Wiltshire Council’s proposal to build 3,000 homes as an ‘urban extension’ to Swindon has clearly rejected by people living in West Swindon and Purton at two public meetings in January and February.
They were called by West Swindon councillors to hear residents’ views on the plans to build 800 homes at Ridgeway Farm (in addition to 200 already agreed at Moredon Bridge – see plan opposite) and 2,000 at Pry Farm, on either side of the B4553, close to Purton.
With a general election only weeks away, this is a clear opportunity to call for a rethink of this idea forced upon Wiltshire Council and Swindon Council by central government regional planning policy.
Opposing the proposal, Labour’s Anne Snelgrove MP believes the plans would severely impact on the infrastructure of West Swindon in relation to roads, schools and the potential of greater flooding. “Wiltshire Council’s proposal is misguided and is opposed across the political spectrum and by local residents. Surely it would be more appropriate for Wiltshire County Council to build new affordable housing in the market towns around the county that desperately need housing.”
Robert Buckland, South Swindon Conservative candidate, says “something is very wrong with a system that, whilst paying lip service to consultation, seems to ignore everyone apart from those with direct or specialist knowledge of planning until it is almost too late. The Conservatives are committed to stopping this planning on a remote regional basis and return responsibility to local authorities and fully involve the public.”
If you are willing to write to the people below, ask yourself:
• Wiltshire and Swindon Councils have been drawing up plans as guided by the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS). Have you been informed and involved in the process, have you been adequately consulted?
• Do you think The Pry Farm proposal is an urban extension of Swindon as Wiltshire proposes or a new village between Swindon and Purton?
• How important is it to preserve the green space between Swindon and Purton; is it important to retain agricultural land for national food security?
• Do you think the roads to the west of Swindon can cope with traffic from another 3,000 homes in Wiltshire (in addition to approximately 3,000 houses still to be built in or proposed for North Swindon)?
• Will this development create major flooding problems at the River Ray?;
• Would there be a detriment to the quality of life for the existing Swindon residents?
• Given that the evidence for the RSS plans were drawn up in the mid-2000s based on high economic and population growth targets, should this be re-examined in the light of the recession? Do we still need all these houses?
• And do you think the influence of housing developers on the planning should be reduced; indeed should they be excluded?
You can write your viewpoints to:
Anne Snelgrove MP, 7 Little London Court, Albert Street, Swindon SN1 3HY email@example.com
Robert Buckland, Swindon Conservatives, 17 Murdoch Rd, Swindon SN3 5HY firstname.lastname@example.org
Coun Rod Bluh, Leader, Swindon Council, Civic Offices, Swindon SN1 2JH email@example.com
Jane Scott, Leader, Wiltshire Council, Sparrow Farm, Lanhill, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 6LX firstname.lastname@example.org
James Gray MP for North Wilts, 15 Forest Gate, Pewsham, Chippenham SN15 3RS. email@example.com
Pictured above, MOD the aviation fuel dump right in the middle of the development area
Swindon Link magazine has reported the growth proposals since 2004. See our earlier coverage at swindonlink.com via:
Below are two plans by Wiltshire Council justifying the development on Swindon’s borders
The study also considered a number of alternative options which are considered unsuitable – as shown below. See the complete details outlined by Wiltshire by downloading the document via West of Swindon Study downloadable pdf.