Trowbridge recently saw the official unveiling of public artwork at the centre of Gloucester-based builder Newland Homes’ latest development in the town.

Town Mayor, Councillor Denise Bates, along with former councillor Bob Brice, officially opened the installation, joined by Town Crier Trevor Heeks, Trowbridge Town Council leader Stewart Palmen, local ward councillors Andrew Bryant (who officiated at the site’s opening in January 2020) and Antonio Piazza, together with some of the new residents of Newland Place. Councillor Bates is also herself a ward councillor for the town’s Drynham Ward, in which the housing development is situated.

The public art forms the centrepiece at the heart of the development at Newland Place, situated just off Bradley Road. Bespoke carved stone benches radiate from a magnificent oak tree, which stands tall in the central green. The stone benches are engraved with the names of local villages and towns within the former West Wiltshire Council area, and a series of stone monoliths celebrate Trowbridge’s historic past, with plaques recognising, among others, the Trowbridge-born inventor Sir Isaac Pitman and the town’s 12th-century Trowbridge Castle.  Also nestled within this restful place, visitors will find a number of bee posts with education plaques and a selection of wildlife-friendly flowers and trees to help encourage local wildlife.

Seventy-nine new homes have been created at Newland Place on the former site of the Council Offices and Chambers of West Wiltshire District Council, formed in 1974 yet subsequently abolished in 2009 as part of changes to local Government structure. Its functions were taken over by the new Wiltshire Council unitary authority and the buildings on Bradley Road were demolished in 2013 as part of a cost-saving exercise.

Jeremy Drew, Developments Director for Newland Homes said “2021 marks Newland Homes’ 30th year in operation and one of our first sites was in Southwick. Since then, there’s barely been a time when we didn’t have a development underway within the former West Wilts District Council area. In the former West Wilts patch alone, Newland Homes has built 718 homes on 17 different sites, and three of those sites have been honoured with the Trowbridge Town Enhancement Award. We’re now immensely proud to have created this scheme on this special site.”

Mayor Councillor Bates added, “It has been an immense personal pleasure to see the continued enhancement of the Newland Homes development and also to be part of this event. It has been an honour to not only represent Trowbridge as this year’s mayor, but also as a Town Councillor for the Drynham ward in which the development is located.

“Trowbridge Town Council is keen to see housing development that seeks to be sensitive toward neighbouring communities and which is prepared to invest time and money in utilising appropriate materials. I have watched progress on the development from the initial ground-breaking and have had the pleasure of meeting many of the residents during my ward work for the council. The unanimous enthusiasm we have received is testament to the efforts of Newland Homes, the Town Council and many of the unsung groups and individuals across our County Town. I am also extremely grateful to Newland Homes for their having made a very generous donation in support of my two nominated charities, Dorothy House Hospice and the Bath Cancer Unit Support Group.

“Public art, especially that which preserves and promotes natural elements, should be applauded, and I am sure the stone benches, magnificent oak tree and stone monoliths will bring pleasure and a point of tranquillity within busy lives for many generations to come.”

Image courtesy Stuart Harrison Photography.