Niki Hinman, a 'senior reporter' at Wilts Gazette & Herald on the subject of an article, published last week, on the Dickens Gate development



Greetings from darkest Rudloe.

With regard to the subject Wilts Gazette & Herald article ('Rudloe proves popular with families moving from Bath'), I would have thought that, as a 'senior reporter', you should have given your readers an objective, impartial view of Rudloe developments and not simply repeat a sales pitch from the developer.

You repeat the following misinformation (or perhaps disinformation) from Christel Hawkins, sales manager for Bellway South West on the subject of the Dickens Gate development:

  *   "Corsham is just a short walk away for all day-to-day needs"
  *   "Rudloe benefits from a range of amenities"
  *   "Its own football club"
  *   "A variety of shops"

Having lived at Rudloe for 45 years and being an inveterate walker, I know well the distance to Corsham but for the sake of accuracy I have, for your benefit, calculated it using an online distance calculator. From the centre of Dickens Gate to the Co-op store in Corsham is 1.75 miles or 2.8 kilometres. At a brisk walking pace of 3mph, this would take 35 minutes.

Rudloe does have a school, strangely not called Rudloe School (perhaps you could use your reporting skills to investigate), and two pre-school organisations. It has a small cafe (Dandelion Cafe) in Leafy Lane open every day (except Sundays) until 2pm and following the closure of Rudloe Community Centre in 2017, the premises is also used by various local clubs. There is the Rudloe Arms (hotel), one of Monsieur Marco Pierre White's establishments where it is possible (possible!) for locals to enjoy a coffee or meal. To kick off New Year 2020, her majesty and myself decided to 'pop in' for a coffee, then after chatting at length with a couple from Kent, we decided to stay on for dinner. A memorable 'coffee' at £158.

Rudloe Football Club (for which both myself and our son played), which originally played its matches at Rudloe, passed its final ball more than ten years ago. There is, I believe, another club now with the appellation 'Rudloe', this is Spartak Rudloe FC which plays its home games at the Recreation Ground in Box. When Madame Hawkins talks of "Its own football club", perhaps she is thinking of the Leafy Lane Playing Fields (LLPF) organisation which manages a clubhouse and numerous football pitches, a cricket pitch and a floodlit 6-a-side pitch at Leafy Lane.

So, I'm by no means certain, apart from the school and pre-schools, that a small cafe with limited opening hours, an expensive hotel/restaurant, a football team that plays elsewhere and 'private' (which LLPF goes to great lengths to assert) playing fields would constitute "a range of amenities".

But perhaps the biggest 'beef' with your report is the statement "a variety of shops". There are no shops at Rudloe. The only shop, Rudloe Stores on Rudloe Estate, closed in 2017. The local Post Office and store at Hawthorn (this was a "short walk away") also closed in 2017. And, as mentioned above, we said goodbye to the community centre in 2017 (but the fight goes on to try to reopen it - go to the rudloescene website to discover more). So why have you repeated this disinformation? Perhaps Madame Hawkins attended the Donald Trump 'school of fake news' but as a senior reporter, I would have thought that you would have checked the supposed facts given.


Paul Turner

16th June 2020 and the seemingly never-ending offensive on the green spaces twixt Corsham and  Rudloe continues.The photograph below, taken in 1996, is of the barn in what was the field across the Bradford Road from Springfield Close. The barn was converted to a dwelling (see title picture) some years ago and is now surrounded by the 88-home Bellway Dickens Gate development and the 7.5-metre high, steel-clad monstrosities of  what will become (supposedly) Corsham Science Park. Former countryside now concrete, tarmac and steel.

And apart from Dickens Gate, more than 700 new homes are either constructed, under construction or planned between Corsham and Rudloe: (Redcliffe - 170 greenfield, Copenacre - 100, Gladman - 150 greenfield,  Bellway (Westwells Road) - 168, GreenSquare on Rudloe Estate - 50 greenfield (but over my dead body), Great Tew Estates (Bradford Road) - possibly 100+ greenfield). Wouldn't you think that that would be enough urbanisation, with the greenfield developments/proposals being contrary to the Wiltshire Core Strategy, the Wiltshire Strategic Landscape Assessment and Corsham's Strategic Plan?


But no, the family that sold the 10-acre field to Bellway for 'Dickens Gate' now wish to remove every last vestige of green space by building a pair of semi-detached houses (planning application 20/04313/FUL) on each side of the barn and also by removing the trees and hedgerow that provide a green barrier (both visual and sound) not just for the barn (and actually the proposed new semis) but for the Dickens Gate and Springfield Close homes also.

