An Outline Planning Application to build a new home for Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA) has been granted by Wiltshire Council.
The new home, on land at Outmarsh Farm, Semington, near Melksham, will bring together WAA’s helicopter, aircrew and charity team onto one site for the first time.
The Outline Planning Application received no objections. The next stage for WAA is to undertake further public consultation to obtain the views of local people and stakeholders on the proposed design of the new home, before submitting a Reserved Matters Planning Application to Wiltshire Council.
Kevin Reed, Head of Operations at WAA, said: “We are delighted to have received Outline Planning Permission from Wiltshire Council. We searched for over a year to find the most suitable site to build our new home and we carried out extensive public consultation before we submitted our Outline Planning Application.
“The Outmarsh Farm site will enable us to have full control over the land and be future proof. 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, can also respond to emergencies such as road traffic collisions, heart attacks and strokes in a Rapid Response Vehicle (car).
“Now we will work on the detailed design of our new home and information on the public consultation we will undertake will be announced in due course.”
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 new home will cost up to £4 million, of which WAA hopes to raise £1 million through a Capital Appeal. The remainder will be funded by a private benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous.
WAA’s Outline Planning Application can be viewed online at www.wiltshire.gov.uk and the reference number is 15/10766/OUT