Roughmoor Social Hall, Swinley Drive, Peatmoor
Organised by DPDS Consulting Group for Taylor Wimpey Homes
Find out more and make comments about the proposed development of 800 homes at Ridgeway Farm, which is outside Swindon’s boundary within Wiltshire Council.
A message from West Swindon councillor Keith Williams for Shaw & Nine Elms, “I would urge all residents to visit Roughmoor Hall to view the plans and raise their concerns with the developers. This is the only notice they have given to provide local feedback. Because the land is in Wiltshire any planning application will be heard in Chippenham.
"Yet the impact of another 800 homes next to West Swindon will be considerable. Giving us less than a week’s notice suggests the developers want as few people as possible to know about it. Please prove them wrong. Please speak to your neighbours and encourage them to attend."
Read more reaction below
Integration and Access. The proposed master plan seeks to integrate the development at Ridgeway Farm directly with the Sparcells/Peatmoor area immediately to the south.
This will finally implement the intention first identified in the 1980’s during the planning of the expansion of West Swindon, when development at Ridgeway Farm was included as part of the expansion plan centred around Peatmoor Local Centre.
The key principle to achieve integration is the closure to vehicular traffic (except for access to existing properties) of the Purton Road running west-east between the site and Peatmoor. This will become a green lane/cycleway/footpath linking in with the existing Old Purton Road cycleway/path. Swinley Drive will be extended north into the site from Peatmoor Local Centre 400m away, to the new spine road running through the development.
Consequently the hazardous junction at The Forresters public house will be removed and a new junction into the site created further north. The spine road will connect to the Sparcells roundabout. A separate access road will serve the site north of the railway.
Open Space/Green Infrastructure/Conservation and Primary School. Throughout the development footpaths and cycleways will link the 18ha of green infrastructure provision (play areas, open space and areas of nature conservation) with Mouldon Hill Country Park, the Cricklade Leisure Corridor and existing open space/play facilities within Peatmoor/Sparcells. All hedgerows and trees will be retained where possible and used as part of the green infrastructure providing continuity of habitat for wildlife as well as visual amenity within the development.
Wiltshire Council has requested provision of land for a primary school to serve pupils from both the Ridgeway Farm development and the recently started Moredon Bridge development site. Some 1.2ha for the 1 form entry school, including playing fields, has been identified within the centre of the site, enabling easy access for children throughout the development along safe, traffic free routes.
Taylor Wimpey has been promoting the development of Ridgeway Farm, north-west of Swindon for a number of years. This accords with the draft proposals identified in both the Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council emerging Core Strategy documents.
A planning application is being prepared to build approximately 800 affordable and market homes, a new primary school and open space on the 37ha site.
Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Ridgeway Farm Project c/o DPDS, Devizes Road, Swindon SN1 4BJ or call 01793 – 610222 during office hours (9.00am – 5.30pm)
Pictured right, Swindon Borough Council modelling of flood risk areas to the west of the town
New ways of Planning. Extracted from the statement from the new coalition government
4. COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The Government believes that it is time for a fundamental shift of power from Westminster to people. We will promote decentralisation and democratic engagement, and we will end the era of top-down government by giving new powers to local councils, communities, neighbourhoods and individuals.
• We will promote the radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups. This will include a review of local government finance.
• We will rapidly abolish Regional Spatial Strategies and return decision-making powers on housing and planning to local councils, including giving councils new powers to stop ‘garden grabbing’.
• In the longer term, we will radically reform the planning system to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which their inhabitants live, based on the principles set out in the Conservative Party publication Open Source Planning.
• We will abolish the unelected Infrastructure Planning Commission and replace it with an efficient and democratically accountable system that provides a fast-track process for major infrastructure projects.
• We will publish and present to Parliament a simple and consolidated national planning framework covering all forms of development and setting out national economic, environmental and social priorities.
• We will maintain the Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and other environmental protections, and create a new designation – similar to SSSIs – to protect green areas of particular importance to local communities.