I must admit I fail to see the driving force behind this proposal (apart from greed). Maybe the Payne family of Park Farm, Colerne feel that they were ripped off by Bellway in receiving only £4,800,000 for the 10-acre field. There is something seriously amiss with our planning system when developments are driven not by a community plan for better homes and services (of which Rudloe has none apart from a bus) but by one remote, landowning family further filling their coffers to the detriment of the environment and a community, about which they know nothing, on the other side of the valley. Erstwhile farmers now speculative developers.

It should be noted that this family also owns the former prefab sites in Boxfields Road which they would sell for development (and which they have made some preliminary moves towards) at the drop of a hat.

I'll leave you again with Winston Churchill's 'Land is by far the greatest of monopolies. Consider the enrichment which comes to the landlord who happens to own a plot of land on the outskirts or at the centre of one of our great cities. The landowner need only wait while other people work and pay taxes to make the city grow more prosperous: building businesses, installing roads and railways, paying for schools and hospitals and public amenities. All the while the land monopolist has only to sit still and watch complacently his property multiplying in value, sometimes manifold, without either effort or contribution on his part; and that is justice!'

7th July 2020 update - my representation to Wiltshire Council planners on this proposal may be found in the file below.

Representation on application 20-04313-F[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [3.7 MB]

6th September 2020 update - further information has 'come to light' on this application which, notwithstanding all the arguments in my 7th July representation, means that this application is not viable. My supplementary representation to Wiltshire Council planners may be found in the file below:

Further representation on application 20[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [941.7 KB]

28th September 2020 update - this planning application has now been withdrawn

31st October 2019 - whilst protesting the felling of trees in the Amazon rainforest, 'we' continue to fell trees for no apparent reason in our own back yard. The half-pollarding of the sycamore at the 'bottom end' of Rudloe Estate was reported in the 29th January 2018 article below. The hope was expressed that the tree would remain a pollard and would regenerate. However, sometime this month, the tree was felled and then poisoned (see large photo below). If the tree had been felled early in the growing season, it would have 'coppiced' and even at this time of year, coppicing would be a possibility next spring. But poisoning the tree clearly removes any possibility of regrowth. Who would have poisoned the tree and why? The coppiced shoots, as with any coppice could have been removed, if necessary, at around 5-year intervals, the wood put to useful purpose and the tree would continue its life. But what use is a poisoned tree?

These images (cropped due to website limitations) show the sycamore in all its glory, the sycamore half-pollarded in winter 2017/18 and now the tree gone in October 2019. Note that the elderberry in front of the sycamore has also been removed. Now we have a bare patch, contrary to all environmental guidance, in place of flourishing plantlife. 

The sycamore stump with poison points around its circumference in October 2019. Why on earth go to all this trouble to despoil the environment?

13th October 2019 - there will be two 'Focus' sessions with regard to the Box Neighbourhood Plan to be held at Rudloe's school at Broadwood Avenue on Wednesday 16th October, the first at 16:30 and the second at 18:30. These are organised by the Steering Group of the Box Neighbourhood Planning Committee; the 'flyer' advertising the sessions has been posted through every letterbox in Rudloe and is reproduced below.

5th November 2018 - look what they've done to our meadows (and trees and views) Dave. See many articles and sub-pages in the 'Localities', 'Rudloe' section including Skynet berriesRudloe farewellSkynet vergedog daysmidsummer 2017October 2015 (two articles), May 2015 and March 2014 (two articles) for what has been lost. Also see the 5th January 2014, 13th January 2014, 16th March 2014, 4th April 2015, 7th April 2015, 17th June 2015, 28th August 2015, 21st September 2017, 1st February 2018 and 22nd September 2018 articles below.

Look what they've done to our meadow Dave
Look what they've done to our meadow Dave
Look what they've done to our meadow Dave
Look what they've done to our meadow Dave
Look what they've done to our view Dave
Look what they've done to our trees Dave
Look what they've done to our meadow Dave
Look what they've done to our meadow Dave
What the ...

The images in the gallery below show farming taking place (in May 1998 - remember fields and farming) in the fields that are now part of the west Corsham conurbation with the monstrous 7.5-metre high, steel clad structures of the supposed Corsham Science Park and the Dickens Gate development

22nd September 2018 - the beginning of the end for the Bradford Road tree line in anticipation of Bellway's 88-home, unnecessary, speculative, greenfield development. With 100 homes under construction at Copenacre (also by Bellway), 170 (Redcliffe) homes being built further down the Bradford Road and planning permission for 180 homes on the ex-RAF Rudloe No. 2 Site in Westwells Road all within a half-mile of this site, the loss of this meadow, and the trees, is an abomination.


