Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA) has submitted an Outline Planning Application to Wiltshire Council for its proposed new home.
The operations centre is proposed to be built at the charity’s preferred site on land at Outmarsh Farm, Semington, (immediately south of Hampton Park West Industrial Estate).
The new home would enable the charity’s helicopter, aircrew and office staff to be on one site.
Currently the helicopter and aircrew are based at a hangar at Wiltshire Police Headquarters in Devizes, while the charity team is based at offices on Porte Marsh Industrial Estate, Calne. The lease on the hangar runs out on 31 December 2017 and the lease on the offices runs out at the end of January 2018.
The charity held a period of public consultation, including a drop in event at Trowbridge Rugby Club on 12 August 2015, about the proposals to build its new home at the Outmarsh Farm site. Now the charity has agreed to purchase the 12.6 acre site, subject to planning permission being granted.
Mandy Clarke, chairman of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “The feedback we received during our public consultation was overwhelmingly positive and re-affirmed our view that the Outmarsh Farm site was our preferred location. It is centrally located in Wiltshire, which would enable our helicopter to reach all parts of the county within 11 minutes.
“As Melksham does not have an ambulance station, we believe that Wiltshire Air Ambulance would provide enhanced medical cover for the area. As well as responding in our helicopter our paramedics, who have advanced medical skills, use a Rapid Response Vehicle (car) to attend medical emergencies, including road traffic collisions, heart attacks and strokes.
“Our proposed new home would be a purpose built, future proof facility for our helicopter, aircrew and charity staff.”
The planning application – reference number 15/10766/OUT – can be viewed online at www.wiltshire.gov.uk
If planning permission is granted, the charity will hold a public consultation event before submitting a Reserved Matters Planning Application to Wiltshire Council detailing the proposed layout and design of the site.