A MAJOR 1,250-home development for Salisbury has been given the thumbs up by planners.

At a meeting of Wiltshire Council’s southern area planning committee last night, outline approval was granted for the plan submitted by Persimmon Homes and Pegasus Planning Group for land to the north west of Fugglestone Red and Bemerton Heath, but a proposal for a new cemetery near the site was turned down.

The development, for which detailed plans will still have to go through the planning process, is to include a new primary school, a business park and a community centre with local shops.

It will also be linked by road and foot and cycle paths to the existing communities at Fugglestone Red and Bemerton Heath.

Local councillor Ricky Rogers said: “This is a huge development with some welcome employment land. The remit from my community has been to ensure it is not a disaster like the ‘Fugglestone One’ development, which has no bus links or footpaths.

“We have had a wide consultation, and I thank the applicants and the planning officers for that. They have listened to the residents’ concerns and wishes. We did not want a separate community, we wanted them to be linked together, and I think we have achieved that.”

Cllr Brian Dalton said: “This is 1,250 houses with 500 affordable homes, which is probably the biggest number to come forward in the county for a very long time. The waiting list for affordable homes is long, and this will be very welcome.”

The application includes putting in a new roundabout at the New Cut crossroads off Devizes Road, at the intersection of Camp Hill (known as Snakey Hill) and The Avenue.

Cllr Ian West told the committee that the most signatures on a petition he had ever received were calling for something to be done about the roads at that location, which is known as an accident blackspot.

“All they wanted was a roundabout,” he added, “and now this is finally something that is in line to be done.”

Concerns have been raised by Salisbury Civic Society and others about the impact on the landscape, particularly the views towards the city from Old Sarum, as well as about increased traffic and light pollution.

But the land is allocated as development land in South Wiltshire Core Strategy and councillors considered the benefits of the development would be considerable, with the proviso that measures for alleviation of concerns are looked at more closely once a detailed plan for the development is submitted, and that conditions are attached to any future permission.

The separate plan for a new 2.1-hectare cemetery with access from The Avenue was rejected on the grounds it would intrude on the countryside, wouldn’t have adequate public transport links and would be in too remote a location.