Mentioned elsewhere on rudloescene is the supposed requirement for hundreds of thousands of new homes across the country, 42,000 in Wiltshire alone, being satisfied locally by 1,000 new builds/applications in Corsham and 3,500 in Chippenham. Uncontrolled immigration  has been responsible for five-sixths of the national population growth of 6 million since the turn of the century and the loss of swathes of property in London and elsewhere to foreign buyers makes property unaffordable for local people. And our 'sovereign' governments (not the EU!) are and have been responsible for this situation.

21st September 2018 and the 'undergrowth' (clematis vitalba, blackthorn, bramble etc) bites the dust in preparation for tree removal
Plum and apple trees have been removed and the unique (in the Bradford Road) summer shade provided by the tree canopy here will be lost
The mature trees have gone and just the saplings remain for the moment; Bellway will be required to replant to create a barrier for the homes.
All the trees to the south (right) of Bradford Road here will be felled

1st February 2018 - last day for representations on the 88-home planning application in Bradford Road


Bellway's planning application 17/12270/REM started life as Hannick's 13/05724/OUT outline application for 88 homes (and commercial development) opposite the Broadwood School (title picture, above, shows the site).


With an approved development for 180 homes at the brownfield, former RAF Rudloe No 2 Site in Westwells Road just a couple of hundred yards away, development of the subject greenfield site is unnecessary especially considering that the Rudloe Housing Needs Survey of 2013 found that just 11 new homes were required.


Scores of local people objected to the 2013 outline development proposals but it seems that 'we' have been so subdued by the power of developers and the 'fortress' planning system that there appears little point in putting in your 'two pennies worth'. 'Localism' has come to this.


If you have the heart, representations should be made (today!) to developmentmanagement@wiltshire.gov.uk. Yours truly's may be found in the file below.

Representation on Bellway 17-12270-REM.p[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [3.8 MB]

29th January 2018 - further destruction of our natural environment on Bradford Road at Rudloe. The fine sycamore at the gateway to Rudloe has been lain low by persons (organisations) unknown. The verge remains strewn with rubbish however (until picked up by our local litter pickers).


It's an odd world we live in where the natural environment is under attack by the very organisations we 'elect' to protect our localities. The result of this particular attack is the despoilation of Rudloe's eastern portal.


Hopefully, this will remain a pollard, allowing the tree to regrow.

21st January 2018 - not news, just a commentary on modern life. I arrived at the bus stop this morning with a "good morning" greeting to the two men (twenties/thirties) already there. One did respond somewhat reluctantly. The other looked up from his smartphone and looked down again. Real life intruding on the virtual world.

21st September 2017 - yours truly's representation on Bath ASU's 'reserved matters' planning application 17/07028/REM for 'land south of the Bradford Road at Rudloe' is provided in file format below. 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', 'Hawthorn' 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]

29th & 30th October 2016 - a wander around Leafy Lane and Rudloe Firs on these damp autumn days and I came across a few things which were out of the ordinary (or perhaps not, in the second and third cases below).


Firstly, there was a runner plodding up Box Hill holding a torch (as in Olympic) on the 29th. And I must have been in imbecile mode as I didn't take a picture of him. I did, however, take a picture of the guy who was taking a picture of him. The runner was Adam Holland and the event, the 1,000km Kenya Peace Torch Relay - see: http://run4peace.co.uk/

As you may see from the 'Run for Peace' T-shirt, this chap is supporting Adam in this impressive undertaking; the charity behind the project is the Aegis Trust. From the website mentioned above, we find:

Snaking 1,000km around the UK this October through some of the country’s biggest cities – from London to Leeds to Liverpool to Bristol and back – The Kenya Peace Torch Relay will raise funds to help the Aegis Trust establish a school for peace in Northern Kenya, bringing young people together and uniting communities in a region where ethnic violence has left hundreds of people dead and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes

It's incredible, the time and effort that people put in to support the noble work of charities.

Secondly, the following is, effectively, the substance of an email sent to Wiltshire Council on 30th October 2016:


At the brow of Box Hill  in two separate locations (coordinates shown in the maps in the gallery below), Wiltshire Council has placed signs which, as will be seen, state: Treatment of Japanese Knotweed, Site Name Rudloe, Date Treated 17/10/2016, Next Visit Due Spring 2017, Product Used Tordon 22K.

