Battle against homes at Ridgeway Farm is lost

This Is Wiltshire: Residents and councillors unhappy that the decision for Ridgeway Farm has been approved Residents and councillors unhappy that the decision for Ridgeway Farm has been approved

THE battle against a 700-home development at Ridgeway Farm has finally been lost as Wiltshire Council has approved the first phase of expansion.

Construction will now begin on the road infrastructure, a one form entry primary school, and 218 new homes.

In April 2012 councils in Wiltshire and Swindon rejected the application by developers Taylor Wimpey, but it was won on appeal in December of that year.

Concerns around the layout and impact of the development, which would lie on the northern border of Peatmoor, have been raised by a number of Swindon residents, councillors and MPs.

The county council received more than 200 objections from residents, but did not bring the plans back in for consultation.

The expected pressure on traffic coming through West Swindon has been a particular cause for concern, with congestion on Swinley Drive and around the Sparcells roundabout potentially spilling over to gridlock Mead Way.

Formal holding objections to the development were lodged by Thames Water, Network Rail, and Scottish and Southern Electricity.

On July 11 Thames Water wrote to the developer outlining a lack of waste water infrastructure or fresh water supply, but later withdrew its objection.

The company plan to enforce a £50 price hike per customer next year to fund ambitious new infrastructure works.

The rail and electricity companies followed suit in lodging objections, the last of which was withdrawn on 3 December.

Kevin Fisher, the chairman of Shaw Residents’ Association, said: “It would seem a perfect storm is brewing for residents of west and north Swindon.

“The SRA believes the design of the spine road through the Ridgeway Farm development, along with inadequate parking facilities, will create a gridlock situation on the north Sparcells roundabout.

“Couple this with the failure of the application for funding the Thamesdown Drive extension, probably 50 more homes at Moredon Bridge and an un-elected planning inspector telling Wiltshire they are 7,000 houses short in their local plan.

“This is a decision that could see Pry Farm just north of Ridge-way Farm being developed, and easy to predict a negative impact on the quality of life for residents of West and north Swindon.”

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said that he hoped the various concerns would still be taken into account during construction of the new development.

“I remain concerned that the proposed spine road for this development is narrower than the original proposal and that there are insufficient parking bays,” he said. “Planners need to address these issues in order to avoid traffic congestion for residents.”

Ray Thomas, the chairman of Purton Parish Council, said: “I feel the developers were very opportunistic here.
“From our point of view some might say this is an urban extension of Swindon rather than part of Purton. If we wanted to live in a town like Swindon we would.
“Hopefully we will be able to stop the absorption into Swindon, but we also need to keep our village identity.
A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have received planning approval for the first phase of 220 homes together with a new primary school and infrastructure at Ridgeway Farm.
“We are now looking forward to beginning work at the site early in the New Year and releasing the first new homes for sale shortly afterwards, with work on the primary school due to commence in late 2015.”

Comments (13)

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8:35am Thu 12 Dec 13

Al Smith says...

"If we wanted to live in a town like Swindon we would." But you're happy to use our roads, our supermarkets and probably work in Swindon?

I'm really finding it hard to have any sympathy for the residents of Purton (especially as I suspect that really is their looking down their noses at Swindon viewpoint). Whereas I've got loads for the residents of North and West Swindon whose roads are going to become even more congested.
"If we wanted to live in a town like Swindon we would." But you're happy to use our roads, our supermarkets and probably work in Swindon? I'm really finding it hard to have any sympathy for the residents of Purton (especially as I suspect that really is their looking down their noses at Swindon viewpoint). Whereas I've got loads for the residents of North and West Swindon whose roads are going to become even more congested. Al Smith

9:01am Thu 12 Dec 13

P Rowed says...

The headline of this article is a little miss-leading. Approval to build Ridgeway Farm was granted following the public Inquiry in 2012 - so because of that approval by an un-elected planning Inspector and rubber stamped by the secretary of state, it was always going to be built. The 'battle', as the advert calls it, was about having the spine road through the middle of the new estate built to the width presented to the Inquiry and not the narrower width agreed in secret during the Inquiry. The SRA and many other residents also lodged complaints about the number of planned parking bays not meeting Wiltshire's own guidelines. Both of these objections were ignored. Kevin Fisher - SRA chair - visit our web site for more information: www.shawresidents.or
g.uk
The headline of this article is a little miss-leading. Approval to build Ridgeway Farm was granted following the public Inquiry in 2012 - so because of that approval by an un-elected planning Inspector and rubber stamped by the secretary of state, it was always going to be built. The 'battle', as the advert calls it, was about having the spine road through the middle of the new estate built to the width presented to the Inquiry and not the narrower width agreed in secret during the Inquiry. The SRA and many other residents also lodged complaints about the number of planned parking bays not meeting Wiltshire's own guidelines. Both of these objections were ignored. Kevin Fisher - SRA chair - visit our web site for more information: www.shawresidents.or g.uk P Rowed

9:03am Thu 12 Dec 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

There was never going to be any chance of a different outcome; especially as it is a Wiltshire decision. For them, its more money in the bank, whilst Swindon provides many of the facilities they will use.

