Following the decision by Swindon Council’s planning committee to grant Crest Homes permission to build 1,700 houses at Tadpole Farm, north of Oakhurst and Redhouse there is very real anger felt by many people living in Oakhurst who believe they are being disadvantaged by the decision.
As a resident of Oakhurst I feel let down by our elected representatives whether in the council chamber or at Westminster.
Our elected representatives have convinced us for several years, in repetition ad-nauseum, that they are against inappropriate development. However, when push came to shove at the June planning meeting myself and other residents in Oakhurst believed we had been led up the garden path to have the gate shut in our faces.
Our bold local councillors, so brave against inappropriate development collapsed at the first puff from the developer and the council’s planning officers. How did this happen when up until a few weeks ago literature was being pushed through our doors by the same councillors and the North Swindon MP stating that they were with us?
The view of myself and other residents in Oakhurst is that the development at Tadpole Farm is not appropriate because it lacks sufficient school places, it is woefully inadequate in respect of major road infrastructure and even worse than that, it will turn Oakhurst Way into a thundering rat-run.
I and other residents fail to understand why our councillors have let us down when so much is at stake. It has left us in a state of irretrievable breakdown. This feeling has turned from disappointment to heated debate in the community and online.
Coun Elliott, who proposed approval at the planning committee, has decamped. Coun Edwards is doing a good impression of the invisible man. Coun Faramarzi is defending her position by trashing the residents’ scrutiny of decisions.
This is a sorry state we are in and people in Oakhurst are now realising that they have been jilted by sweet talking politicians in favour of hard-nosed developers.
What is even more galling is that the Redhouse councillors, whose area will be greatly affected by Tadpole Farm, believe it is more important to get a community centre for their village centre, paid for by the developers, rather than roads and schools for Oakhurst.
The planning committee agreed a three month delay while further negotiations with the developer take place. This is a sham or a cruel trick at the residents’ expense as Richard Bell, the council’s head of planning has stated that the Section 106 developer contribution package more than meets legal requirements.
Residents have made it clear that they will fight to have Oakhurst Way protected. If councillors think that this is something they can renege on then they will be the ones that will be disappointed by their decision.