Even with a rudimentary knowledge of the natural environment, any member of the public could easily identify the shrubs that have been treated as dogwood NOT Japanese knotweed. There are any number of indicators:

1. Japanese knotweed, as has been seen locally at, for example, Box Hill Common and at Westwells, in view of its propagation by rhizome, grows in clusters or clumps - it is not shrub-like. Its stems resemble bamboo (hollow).
2. Japanese knotweed leaves are not opposite, they are asymmetrical along a stem (see the title photo at the English Heritage website here:http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/learn/conservation/2544404/LAN_-_Problem_Weeds.pdf (see the opposite leaves of the subject shrubs in attached photo)
3. Japanese knotweed flowers consist of clusters of spiky stems covered in tiny creamy-white flowers (see flower remnants on the subject shrubs in gallery photo below)

Locals have known for years that the shrubs that Wiltshire Council has now treated are dogwood. They are shrubs, the leaves are opposite, they have dogwood flowers/seedheads, they ARE dogwood. The two species that Wiltshire Council has destroyed are possibly cornus alba (red stems) and cornus sericea (lime green stems).

Wiltshire Council's action brings to mind a number of issues:

Firstly, that our councils are supposed to help protect our environment not destroy it

Secondly, the identification (or mis-identification as in this case) of Japanese knotweed can have a significant effect on an owner's ability to sell a property

Thirdly our local, Box Hill, problem may simply be the thin end of the wedge. It seems likely, in view of this palpable mis-identification, that this could be happening all over the county with consequent environmental damage, misuse of ratepayers' money on fool's errands and possible devaluation of property prices

Fourthly, what kind of training are Wiltshire Council operatives given when such a glaring error could be made? Or perhaps this is a management problem?

I would suggest that local people (with local knowledge) are consulted before Wiltshire Council goes blundering around the countryside destroying the natural environment.

The following gallery shows the two areas of dogwood at the brow of Box Hill that have been mis-identified as Japanese knotweed, the signs erected by Wiltshire Council, detail (stems, leaves etc) of the shrubs and the map coordinates:

'We' await Wiltshire Council's response!

Thirdly, on 29th October 2016, I discovered the British Heart Foundation bags, shown in the following photo, at Rudloe Firs:

And what do these bags contain? Simply garden prunings; twigs and leaves! Can you imagine ... someone takes the time and effort to bag up (and tie in a tight knot!) these prunings and surreptitiously dump them in the depths of the wood. Why not ... a. scatter them around your own garden where they will soon rot down? b. Put them in the Council brown bin? c. Take them to the recycling centre? d. Take them to the wood (although I don't recommend this) and empty the bags alongside the footpaths (not on top of wild plants and flowers) e. Leave the bags by the side of the road where a Council collection may see them and pick them up. No, let's despoil the environment by dumping plastic bags in woodland! Unbelievable!

But just as unbelievable (and just as common), the photo below (29th October 2016) shows the dry stone wall at the entrance to Rudloe Firs containing a dozen little packages - gifts from a moron to the natural world:

The dog crap inside these bags is tiny. If left to its own devices in the woodland, in our climate this would rot down in a couple of weeks. But no, time and trouble is taken to pick it up and stuff it into a wall. Again, unbelievable!


We are hearing more and more about the threats to global wildlife, the elephants and rhinos in Africa for example, which will be wiped out within a generation because of man's greed (and stupidity). The natural world really has no hope anywhere, never mind in Africa, with halfwits abroad in the land. 

28th August 2015 - CPRE had the nerve to send me the following email with the subtitle 'Standing up for your countryside':


Campaign to Protect Rural England


Dear Paul

Discover your Green Belt and share your stories
Green Belt is the countryside next door for at least 30 million people: 60% of the population. It provides a breath of fresh air near our towns and cities and a chance to enjoy and explore the countryside. Much of our food is also produced in the Green Belt, offering the choice of local produce.

CPRE helped get Green Belts established 60 years ago, as part of national planning policy. One of their main purposes is to prevent urban sprawl and stop our towns and cities merging into one another. Without the Green Belt, London could have absorbed Brighton, Cambridge and Reading by now – much like many American cities that sprawl for miles and miles. By preventing urban sprawl Green Belts also help to encourage urban regeneration.

There are 14 Green Belts covering 13% of England and surrounding most of our major towns and cities

Tell us what #ourgreenbelt means to you

We want to show politicians why we value Green Belt and how important it is to protect it. Developers are campaigning for hundreds of thousands of homes to be built in the Green Belt, often arguing it is wasteland that has no value for most people. So we've created a website, Our Green Belt, for people to tell us about the ways they enjoy the Green Belt and to share those stories with others. We hope it will inspire more people to explore their Green Belt and campaign for its protection.

