A PARISH has come together to oppose a development that will increase the size of their village by more than 1,000 per cent.

Netherhampton parish councillors and villagers held a meeting to discuss the Wiltshire Council’s draft plans for 740 new homes on Netherhampton Road on Monday.

Paul Cunningham, chairman of Netherhampton parish council (NPC) said the meeting was “a way of ensuring that everyone in Netherhampton had information about the proposed plans”.

The meeting was attended by Wiltshire councillor for Fovant and Chalke Valley, Jose Green, city councillors Stephen Berry, Sven Hocking and Jo Broom and representatives from Quidhampton’s parish council.

Cllr Cunningham said he believed the whole parish opposed the plans and, when asked, nobody corrected him.

One villager said the “scale” of the development was an issue as “it goes further than the local infrastructure can cope with” and Cllr Cunningham agreed the plans “weren’t fair or proportionate”.

He said the opposition wasn’t a case of ‘nimbyism’ as NPC had been “very constructive” about a separate proposal for 24 homes and business units in the village that was “in-keeping and proportionate and can be sustained”.

But Wiltshire Council’s major housing plan will take the parish from 60 homes to 800 homes, which Cllr Cunningham deemed “vastly disproportionate”.

He said the parish would “effectively be swamped” and “it feels to us one day closer that Netherhampton becomes part of sprawling Salisbury”.

Councillor James Craddock, vice chairman of NPC, said although one plot was set to receive 640 homes, an assessment of the site showed it could accommodate nearly twice as many units.

Cllr Cunningham said “the roads can’t take it”, and that in 2012 the Harnham gyratory and New Bridge Road were “almost at capacity” and no measures had been taken since to relieve traffic.

And the parish was unanimous in wanting to avoid “piecemeal development”, “where nobody quite gets round to addressing the transport or infrastructure”.

Cllr Craddock said problems would arise because the “issue of infrastructure” would be handed over to the developer to tackle and Wiltshire Council “won’t have to worry about the infrastructure until it’s too late”.

A representative from Quidhampton parish council said they would also object to the proposal on the grounds of traffic, adding: “It was bad enough already and anything to make it worse is quite frankly unacceptable.”

Cllr Cunningham said he had “off the record” discussions with planners who said “there are no plans whatsoever to deal with roads through Salisbury”.

The parish also raised issues of flooding and drainage, and said previous plans for developments on the same site had been turned down for those reasons.

One woman said it felt like “Wiltshire Council wants to pass the buck”, which Cllr Green said was “a valid point”, and agreed there should be provisions in place for infrastructure before planning permission was agreed.

Cllr Cunningham said: “The most important thing is that as many people as possible register their views. There’s no substitute for the weight of numbers.”

He said afterwards: “Among residents there is no trust that Wiltshire Council will properly assess and address the massive impact of these large developments and there is very considerable appetite for action to ensure the council pays proper attention to the justified concerns of local people.”