After Swindon Link magazine reported developers Crest Nicholson’s desire to build an extra 500 houses at Tadpole Farm – in addition to the 2,000 already agreed in principle by Swindon Council – Abbey Meads ward councillors Justin Tomlinson, Vera Tomlinson, cabinet member for transportation and planning Peter Greenhalgh and council leader Rob Bluh were spurred into action to meet with the developers to discuss concerns raised by residents.
Coun Justin Tomlinson said, “Crest owns the land and their proposals are in line with the Swindon core strategy. However they were given a crystal clear message that access through the existing residential areas of Oakhurst and Redhouse is the key issue which they need to address before we will consider any planning applications for the site.”
The councillors’ list of requirements include:
• the number of houses built being between 1,500 and 2,000, allowing for a better quality development, and a lower number of cars;
• extensive green buffers and open space to improve the character of the Northern development;
• traffic controls which do not have any unnecessary impact on existing residential areas;
• infrastructure, particularly schools, in place from the beginning of any development;
• full public consultation so local residents can help shape and influence any potential development;
• improvements to flood alleviation infrastructure.
John Ilet, development director at Crest Nicholson Strategic, described in the January Link how the site design would deter car use and promote a bus rapid transport system. He said he is pleased that development issues are being raised at this early stage. “The councillors’ concerns are very reasonably reflecting those of the residents. We now have a lot of research to do with engineers, planners, the bus company, the Highways Agency and the council’s consultants before reporting back in about three months time with our options.”
Councillor Tomlinson hopes outline plans can be displayed in the early Autumn.