Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
New Town Green For Melksham - 6745/11294
Written by Lee on Friday, 4th April 2008

Residents living near a playing field in Melksham are claiming a victory for people power after their 18-month battle to have it declared a town green has finally been won (link below.)

The park, in Dorset Crescent off Queensway, had been under the threat of development since a plan to build eight houses on it was submitted by West Wiltshire District Council back in 2006.

Neighbours rallied together to invoke a little-used tactic of getting it declared a town green, which protects the land from future development.

Members of the public can get open spaces registered as town or village greens regardless of who owns them as long as they can prove that the land has been used for recreation for the past 20 years.

Cllr Louise Smith, who lives in Dorset Crescent, spearheaded the campaign and ended up running for election for the town council last year as a direct consequence.

Re: New Town Green For Melksham - 6745/11889
Written by Lee on Friday, 25th April 2008

Melksham and Trowbridge look set to get town greens after decisions made by Wiltshire County Council on Wednesday (link below.)

At a meeting of the council's regulatory committee, land at the green in Blenheim Park, Bowerhill, near Melksham, was given official village green status.

Local people may now use the green for leisure and sporting pastimes without the threat of it being developed or sold on.

West Wiltshire District Council owned the parcel of land until 2001 and it is now part owned by housing developer Persimmon, who objected to the proposal without success.

A similar proposal for town green status to be bestowed on land in Beech Grove on the College estate in Trowbridge was also considered.

West Wiltshire District Council owns the land and objects to the proposal. It has employed a law firm from Bristol to oppose the case for the green, put together by local residents.

Locals maintain the area has been used as a site to play, stroll and pick blackberries, among other pursuits, since the 1960s.

Because of the legal tussle councillors voted to refer the application to an local independent inquiry in the coming months.

link to index of articles

Save the Train was the campaign to bring an approriate train service back to and through Melksham.

Most big contributors are still around writing at the Coffee shop forum where new members are very welcome.

The train has been saved - sort of - we have stepped back up from an unusable service to a poorish one but it's doing very well. We did that through setting up the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. That fulfilled its early objectives; it has been taken over by local and regional government types who are now doing medium and long term work. The team from this forun can also be found at the Melksham Rail User Group (which was the Melksham Rail Development Group at the time these articles were written and we had no users.

We mustn't loose sight, though, that the train service remains poor and needs our community support in marketing and campaigning to keep it going in a positive direction ... and all the more so when we're expecting to find a different normallity once we get out of the Coronavirus Pandemic and head for zero carbon via the climate crisis. Yes, it's saved ... it's now a key community facility ... the need for enhancement and the strong and near-universal local support remain, and the rail industry and goverment remain slow to move and provide the enhancements even to level us up with other towns. Please support the Melksham Rail User Group - now very much in partnership rather than protest with the rail industry and local government, including GWR, TransWilts and unitary and town councils. And please use the trains and buses, and cycle and walk when you can.

-- Graham Ellis, (webmaster), February 2021

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