Fight predicted over pub plans

5:30am Saturday 31st May 2014

By Beren Cross

ANOTHER planning application to replace the Queensfield pub with two-storey homes may run into opposition because it will invade the privacy of surrounding bungalows, according to parish councillor Brenda Archer.

The Stratton councillor has led efforts to canvas opinion from residents on the estate, in an effort to establish exactly what it is they want to see replace the derelict pub.

After Patrick Slattery and CJ O’Connell withdrew an application to replace it with eight houses in January, Brenda found neighbours were keen for new homes to be installed, but only as bungalows.

Brenda, who is a member of Stratton St Margaret Parish Council’s planning committee, expects it will be another rough ride for this new application, which is also from Mr Slattery and Mr O’Connell.

“They didn’t want houses to go in there,” she said. “When it comes up there’s going to be another battle.

“The residents have asked us to see the developers follow their wishes for bungalows. We want to make sure parishioners are happy with the development of the area in which they live.

“I can’t see how they can get 10 on there and expect people to be okay with the overlooking windows. “It would be the same for me if I lived in a bungalow around there.”

Stratton St Margaret Parish Council objected to the original plans for eight homes.

In a comment sent to the council on December 18 of last year, the council said: “This application will be a loss of public amenities. The design would cause a road hazard on the corner.”

Brenda does not feel the area would suffer from the demolition of the pub, which had struggled to make a profit for several years.

“The site wants clearing and bulldozing. It’s not been functional for years and years and years,” she said.

“I wouldn’t like to live there and have that looming over the place.”

The new plans involve a block of seven flats, two semi-detached houses and one detached house on the site.

Mark Campbell, of Campbell Town Planning, in Hawkins Street, is acting as agent for the applicants on the plans.

He said the applicants see no financial benefit in building bungalows on the plot and there would be little chance of this coming to pass in an application from them.

He also said everything submitted was in line with discussions with Swindon Council.

“That pub’s not viable anymore and we are being told we need to boost the supply of housing in the area,” he said.

“We have to look at the viability of the plans. (Bungalows) aren’t necessarily viable, the number of units and type of unit is dictated by the client.

“It’s got to stack up financially. I’ve been told by the client, bungalows wouldn’t.”

A decision on the planning application is expected in August.

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