AN APPEAL has been lodged against the council's decision to refuse the construction of a new woodland estate on Harnham Hill.

It comes more than seven months after the decision was made by Wiltshire Council's planning committee.

The plan, put forward by developer PNH Properties, proposed to build 13 homes – complete with “living roofs” – on the green space area just off Bishops Drive.

However, council chiefs questioned the plan to fell 130 trees to make way for the homes, citing tree protection orders (TPOs) as two of the six points of their objection.

Salisbury Journal:

This application, which was also branded “vandalistic” by locals, joined a growing list of proposals rejected for the site over the past three decades.

But now, The Planning Inspectorate will consider the developer's appeal, and is inviting members of the public to give their views.

As reported, the refusal in June read: “The proposed development would result in the direct loss of approximately half of the Harnham Hill woodland.

“The proposal would also lead to indirect habitat loss by the effects of wind throw which would be exacerbated by removal of half the woodland and the instability of the shallow chalk soils on the site.

“Additionally, it is considered the proposal would also result in broader adverse ecosystem impacts/services: The woodland contributes more than just biodiversity, providing, for example, a carbon sink within the trees and soil.

“The loss of services has not been addressed by the applicant.”

Salisbury Journal:

Another point raised was that of drainage, with planners claiming the applicant had “failed to demonstrate” if the proposed development would “effectively drain” foul and surface water.

Nevertheless, as part of its application, PNH says it wanted to use the site to “increase biodiversity”, not destroy it.

Following the refusal, chief executive of the development firm Peter Hunt, labelled the refusal as "disgraceful".

“We purchased the woodland 12 years ago, because part of it was dead, or dying, so we thought ‘let’s put some affordable housing in here’,” Mr Hunt told the Journal in July.

“However, at the time, the planners at Wiltshire Council asked us to wait, saying that if we leave the woodland, it will regenerate.

“So we left it, and 12 years later the woodland has got even worse. We then put in these new plans, with the added offer of 100 per cent affordable homes for Salisbury, which the city desperately needs.

“We also offered to make the houses ‘eco-homes’ with ‘living roofs’ in place of the dead trees, as well as to set up a management plan for the rest of the woodland.”

Mr Hunt added: “We were just trying to be the good guys.

“Are 13 affordable homes less important than tress which are dead, dying, or diseased?”

To have your say on the appeal, visit and quote reference APP/Y3940/W/19/3242889.