Tadpole Farm is key in local plan
8:10am Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
TADPOLE Farm is the key site in the north of the borough earmarked for development in Swindon Council’s final draft of the local plan.
The local plan 2026 will be the document which will guide the decisions of the planning committee, setting out a number of general policies as well as locations for residential and employment uses.
Across the borough, the document allocates space for 22,000 homes and 77.5 hectares of new employment land, which the council says is necessary to maintain housing growth in line with economic and demographic forecasts, prevent unwanted development on green-field land, and provide for business growth.
Developer Crest Nicholson was recently granted permission for 1,695 homes on Tadpole Farm, north of Tadpole Lane, at Blunsdon St Andrew.
In June, despite concerns about congestion, increased flooding and lack of school places, the committee agreed they could not refuse or defer the application because there were not strong enough planning grounds to win an appeal.
Therefore, members empowered officers to grant final approval in three months, providing Crest Nicholson could address concerns through agreements and additional financial contributions.
Planning permission was granted in September, but it has transpired that the legal agreement did not include any extra contributions beyond the £11.2m infrastructure package offered in the draft agreement, and the negotiations were mainly around tightening up and clarifying the legal agreement.
Coun Dale Heenan, cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, said: “The Tadpole Farm development by Crest Nicholson has been given the go-ahead and will take 15 years to build, and it’s only right we include it in the local plan to ensure it’s built properly with the right infrastructure.
“If a developer came forward for another 1,000 houses in the north, we now have a very strong position to resist that from happening because Tadpole Farm has been allocated in the local plan. This sets out development for the next 15 years.
“There’s no more room to build to the north of the town and I don’t wish to see any.”
Further north at Highworth, the document allocates at least 200 homes, which Coun Heenan said would be partly infill and partly expansion around the edges of the town. There are also five hectares of employment land earmarked.
However, the final draft also contains a policy to maintain the separate identity of Highworth as a hilltop market town, rejuvenate the town centre, and protect and enhance the role of Pentylands Park as a place to visit for recreation and related activities.