Opposition to plan for 350 homes
5:30am Wednesday 22nd January 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
RESIDENTS are facing up to yet another controversial housing application in North Swindon.
DPDS Consulting Group has put forward a proposal to build 350 homes, a primary school and a local shop at Abbey Farm, just north of Lady Lane.
The site is sandwiched between the Tadpole Farm development and the A419, with outline permission having being given for further development at the nearby Abbey Stadium.
However, Blunsdon Parish Council has refused to recognise the application as the land has not been identified for development in either past or upcoming development plans.
Parish council chairman Ian Jankinson said: “I think with the number of developments already set to go ahead or proposed, there is already enough planned.
“As well as losing the green space it will also put further pressure on the overcrowded roads in the area.
“The land has previously been rejected for building as it is too small to be considered an Urban Extension.”
The developers held a consultation on the proposal in July, which was criticised by residents at the time because it did not include a school.
Parish council chairman Ian Jankinson who is objecting to the application for 350 houses at Abbey Farm
The plans now contain a primary school so it is possible this will make it a more attractive proposal.
“I would be disappointed if the attitude towards the proposal changed because of the school,” said Ian.
“The alteration seems like a way of making the development more attractive.
“With the Local Plan yet to be signed off, it looks like the developer is trying to sneak the development through before the door closes.”
DPDS group managing director Les Durrant said that the company had been in talks with the council, which led to the adding of the school, and taken feedback from the consultation before submitting the formal application.
He said: “The planning application follows discussions with Swindon Council and a public exhibition during July 2013, which has helped us in refining and improving our application proposals.
“Consultation with the council has confirmed the need and aspiration for a site to build an additional primary school to serve North Swindon.
“Although the Abbey Farm scheme is not of sufficient population in itself to warrant provision of a school, the modified application proposals include a suitable site that is being made available to serve both the proposed Abbey Farm development and surrounding communities”.
As well as the main buildings, the development will also have a recreation area with a variety of open public spaces.
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