Concern over traffic chaos as developer plans 500 Chippenham homes
Updated 5:26pm Tuesday 20th May 2014 in By Julie Armstrong, Senior reporter
Plans for 500 new homes in north Chippenham have raised fears of traffic chaos.
Robert Hitchins Ltd exhibited its plans, for land between Birds Marsh and Langley Burrell, in Kington Langley Village Hall on Friday, and had nearly 120 people through the door.
John Hall, part of the Robert Hitchins project team, said the general feeling at the public consultation had been one of “concern”.
“People are concerned about developments proposed near them,” he said.
“Traffic is the main thing people are asking about.
“We are in a position where we can take advantage of the link road from the other development, whereas a development to the east of Chippenham would require a new road and that’s expensive.”
The proposed new builds would adjoin the 750 houses that North Chippenham Consortium have outline planning permission for.
A buffer zone would leave nearly 21 hectares of strategic open space between Birds Marsh woodland and new houses.
If the development goes ahead, it will be the first time Veronica Wheeler, who is surrounded by fields, has had more than one neighbour.
“I’ve been there 30 years,” said Mrs Wheeler, 70.
“I’m most concerned about the wildlife. I get deer in my garden, and badgers and rabbits and a fox. They won’t come anymore.
“What good is a buffer zone when you’ll have all that noise?”
Also giving feedback were Ron and Ann Coleman, who since 1975 have lived on Heathfield, off Hill Corner Road, where the North Chippenham Consortium development would begin.
They said they were concerned about possible flooding and would not welcome the extra traffic they anticipated the new schemes would bring.
Mrs Coleman, 67, said: “I think they should scrap it. It’s just going to cause an extra bottleneck. Do we need all these extra cars on the road?
Mr Coleman, 69, said: “As it is in rush hours from 8.30am and 2.30pm it can take 45 minutes just to get from one end of Hill Corner Road to the other.
“Also, it’s called Birds Marsh for a reason – it’s marshland.”
The scheme would be accessed via two new roundabout junctions on Swindon Road (B4069) and would also provide six hectares of public open space, a primary school, play areas, a local centre or shop and half a hectare of employment land.
After looking at the plans, Chippenham town councillor Mary Fallon said: “It’s the wrong place. It won’t escape people’s notice how close it is to the motorway; it is a dormitory estate and we’ve got enough of those already.
"I cannot see what would encourage people there to get involved in the town.
“I’m seeing an encroachment on our villages. It’s the same as a few years ago when Wootton Bassett faced being swallowed up by Swindon.”
A spokesman for planning consultants AMEC said: “The feedback was invaluable. Local residents made some very valid comments which will inform our planning application going forward.”
The developer faced criticism over holding the consultation in Kington Langley.
Mr Hall said: “It was a mistake. It is important to say sorry and put it right."
An outline planning application is due to be submitted to Wiltshire Council in June.
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