So do tell us about the places you've discovered in the Green Belt, the countryside you've explored, wildlife you've spotted, food you've enjoyed and your memories of places you've visited. Maybe there is a wonderful place you've recently been that is actually in the Green Belt but you weren’t aware. Have a look at our map to find out.

We would love to hear your Green Belt stories - in words, photos or videos - the choice is yours.

Thank you so much for sharing your stories and inspiring others to discover their own Green Belt.

Best wishes,

Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour
Head of Campaigns and Communications

So I sent the following response (this is related to planning application 13/05724/OUT - the Hannick speculation of 88 houses and commercial premises at Rudloe):

At the Rudloe website here: http://www.rudloescene.co.uk/news/rudloe/ in articles dated17th June 2015, 4th and 7th April 2015, 16th March 2014, 13th January 2014 and 5th January 2014 and here http://www.rudloescene.co.uk/localities/rudloe/ in articles dated 23rd May 2015, 18th April 2015, October 2014 and March 2014, the reader will find articles related to pastureland at Rudloe, Wiltshire. The articles discuss a speculative development on this land which sixty-two local people objected to through the Wiltshire Council planning webpages here: http://unidoc.wiltshire.gov.uk/UniDoc/Document/Search/DSA,751239.


CPRE, North Wiltshire sent a representation letter regarding this proposed, greenfield development headed 'Protect Wiltshire' and the letter was ...  in support of the speculative application! See: http://unidoc.wiltshire.gov.uk/UniDoc/Document/File/MTMvMDU3MjQvT1VULDQ1MzM0OA==

I asked CPRE at both local and national level, over many months, to explain its rationale for this support and did not receive any response.


This is the duplicitous organisation that is now asking for our Green Belt stories.


I will give the reader a 'button', below, so the CPRE representation may be viewed more easily. I had not appreciated this until now (August 2015!) but the foot of the letter maybe gives a clue regarding CPRE's reticence. And CPRE's slogan, I would suggest, should read: 'Standing up for your countryside except the bits we don't give a damn about'.

17th June 2015 - with the Hannick speculative planning application 13/05724/OUT having been approved by Wiltshire planners (see the 4th April 2015 and 7th April 2015 articles/emails and associated photos below) it is perhaps time, again, to show the nature of what will be lost (see also the 'Localities', 'Rudloe' article dated 23rd May 2015). It is hardly credible that with so much brownfield land in west Corsham already in the planning pipeline (which will satisfy the Core Strategy housing requirement) that Box Parish Council, Corsham Town Council, CPRE and others did not object to this greenfield speculation.

View east from the 'lost' Rudloe pastureland across the Jurassic Clay Vale to the Lower Cretaceous greensand of Bromham and the Upper Cretaceous chalk of the Marlborough Downs. The loss of this view contravenes Core Strategy policy 51.

As indicated in the photo caption, the approval of this planning application contravenes Core Strategy policy 51 which states: "In particular, proposals will need to demonstrate that the following aspects of landscape character have been conserved and where possible enhanced through sensitive design, landscape mitigation and enhancement measures: i. The locally distinctive pattern and species composition of natural features such as trees, hedgerows, woodland, field boundaries, watercourses and waterbodies ii. The locally distinctive character of settlements and their landscape settings iii. The separate identity of settlements and the transition between man-made and natural landscapes at the urban fringe iv. Visually sensitive skylines, soils, geological and topographical features v. Landscape features of cultural, historic and heritage value vi. Important views and visual amenity".


Not only this but pastureland has a significance largely unappreciated by landowners, planners and speculators.Graham Harvey's book The Carbon Fields is 248-pagesworth of the importance of pastureland. I could take almost any paragraphs from this book but let's just take the last two from chapter 8 'Green and Pleasant Land': "The landscape of grass is older than the nation.What's new is the realisation that it meets our modern needs better than the landscape of industrial agriculture we have replaced it with.

It was Britain's great pastoral culture that made these islands so spectacularly beautiful. Grassland and grazing created William Blake's 'green and pleasant land'. They will do so again if we remain true to this wonderful cultural heritage".


I was attracted to the pastureland on this day as I heard a skylark singing. I didn't manage to catch a picture of it - they are mightily difficult to photograph but the following photos give some feel of the nature of these lost fields.

The rural nature of Bradford Road at Rudloe will be lost if Hannick's speculative planning application 13/05724/OUT is finally approved - see the 16th March 2014 article and its 'links' for the big picture.

