A MAJOR new housing development in Ludgershall looks finally to begin – nine years after the plan was lodged.

Wiltshire Council has approved the building of 475 homes at Drummond Park, the old home of the Medical Supplies Agency.

Zog Brownfield Ventures Limited proposal, on behalf of Homes England, was initially approved in principle in 2011, but the community funding agreement was never completed as the company went into receivership.

But on April 1 the authority granted outline planning permission, which will see millions of pounds put forward in the form of Section 106 funding, to tackle problems with community infrastructure.

The development is expected to receive around £2.8million for education, £450,000 for highway schemes and public transport and £43,000 for waste bins.

Green space and play areas are expected to be provided and maintained by the developer, but if they are offered to the town council a maintenance contribution will be required.

A quarter of the properties will be affordable homes.

Alastair McChesney, public sector land specialist for Homes England said: “We have been working closely with Wiltshire Council to progress the Drummond Park site and are delighted that planning permission has been granted for 475 homes. We plan to bring the site to market in the summer.”

And Wiltshire councillor for Ludgershall and Perham Down Chris Williams said: “I am pleased that the Section 106 has finally been approved and the site can move forward into the next stage.

“I am pleased that it is finally starting up again and things can finally happen.”

Ludgershall Town Council backed the scheme as it is hoped it will add to the local economy.

Within the plans it states: “Our vision for the town is to unlock the blockage between the town centre and the open countryside to the north and west, forging new connections between the town and its landscape context. This will provide a new and rich experience of the town.

“Through creating a new urban extension on the Drummond Park site, the historic character of the town has the opportunity to be celebrated and extended.”

Work by Homes England has already begun to demolish the existing buildings.