Taylor Wimpey will display their updated plans to build 50 houses in the shadow of Lydiard Park on 3 June, but the Friends of Lydiard Park have declined an invitation to meet representives of the developers for a second time, declaring it a pointless exercise.
The Friends have spoken up and protected the interests of historic Lydiard House and the park, and assisted with raising funds for restoration for over 60 years. Friends trustees had a meeting with Taylor Wimpey after the first consultation in November but were shown the door after a frustrated executive from the developer summarily told them to leave because of the persistent questioning.
In a letter to Taylor Wimpey’s public relations company, chair of trustees Mike Bowden, writes:
Thank you for your invitation to meet with the Taylor Wimpey team next week.
I have discussed the matter at length with my fellow trustees and we have concluded that in the light of our experience of the first phase of ‘consultation’ last year, no useful purpose would be served in us meeting again.
We remain implacably opposed to the construction of a housing estate within the essential setting of Lydiard Park and in full view of Lydiard House and St. Mary’s Church.
For the record we wish to make the following points:-
1. In the first phase of consultation the conduct and behaviour of the Taylor Wimpey team leader was inexcusably rude and unprofessional.
2. Assertions made by the Taylor Wimpey team both verbally and in their literature were misleading and disingenuous.
3. The ‘consultation’ was in reality nothing of the sort but simply an opportunity for Taylor Wimpey to tell interested parties what they were going to do. Taylor Wimpey’s stated assumption that the development would inevitably happen was both disagreeable and arrogant.
4. The Taylor Wimpey team explicitly acknowledged that the historic estate would be detrimentally impacted by their proposed housing estate.
5. Lydiard Park is a unique local asset and has a very special place in the hearts of local people, supported by their Councillors and Members of Parliament.
6. Lydiard Park is of national significance and welcomes visitors from across the country and abroad and a new housing estate should simply not be built within its essential setting.
We will leave it to Wiltshire Country Council and Swindon Borough Council to advise you on how your proposed development fails to comply with their Planning Policies. We strongly urge you to reconsider your position and withdraw your proposals.
Taylor Wimpey’s proposals will be on show to the public at Lydiard House Conference Centre on Wednesday 3 June, 2pm to 7.30pm.
The site sits between the park’s English Heritage protection zone of Lydiard Park and Tewkesbury Way, and is not listed as an area for future housing in either the Local Plans agreed by Swindon Council or Wiltshire Council, which is the planning authority for this location.
See Taylor Wimpey’s proposals on Facebook: Lydiard Tregoze
See objections to the scheme at: www.shawresidents.org.uk
Pictured top and below, the site between the hedge in the middle distance and Tewkesbury Way, next to The Prinnells and Middleleaze
Mike Bowden, Chairman