Pictured right, Ridgeway Farm, right with Peatmoor beyond
From Robert Buckland, MP for South Swindon
"It is clearly unacceptable that this event has been arranged at such short notice.
This development would have a huge impact on everyone in the area, and so to give residents less than a week’s notice is simply not good enough. It’s clear from the public meetings I’ve already attended that feelings are running high on this issue. There needs to be a proper, thorough consultation with everybody given ample opportunity to have their say.
There are many questions still to be answered. Building these houses on Wiltshire Council land, but so close to the Borough of Swindon, raises huge planning concerns. Another big issue is the provision of public services and infrastructure, and how that’ll be paid for.
Traffic is a major concern – the current road system in West Swindon simple cannot cope with the extra volumes that this development would generate.
I want to ensure that this proposal is put under extremely close scrutiny and that everyone is properly consulted. I’ll be doing all I can to make sure the concerns of local residents cannot be ignored"
Pictured in March 2009: West Swindon objectors overlooking the Ridgeway Farm site, from left, councillors Nick Martin and Keith Williams, Sparcells resident Melvin Smith and Peter Heaton-Jones, Prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Swindon South Robert Buckland, Sparcells resident Sue Smith
From Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon
It is a shame that such short notice has been given for this public meeting, no doubt a reflection of the lack of consideration given to the existing local residents who are totally opposed to this scheme. With such short notice and limited promotion of the meeting I feel this consultation will be of limited use. The scant regard being shown for existing local residents has just further strengthened my opposition to this scheme.
From Mollie Groom, Wootton Bassett North which includes the Parish of Lydiard Millicent
I think we should ask Taylor Wimpey/DPDS about their transport suggestions. We in The Lydiards are not happy. They propose to cut off some of our parishioners. Maybe they do not know that Ash Close and that group of roads are in Lydiard Millicent Parish Council.
Also perhaps they should consider the road they forgot after receiving planning permission for the Northern Expansion. The Thamesdown Drive to Barnfield extension to the Great Western Way is still not yet complete. Our village is overloaded with traffic now and we certainly cannot cope with vehicles travelling to and from another 800 houses in the area, particularly not Common Platt. These lanes were designed for horses and carts. Where are their transport methods planned? On another planet?
I understand that it was hoped to persuade Taylor Wimpey/DPDS to delay, but with no effect. I have written to DPDS to remind them that the proposals of the RSS are now questionable, in the light of a new Government.
From Jacqui Lay, Wiltshire Councillor for Purton & Braydon
The whole of this proposal lies within the Parish of Purton on our Eastern Edge. There has been no consultation with the people of Purton and this meeting has been set up giving the Parish, the residents and myself less than a weeks notice. Unfortunately the meeting clashes with Wiltshire Councils Area Board meeting being held at Cricklade Town Hall at 7pm where we will be updated with the Wiltshire Core Strategy Consultation.
The proposals to develop at Ridgeway Farm are premature as we understand that the new Government intends to abolish the Government Office for the South West and the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy, bringing decisions, as to where houses should be built, back to the local communities to decide.
Having public meetings before there is a clear strategy or when there are changes in policy likely, creates confusion for the public, false hope and winds-up people causing them to react. The people living in the north Wiltshire area have had years of being bombarded with potential sites and they should be allowed to live their lives peacefully and only be consulted when there is a clear strategy and likelihood of developments actually happening.
The Ridgeway Farm site divorces itself from the community and village of Purton, bolts itself onto a boundary with another Unitary Authority and is intent on using the infra-structure of Swindon therefore is likely to be associated as being part of Swindon. There will be considerable pressure on the neighbouring villages rural road structures which are already under strain.
The fields around Purton Parish act as a green lung for Swindon residents plus as recreation, using the footpaths and cycle routes. To keep the identities of villages in Northern Wiltshire and to stop coalesance we need to keep a rural buffer and not have development added into our fields along the boundary with Swindon Borough Council.
I have written to DPDS reminding them that their proposal are within Purton Parish and that they need to have a Public Meeting in the Parish and Unitary Authority where the site lies – preferable once we know the vision ahead when the Core Strategy has been agreed.