Swindon Council has received a planning application from Pegasus Planning Group on behalf of Persimmon Homes to build 73 houses on green fields on the edge of Grange Park.
Earlier this year a public consultation displayed plans for 91 houses.
An earlier larger 2010 planning application for 175 dwellings was dismissed at appeal because it would have unacceptably spread urban development into the rural hinterland and harm the setting of Lydiard Park.
The planning inspector stated the crest of Windmill Hill crossing the site should be retained as a visual and physical break between the urban area and countryside. He did not want to see housing spilling down the Lydiard Park side of the slope and becoming a visual intrusion on the park.
The developers say the inspector indicated a modified development could be acceptable and say they are now proposing a scheme that no longer encroaches beyond the crest of the hill to retain an open setting to Lydiard Park.
The council’s planning committee should consider the application in January or February. View it in the planning section at www.swindon.gov.uk – ref: S/12/1646
Residents in Grange Park, local councillors and the Member of Parliament will continue to be concerned about the extra traffic generated by a reduced housing scheme accessing the narrow access of Hook Street and the pressure on local schools.
Response to the new planning application:
Grange Park resident Lorraine Bramwell: "The Lydiard Fields Action Group would be looking closely at what the developers had submitted. "It’s of course desperately disappointing but not unexpected."
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland: "This is a deeply unwelcome application, bearing in mind the fact that a recent planning decision refused development in the same area. This land is and remains outside the development boundary for Swindon and is not in accordance with either Swindon’s previous or future Local Plan. I hope that the Council will reject this application."
Lydiard & Freshbrook councillor Michael Dickinson: "I am as against this plan now as I was with the previous applications for the same reasons.
"This area is not suitable for houses. Hook Street is not going to be able to take the extra cars. Flood risks will increase with the building in this area. The houses will not have easy access to local services such as primary schools and shops without the need to drive. It’s outside the urban area of Swindon and could open up the area for further applications."
Grange Park resident Jill Kelly: "We are less than amused at the prospect of yet another fight on our hands. As others have already said, the same arguments pertain – the scaling down of the plans is not proportionately scaled down in terms of our fears regarding impact on drainage/ disturbance to wildlife/ reduction in privacy etc. Whilst the new plans are for fewer houses and a smaller area, it is all remains directly behind our houses.
"Whilst I accept that everyone needs somewhere affordable to live – and our own children are now reaching an age where this is very much a real issue for them – I genuinely believe that dropping in a new development in the middle of an established and maturing residential area is simply the wrong development in the wrong place at the wrong time. I fully accept that where we live was a field once but the development here was a gradual growth of West Swindon at a time of economic strength. What is proposed here is simply about trying to make money in difficult times and not about sensible development. Purchasers of any new properties built will find themselves marooned within a settled and quiet community which has different needs to those of a new and diverse community seeking to establish itself."
Lydiard Fields Action Group residents’ group can be contacted via: email@example.com
See updates at www.lydiardfields.org.uk