Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities, visited the town on 10 April to discuss Swindon Council’s plans for development to the east of the town.
Lotmead and Lower Lotmead Farm villages are a key component of the planned Swindon Eastern Villages urban extension which have up to 2,600 homes, with village centre, a primary school, public open spaces and small business units – the largest of its kind proposed in the UK.
At Lotmead Farm Mr Benn met Anne Snelgrove, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for South Swindon and representatives of Ainscough Strategic Land to discuss the proposal to develop new sustainable communities, rather than sprawling housing estates.
He was given a tour of Lotmead Farm by co-owner Noman Parry who told him that the existing, popular Pick Your Own and petting zoo will become the centre point of the new community.
The Lotmead and Lower Lotmead Farm villages project is included in the recently adopted Swindon Local Plan. By masterplanning around the existing features, including the pick your own and the scheduled ancient monument, together with other new community facilities including open space and green corridors, the intention is to ensure the villages develop their own identity while enjoying the benefits of both the rural countryside and Swindon’s regenerating town centre.
Discussing the future, Hilary Benn, centre, with Norman Parry and Anne Snelgrove, pictured by Richard Wintle of Calyx