The lack of infrastructure to support all the development in the North of Swindon and immediate areas is ridiculous.
There was never going to be any chance of a different outcome; especially as it is a Wiltshire decision. For them, its more money in the bank, whilst Swindon provides many of the facilities they will use. The lack of infrastructure to support all the development in the North of Swindon and immediate areas is ridiculous. LordAshOfTheBrake

9:19am Thu 12 Dec 13

Wildwestener says...

P Rowed wrote:
The headline of this article is a little miss-leading. Approval to build Ridgeway Farm was granted following the public Inquiry in 2012 - so because of that approval by an un-elected planning Inspector and rubber stamped by the secretary of state, it was always going to be built. The 'battle', as the advert calls it, was about having the spine road through the middle of the new estate built to the width presented to the Inquiry and not the narrower width agreed in secret during the Inquiry. The SRA and many other residents also lodged complaints about the number of planned parking bays not meeting Wiltshire's own guidelines. Both of these objections were ignored. Kevin Fisher - SRA chair - visit our web site for more information: www.shawresidents.or

g.uk
To be fair to the Planning Inspector, in her report (which I read every word of), she advised the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, that there was no reason in law why this development had to be turned down but it did go against his own Government's localism policy and could therefore be turned down on that basis.
I live in Peatmoor and I oppose this development because the infrastructure is simply not there to support this number of people (road-wise). If they can sort that out then I have no real problem with it on the basis that all of us live on land that was once fields. My fear is, as usual with developments like this that the infrastructure will just not happen and we will end up even more gridlocked than we currently are over here in the mornings and evenings.
Finally, a note of thanks to Kevin Fisher from a local resident. He has worked his backside off representing local people and whilst we have been shafted by Eric Pickles and the Government (who have lost my vote forever while he is in their government by the way), he could have done no more.
[quote][p][bold]P Rowed[/bold] wrote: The headline of this article is a little miss-leading. Approval to build Ridgeway Farm was granted following the public Inquiry in 2012 - so because of that approval by an un-elected planning Inspector and rubber stamped by the secretary of state, it was always going to be built. The 'battle', as the advert calls it, was about having the spine road through the middle of the new estate built to the width presented to the Inquiry and not the narrower width agreed in secret during the Inquiry. The SRA and many other residents also lodged complaints about the number of planned parking bays not meeting Wiltshire's own guidelines. Both of these objections were ignored. Kevin Fisher - SRA chair - visit our web site for more information: www.shawresidents.or g.uk[/p][/quote]To be fair to the Planning Inspector, in her report (which I read every word of), she advised the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, that there was no reason in law why this development had to be turned down but it did go against his own Government's localism policy and could therefore be turned down on that basis. I live in Peatmoor and I oppose this development because the infrastructure is simply not there to support this number of people (road-wise). If they can sort that out then I have no real problem with it on the basis that all of us live on land that was once fields. My fear is, as usual with developments like this that the infrastructure will just not happen and we will end up even more gridlocked than we currently are over here in the mornings and evenings. Finally, a note of thanks to Kevin Fisher from a local resident. He has worked his backside off representing local people and whilst we have been shafted by Eric Pickles and the Government (who have lost my vote forever while he is in their government by the way), he could have done no more. Wildwestener

10:38am Thu 12 Dec 13

Oakhurst Homeowner says...

It has all been said succinctly in comments above. The current Government's political fortunes are now so intertwined with the housebuilders as the recovery is a construction-led recovery that any planning application by a developer gets nodded through, whatever their merits or otherwise. With only 17 months to next general election the Government is only interested in getting re-elected in May 2015. Their localism policy has been sacrificed on the alter of self-interest.

Pry Farm will also be built for sure. Taylor Wimpey have an application for 10,000 houses there - that is another North Swindon Development Area tagged on to the NW of Swindon. That will dwarf what is going on at Tadpole farm (1700 houses) and Ridgeway Farm (700 houses).
It has all been said succinctly in comments above. The current Government's political fortunes are now so intertwined with the housebuilders as the recovery is a construction-led recovery that any planning application by a developer gets nodded through, whatever their merits or otherwise. With only 17 months to next general election the Government is only interested in getting re-elected in May 2015. Their localism policy has been sacrificed on the alter of self-interest. Pry Farm will also be built for sure. Taylor Wimpey have an application for 10,000 houses there - that is another North Swindon Development Area tagged on to the NW of Swindon. That will dwarf what is going on at Tadpole farm (1700 houses) and Ridgeway Farm (700 houses). Oakhurst Homeowner

10:54am Thu 12 Dec 13

A.Baron-Cohen says...

This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone.
It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population.
As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country.
If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?
This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone. It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population. As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country. If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want? A.Baron-Cohen

10:59am Thu 12 Dec 13

Tyran66 says...