7th April 2015 - Wiltshire Council planners response to the 4th April email (below)


Dear Paul,

Thanks for your email. In answer to your first question below, it is simply the case that having been instructed by the planning Committee some time ago to approve the applications, Mark and I have been working with the respective applicants and our Solicitors to complete legal agreements to secure the contributions set out in the Committee reports. The acceptability of the proposal in all other respects is, however, tested at the point that the application is before Committee. It is common practice to manage an application in this manner – Committee Members understand what will be sought in the way of planning contributions but applicants (quite sensibly) don’t generally want to incur legal expenses until they are confident that their application is acceptable in all other respects – so the Committee can resolve to delegate to Officers to grant permission ‘subject to conditions and completion of a Section 106 agreement to secure XX...’

Particularly in the case of the Hannick site, there has been some considerable delay in agreeing more minor points of that agreement. However the changes introduced by central government yesterday (6 April) to the regulations covering legal agreements have provided a new impetus to complete outstanding agreements (such as those relating to the below sites) by the end of last week. This ensures that, should the developments proceed, Wiltshire Council collects all the off-site infrastructure contributions originally sought and can spend these in the locality.

Mark may wish to elaborate, as he is the case Officer, but my understanding is that the supporting information submitted in respect of bat issues at the Redcliffe site was simply inadequate; the Council directed the applicant as regards what additional work had to be carried out, but the applicant failed to do so. The Council never held that the proposal would inevitably create insurmountable problems for bats or that outcomes could not be adequately predicted/compensated, just that the application failed to address the relevant issues in the first instance. Conversely, the Hannick application was sufficiently comprehensive in this respect, proposing adequate measures to mitigate any impacts on protected species and thereby overcoming any planning objection on ‘bats’ grounds.

As both the below applications have now been approved in outline, these (if the developers proceed) will be followed by ‘reserved matters’ applications covering the final layouts, landscaping and design of the schemes (I think ‘access’ was a matter fixed at outline stage in the case of both). These applications will run the same 13-week course, including the statutory public consultation period, and can be called in for consideration by Committee if the Local Member so wishes.

I trust this clarifies.

Kind regards,


Bradford Road pastureland and view to Marlborough Downs to be lost if the Hannick speculative development goes ahead - however 'we' will continue to battle against greenfield proposals at Rudloe where so many brownfield sites have planning applications pending. For many more views in and around this pastureland, see the 'Localities', 'Rudloe' page.

4th April 2015 - planning applications 13/05724/OUT and 14/04179/OUT


Both of the subject outline planning applications have just (2nd April 2015) been approved by Wiltshire Council. Yours truly has sent the following response to Wiltshire planners Chris Marsh and Mark Staincliffe:


Chris & Mark,

I note that this week's list of planning decisions includes the following, the first of which 'we' have been following closely here at Rudloe:

Application Number: 13/05724/OUT

Site Location: Land South of Bradford Road Rudloe SN13 0

Grid Ref: 385528 170302

Proposal: Up to 88 dwellings, including affordable housing, 1.2 hectares of B1 employment and landscaping

Case Officer: Chris Marsh Direct Line: 01249 706657

Registration Date: 21/11/2013

Decision: Approve with Conditions

Decision Date: 02/04/2015


Application Number: 14/05686/OUT

Site Location: Land to the South of Potley Lane Corsham

Grid Ref: 386622 169628

Proposal: Outline planning application for the development of up to 64 no. residential dwellings together with associated access, parking, public open space and landscaping.

Case Officer: Mark Staincliffe Direct Line: 01249 706682

Registration Date: 18/06/2014

Decision: Approve with Conditions

Decision Date: 02/04/2015


Going over old ground I realise but you will, of course, know that both applications are for greenfield development in west Corsham, an area with substantial brownfield sites with planning applications extant or pending - Copenacre, Rudloe No 2 Site in Westwells Road, Rudloe No 1 Site, Rudloe Estate (renaissance!), the old police station in Priory Street and so on. Hundreds of houses proposed and more than enough (brownfield, just in west Corsham) to fulfill the housing requirement for the whole Corsham area until 2026.


Two further speculative planning greenfield planning applications are hanging over our heads - the Gladman application at Pickwick (undergoing the planning appeal process) and the Redcliffe development at Bradford Road for which Redcliffe has now appealed the Council's refusal.

If all these greenfield applications prove successful, this will add 472 houses to burden the already stretched services of Corsham (the brownfield sites mentioned above which will, for certain, all be developed will add 350 homes to the west Corsham landscape).

Corsham cannot sustain this level of development. Indeed, having now adopted the Core Strategy, Mark (Staincliffe) has/will argue against the Redcliffe development appeal on the grounds that at the time of the Redcliffe refusal on the grounds of 'bats', Wiltshire did not have an approved 5-year land supply but now, with the adoption of the Core Strategy, it does.

