PROTESTS are growing over the government-level decision to push through the Hampton Park II housing scheme in Salisbury.

Wiltshire councillor Bill Moss, who represents Bishopdown, is calling for a judicial review after communities secretary Eric Pickles overturned a planning inspector’s decision Barratt Homes should not be allowed to build 500 homes on the greenfield site.

And MP John Glen plans to raise the issue in the Commons.

Wiltshire Council cabinet member Toby Sturgis was yesterday taking legal advice on whether the decision could be challenged in the High Court.

Cllr Sturgis admitted: “I was fairly amazed by Mr Pickles’ decision. But as far as I am aware we can only seek a judicial review if the correct process has not been followed.”

Mr Glen said he is “very angry” with Mr Pickles, and has written to him saying constituents are “deeply frustrated by the gap between the promises of localism and what they now perceive as a hollow reality”.

He told Mr Pickles that Bishopdown Farm Residents’ Association and Laverstock & Ford Parish Council were not Nimbys, and had worked hard to present “reasoned and reasonable” proposals for a more acceptable scheme.

Laverstock & Ford’s councillor Ian McLennan urged residents to focus on keeping the 40mph limit on Pearce Way.

It could be a “deal breaker”, he said, because it is a condition of planning permission that building cannot start unless the limit is reduced to 30mph.

That will require a traffic regulation order and traffic calming measures, for which Wiltshire Council will have to consult the public.

If there are mass objections, he said, “Wiltshire would have a real difficulty in going against the will of the people”.

Mr Pickles justified his decision by saying there was no Core Strategy in place for south Wiltshire to prescribe where development should go.

A strategy is close to completion, and is with council officers for final fact-checking.