The planning application by Gleeson Homes, which is due to be discussed at Strategic Planning on Wednesday, May 27, caused controversy as Cllr Gavin Grant called it an ‘unusual move’ – as the scale would not normally warrant being taken by the planning committee.
This plans also include the creation of new vehicular access with footways and cycleways and road infrastructure, public open spaces and a children's play area.
At the meeting, Cllr Gavin Grant said there was ‘acknowledgement by Wiltshire Council that the five-year land supply, where we have been repeatedly assured that the council indeed had such a supply’.
The area for the proposed development, also sits outside of the town's neighbourhood plan.
“I am now being told by senior officers, that that is not the case and as such the protections afforded to us no longer stand,” he continued.
Cllr Gavin Grant added: “This is a matter of such huge consequence.“This proposal drives a coach and horses through the whole concept of neighbourhood plans.”
Councillors also took objection based on the lack of availability of both primary and secondary school places, as well as the limited parking within the town – a topic which was discussed earlier in the meeting in regards to Covid-19.
Cllr Grant said: “We know our other services in the town, not least our physical infrastructure does not suit well growing volumes of traffic.
"It will be, if it goes through, a devastating blow to the confidence our community can have in that system and process, and a heavy blow to the community of Malmesbury.
"It is certainly my intention to do everything I can with my colleagues to try and avoid this resolution and proposal being accepted."
Cllr Wayne Jones said: “I think we’re all really disappointed in the way Wiltshire Council have conducted this.”
Malmesbury Town Council were due to update their neighbourhood plan, however, this was delayed due to the onset of coronavirus.