Why then, having had its 5-year land supply 'approved' through the adoption of the Core Strategy, is the Council approving greenfield planning applications in west Corsham? Further, the west Corsham brownfield sites will just about satisfy the 2026 housing requirement.

Further questions ...

Why, after the 'approval' of the Hannick application at the Northern Area Planning Meeting on 14th March 2014, has the Council only formally approved this application on 2nd April 2015? (Similar question really regarding the Potley application)

As both these applications are 'Outline', are further 'Full' planning applications still to be expected?

As the Hannick and Redcliffe applications are both on the Bradford Road and both submitted similar ecological appraisals, why was the Redcliffe application refused on the grounds of 'bats' and the Hannick application approved?


Paul Turner
From: DevelopmentmanagementNorth@wiltshire.gov.uk
Subject: Weekly List of Planning Applications and Decisions - w/e 03/04/15
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2015 09:23:35 +0000

Please find attached Weekly Lists of Planning Application received and Weekly List of Decisions for the week ending 3rd April 2015.





Economic Development & Planning

Wiltshire Council

Email: developmentmanagementnorth@wiltshire.gov.uk

Ex RAF Rudloe Manor No 1 Site planning application 14/05421/FUL

17th June 2014 - RAF Rudloe Manor No 1 Site


Planning application 14/05421/FUL has been registered for three pairs of semi-detached houses with associated carports at RAF Rudloe Manor No 1 Site (top of Box Hill).


The history of this site, since its sale, is complex. I believe that the site is effectively split into three parts. The subject part is, I would guess, under the same ownership as that of the Manor House itself which has just had the best part of £1million spent on external renovation.


Personally, I'm all for the development of this site - there's room here for 103 pairs of semis, never mind three. Development at this brownfield site would, hopefully, alleviate pressure from speculative developers on west Corsham's farmland.


The proposal does seem a bit odd though, with these semis proposed directly behind the Manor House. See Wilts County Council's planning page here for details of the application, maps etc:



Michaelangelo Buonarroti's David

25th May 2014 - update on the planning applications around Rudloe


The consultation period for the Redcliffe Homes speculation of 170 dwellings and a medical/community centre in Bradford Road (14/04179/OUT) ends on Wednesday 4th June.


The consultation period for the GreenSquare, 3-dwelling, Sandy Lea Avenue, 'Rudloe Renaissance' (14/04482/FUL) ends on Tuesday 3rd June.


The consultation period for the GreenSquare, 8-dwelling, Long Close Avenue, 'Rudloe Renaissance' (14/04484/FUL) ends on Wednesday 4th June.


God help us - previous 'renaissances' (Rudloe Community Centre) have ended up as planning, financial and community disasters.


Leonardo would turn in his grave.


Whilst I despair of the pre-ordained planning process, when I can summon up the energy, I will put in my five pennies' worth.


I have found the energy - my objections to 14/04179/OUT and 14/04484/FUL follow.

Dear Mr Staincliffe and Development Mana[...]
Microsoft Word document [3.0 MB]
Rudloe 'renaissance' development.docx
Microsoft Word document [2.0 MB]
Even the post-meeting pint was off

16th March 2014 - 13/05724/OUT - the battle is lost


After a 9-month battle, the fight to save Rudloe pastureland is lost. Thirty-odd residents and supporters turned out at the Northern Area Planning Meeting on Wednesday to witness what might be described as a 'Russian show trial' (in other words, a 'stitch up' - but I'm doing a disservice to the Russians here).


The local Planning Committee representative, councillor Whalley of Corsham, unfortunately sold Rudloe down the river.


See below: photos of campaigners at the meeting, the Rudloe representation and appraisal documents sent to all members of the Planning Committee (which were completely ignored), the speeches made by Rudloe representatives (also completely ignored) and a post-meeting email exchange with Cllr Whalley.

Representation to Planning Committee
Rudloe representation of App 05724 for P[...]
Microsoft Word document [22.0 KB]
Appraisal of 05724 for Planning Committee
Appraisal of 05724 for Planning Committe[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.1 MB]
Speech no 1 to Planning Committee
Keith Chubb's 'speech' to Planning Commi[...]
Microsoft Word document [18.5 KB]
Speech no 2 to Planning Committee
Juliet Powell's 'speech' to Planning Co[...]
Microsoft Word document [14.9 KB]
Speech no 3 to Planning Committee
Paul Turner's 'speech' to Planning Commi[...]
Microsoft Word document [15.6 KB]
Email exchange with Cllr Whalley of Corsham Town Council
Email exchange with Cllr Whalley of Cors[...]
Microsoft Word document [23.8 KB]

13th January 2014 – “cynical engineering” at Rudloe?


