This is a sorry tale. An investor/developer just will not take “no” for an answer.
Widham Farm lies just by the hump back bridge on entering Purton from the Tadpole Lane direction. The first time an application was made it was for 200 houses then for 148 houses, then for 136 houses and now for 50.
Each time the number was supposed to be “sustainable”. One gets the sense that the investor simply wants to fit in as many houses as he thinks he can get away with, without any recognition of the anxiety that these endless applications cause to residents, without any recognition that this is a community to which bolting on even 50 houses (between 80 – 120 people, upwards of 100 cars) is potentially very disruptive and without any respect for the planning system.
Even the planning inspector at the previous appeal said there is sufficient housing already and the development would be in the countryside and therefore not allowable. Nothing has changed, yet the investor keeps coming back wasting loads of public money (when Wiltshire Council planning officers have to look at the application afresh) and community time.
Even though that the planning inspector correctly identified that the Wiltshire Structure Plan does not require housing at Purton, and this has been re-emphasised in the emerging Wiltshire Core Strategy, and even though the Local Plan clearly indicates the extent of the framework boundary, and this site at Widham Farm lies wholly outside it, the investor still does not get it.
Now get this: the housing plan being proposed by the investor currently shows one, two-bedroom house under open market conditions. The rest are predominantly three and four bedroom executive homes, and some social housing. Interestingly, the social housing is far more than Purton needs so deserving cases would have to be bussed in from Swindon or other parts of the county – complete nonsense if we are supposed to be building communities and not just houses.
Even Thames Water, the water provider, has clearly stated that the existing water supply infrastructure has insufficient capacity to meet the additional demands for the proposed development.
But even worse, there are some “open spaces” left which can be further developed so we are really looking at a total development of 100+ houses – planning by stealth. The investor even told the parish council that his general intention was to build more than 50 houses.
How cynical can it get?