Crest Nicholson homes, who want to build 2,500 houses on land they own at Tadpole Farm north of Oakhurst and Redhouse, say they want to see less reliance on private cars in the future.
The site is identified for 2,000 houses in Swindon’s Core Strategy plan for development until 2026. Whilst the Core Strategy identifies the need for better public transport links across Swindon, including improved bus services and a network of rapid transit routes, it also recommends improvements to the road infrastructure – including the long awaited link between Thamesdown Drive and Great Western Way.
Crest Nicholson object to making any financial contribution to such a road, claiming it contradicts the sustainable transport ambitions of the town, and say a bus rapid transit system into the town centre from the site could take only 20 minutes.
However a Redhouse resident who declined to be named suggests the Crest scheme takes a less than realistic view of the transport needs of future residents. “As more houses have been built it has become more difficult to sell property in Swindon; some people have no choice but to commute long distances to their places of work in Reading, Bath and beyond. We need better road networks for private car journeys, not bus routes for shopping trips into town.”
John Ilet of Crest Nicholson welcomed the public debate. “The fact that people are responding and making their objections known proves that the consultation process is working. I’d rather understand people’s views now than much later in the development process.
“Our view is that either we put money into road building, and take all the nasty consequences of that in terms of increased carbon emissions, or we focus on community building with more sustainable transport methods.”
He added that the site would be designed to hold traffic back from surrounding areas and make it less attractive for residents to use a car at peak hours.
Paul Jenkins, managing director of Thamesdown Transport said somebody has to pay for improved transport links. “We are encouraged by the level of importance that the developer is placing on public transport.
“To achieve a 20 minute journey from Tadpole Farm to the town centre requires a well thought out combination of bus-only roads, town centre car park charging, and a new public transport interchange. At this stage it is not clear how this would be financed.”
The Swindon Core Strategy also says Tadpole Farm should:
• consider the impact of the 3,000 homes Wiltshire proposes for Swindon’s border (see page 3);
• include a primary school and contribute to a new secondary school proposed for north Wiltshire;
• have its own village centre.
Tadpole Farm link road rejected
The planning application submitted by Crest Nicholson for 21 houses north of Adinsell Road adjacent to Tadpole Lane has been significantly revised following objections by local residents.
As reported in The Link Redhouse Residents’ Association are very concerned about the developer’s proposals to build a road linking Tadpole Lane with Thamesdown Drive via Adinsell Road and the already congested Eastbury Way.
The revised plan for the site shows access via the adjacent Matthew Homes development. Space has been left for a link road to Tadpole Farm but this will have to be applied for separately.