On 25th June 2013, Wiltshire County Council published a decision regarding a ‘screening opinion’ on whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would be required for a development of houses and commercial premises on land opposite Rudloe Estate/Corsham Woodland School. This development would eventually surface as planning application 13/05724/OUT in November 2013.


Wiltshire County Council’s decision was that an EIA would not be required. This decision would make the planning application process considerably more straightforward for the developers. The decision letter was sent to the developer’s agent, Hunter Page, by email on 25th June 2013.


Also on 25th June 2013, Mrs Fiona Allen, executive head of Corsham Primary School made an announcement to a meeting of school governors; the announcement and subsequent statements may be found at paragraph 5 of the minutes here:



The announcement was that “approval had been granted for development” for the Copenacre site (old news, as there have been permissions for this site for some years) and “land opposite the entrance to Rudloe Estate” (new news but apparently misinterpreted?).


The discerning reader may have already spotted an incongruous synchronicity here. I will elucidate anyway ... Wilts CC sends a decision to the developer’s agent and within hours (perhaps minutes) that decision has apparently been communicated to Mrs Allen. The June and July governors meeting minutes then relate actions regarding a meeting with CMS Architects to discuss school expansion. The July minutes may be found here:



This series of events begs the question who is driving this development and why? With school expansion plans already being set in train, the ambition of the ‘school’ appears paramount with local residents, the local environment and green fields, road users and even the welfare of children being sacrificed to the god of school growth.


A current (9th January 2014) international news item appears apposite. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is in big trouble for a “cynically engineered” development involving the closure of road lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge. The FBI has been called in to investigate. America may have many problems but at least it has investigative agencies with teeth. I have asked our MP, James Gray, to institute an investigation into our own apparent ‘cynical engineering’ – we will see what happens (reviewing articles at end of year, the reader may realise that no response was received from James Gray on this matter).


(The 'Saga of the new school gate' article, at the foot of the 'News', 'Rudloe', 'school gate saga'  webpage is relevant)

Storm coming at Rudloe on midwinter's day 2013

5th January 2014 - consultation on 13/05724/OUT over


The public consultation on speculative planning application 13/05724/OUT (land south of Bradford Road) is over with 67 objections from local people having been recorded.


However, in official circles, 05724 appears to have become a sacrificial lamb. Whilst application 13/05188/OUT (land north of the A4 at Pickwick) has been opposed by Corsham Town Council and CPRE, 13/05724/OUT has been supported by these bodies and by Box Parish Council. Both applications are similar, with housing and a commercial unit on a greenfield site.


The reasons given for support from these organisations are crude and simplistic and contrast markedly with the discerning, insightful and reasoned objections made by local people. For example, Box Planning Committee supported 'in principle' (what principle?) and Corsham Planning Committee supported for the reasons given in the following paragraph.


Corsham Town Council Planning Committee - reasons for supporting planning application 13/05724/OUT given at 11 December meeting: "additional employment land provided would benefit the immediate community and the broad and thorough consultation with both the council and the public had led to positive amendments to the proposal"


Interesting isn't it that "additional employment land" is fine at Rudloe but not at Pickwick where application 13/05188/OUT was rejected. This reason is anyway a nonsense with 150,000 sq ft of commercial premises already vacant in the wider Corsham area. Interesting also that a "broad and thorough consultation" can take place between the developers and the Council about a Rudloe development but Rudloe residents are not allowed to make representations at the Council meetings because Corsham Town Council only represents the interests of Corsham (not Rudloe) residents!  This is not only ironic but outrageous as the requirement of 475 homes (taken from the Core Strategy) quoted by Hannick Homes, which this speculation at Rudloe is supposedly helping to fulfill, is for 'Corsham Town'.


Some of the local objection letters are listed below this article - click on the icon and follow the instructions that appear at the foot of the page to see the letters. 


The fight goes on in many ways - please make contact through this website's 'Contact' page for more information.  

JG Lavington objection.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [58.4 KB]
KP Lawrence - objection.docx
Microsoft Word document [20.5 KB]
PA Crowe objection.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [129.9 KB]
TaylorWhite objection.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [136.3 KB]
ML Holder objection.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [24.6 KB]
P Turner supplementary objection.docx
Microsoft Word document [14.2 KB]
P Turner objection.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [873.7 KB]
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