Nibisym 0.
Progress 1.
Nibisym 0. Progress 1. Tyran66

11:07am Thu 12 Dec 13

Wildwestener says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone.
It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population.
As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country.
If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?
I don't disagree construction is vital for country and economy but badly planned, unsustainable construction helps no-one. The builders who live round here will be just as stuck in gridlocked traffic as everyone else will be. Actually insisting on infrastructural improvements as part of house building increases the construction and benefits the economy even more, so should be insisted upon.
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone. It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population. As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country. If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?[/p][/quote]I don't disagree construction is vital for country and economy but badly planned, unsustainable construction helps no-one. The builders who live round here will be just as stuck in gridlocked traffic as everyone else will be. Actually insisting on infrastructural improvements as part of house building increases the construction and benefits the economy even more, so should be insisted upon. Wildwestener

11:17am Thu 12 Dec 13

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone.
It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population.
As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country.
If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?
Therein lies the problem. There are not 10-20,000 more jobs in Swindon to go to. Calling this "growth" is a fallacy as all it's doing is creating future ghettos.
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone. It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population. As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country. If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?[/p][/quote]Therein lies the problem. There are not 10-20,000 more jobs in Swindon to go to. Calling this "growth" is a fallacy as all it's doing is creating future ghettos. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man

12:45pm Thu 12 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

How many of them will be social housing then?
How many of them will be social housing then? house on the hill

1:54pm Thu 12 Dec 13

BCDR99 says...

There is a "Local Plan"? Blimey!!!

The problem for me is that all this land on the edge of the town is being built upon while plenty of brown-field sites in and around the town lie going to waste. The old Woolworth's warehouse for one. An empty slab of concrete that could surely be turned in to housing. There are industrial units that have been empty for years. Knock them down and build some houses on them. I went to school 30 years ago and we were talking about the "doughnut effect" of development back then. You keep building on the outside, you'll end up with a hole in the middle.
There is a "Local Plan"? Blimey!!! The problem for me is that all this land on the edge of the town is being built upon while plenty of brown-field sites in and around the town lie going to waste. The old Woolworth's warehouse for one. An empty slab of concrete that could surely be turned in to housing. There are industrial units that have been empty for years. Knock them down and build some houses on them. I went to school 30 years ago and we were talking about the "doughnut effect" of development back then. You keep building on the outside, you'll end up with a hole in the middle. BCDR99

2:43pm Thu 12 Dec 13

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Wildwestener wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone.
It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population.
As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country.
If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?
I don't disagree construction is vital for country and economy but badly planned, unsustainable construction helps no-one. The builders who live round here will be just as stuck in gridlocked traffic as everyone else will be. Actually insisting on infrastructural improvements as part of house building increases the construction and benefits the economy even more, so should be insisted upon.
It is the role of our 2 MPs to lobby the government on our behalf and so far they have failed to bring in the necessary infrastructure investments, they have another 18months to show what they can do for Swindon.
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone. It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population. As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country. If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?[/p][/quote]I don't disagree construction is vital for country and economy but badly planned, unsustainable construction helps no-one. The builders who live round here will be just as stuck in gridlocked traffic as everyone else will be. Actually insisting on infrastructural improvements as part of house building increases the construction and benefits the economy even more, so should be insisted upon.[/p][/quote]It is the role of our 2 MPs to lobby the government on our behalf and so far they have failed to bring in the necessary infrastructure investments, they have another 18months to show what they can do for Swindon. A.Baron-Cohen

10:11pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Wildwestener says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
Wildwestener wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone.
It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population.
As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country.
If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?
I don't disagree construction is vital for country and economy but badly planned, unsustainable construction helps no-one. The builders who live round here will be just as stuck in gridlocked traffic as everyone else will be. Actually insisting on infrastructural improvements as part of house building increases the construction and benefits the economy even more, so should be insisted upon.
It is the role of our 2 MPs to lobby the government on our behalf and so far they have failed to bring in the necessary infrastructure investments, they have another 18months to show what they can do for Swindon.
That's a fair point.
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: This is essential for the recovery which cannot be sustained through consumer spending alone. It is the role of the authorities to push progress forward against the natural/animal instinct of the population. As the General Election approaches we should certainly see a dash for houses accross the country. If we want to keep Labour out, we need more constructions sites, if growth and employment do not pick up this is a recipe for another round of Labour in this country, is this really what people want?[/p][/quote]I don't disagree construction is vital for country and economy but badly planned, unsustainable construction helps no-one. The builders who live round here will be just as stuck in gridlocked traffic as everyone else will be. Actually insisting on infrastructural improvements as part of house building increases the construction and benefits the economy even more, so should be insisted upon.[/p][/quote]It is the role of our 2 MPs to lobby the government on our behalf and so far they have failed to bring in the necessary infrastructure investments, they have another 18months to show what they can do for Swindon.[/p][/quote]That's a fair point. Wildwestener

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