Builder promises to meet house targets
5:30am Thursday 24th April 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
THE developers of the 700-home construction at Ridgeway Farm have moved to dismiss claims that their project will take twice as long as promised.
According to revised projections for build rates provided to Wiltshire Council as part of their new core strategy, Taylor Wimpey have promised to deliver 86 houses every year until 2023 at the site on the outskirts of north-west Swindon.
Residents in the area who have opposed the plans from the beginning hit out at the developers, claiming the critical factor which led them to obtain planning approval was the contribution it would make to the five-year housing supply in the area.
Arguing there was a shortfall, Taylor Wimpey committed to building 450 homes by 2016, a target which will now not be met.
The news comes after the primary school on site is now expected to come in a year behind schedule as Wiltshire Council obtain the necessary funds.
A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “Our commitment to delivering our high-quality new homes at Ridgeway Farm has always been to deliver the full 700 homes within a provisional timescale of 10 years.
“Subject to market conditions and demand, this timescale could be shorter.
“The ability to meet a shortfall within the five year housing supply locally was one of a number of reasons why our plans were granted approval at appeal. Some of the other reasons were that Ridgeway Farm is a sustainable location for development and that our scheme was judged to be appropriate and achievable.
“We remain committed to helping to meet the local deficit in housing supply by building our new homes at Ridgeway Farm in a timely manner.”
Kevin Fisher, chairman of the Shaw Resident’s Association, said Taylor Wimpey had never mentioned a 10 year target for all 750 homes during the inquiry.
“The statement of common ground arrived at at the inquiry, which does what it says on the tin, included an agreement to deliver a certain amount of houses,” he said.
“Their proof of evidence documents stated that they would be able to deliver around 450 houses by 2016.
“In the statement of common ground the number promised was bigger than that. That was where all parties had come to an agreement. Everything else in the inquiry was what both parties disagreed on, so this was the basis for approval being granted.
“They have never before made the statement that the houses would be delivered within 10 years. They made certain commitments during the inquiry which they are now simply not meeting.”