Wichelstowe is 'fit for purpose'

This Is Wiltshire: Wichelstowe Wichelstowe

ALTERATIONS to plans for Wichelstowe could tempt devleopers to build the rest of the estate after councillors approved them at a planning committee meeting.

The updated outline planning application now has a different road layout, an increase in the number of homes which need to be occupied and a reduction in the number of affordable homes developers will need to provide.

It means talks can now be held with a number of companies about who will develop the site, which will eventually boast 4,500 homes.

A shortlist of developers has been drawn up and discussions will begin shortly. The meeting was attended by representatives of residents’ groups opposed to the changes, as well as ward councillors from Old Town and Wroughton.

Concerns were raised about the alterations, as the road running through the estate will no longer run directly south along the site but will instead go into the heart of development.

As a result, commuters may instead choose to go through Wroughton or Old Town, but council officers say the new road will be able to cope with the traffic, although it is slightly longer.

Several objections were also raised about halving the number of affordable homes required, which dropped from 30 to 15 per cent.

Coun Brian Ford (Con, Wroughton and Wichelstowe) moved a motion to reject the changes but was unable to win enough support at the meeting on Tuesday night.

After the meeting, he said: “I am obviously very disappointed with the outcome for both my current constituents and the extra ones I will be gaining when Wichelstowe is built. The whole point of the plan was to have a Southern Relief Road. The traffic through Wroughton has been terrible with Foxham Way closed, so I dread to think what it will be like with an extra 4,500 homes.”

While the plans were approved, an amendment was made to ensure there were checks on raising the affordable home quota if market conditions improved. It was also noted that the building of the original southern relief road, as well as the new road, could be discussed at a later date.

Coun Mike Bawden (Con, Chiseldon and Lawn) is responsible for the Wichelstowe development.

He said: “ What we have now is a plan which is fit for purpose. It may not be the gold standard we originally envisaged but there have been a lot of changes since the economic downturn in 2008.

“I fully respect the right of the planning committee to have their say and some very sensible points have being made. We can now start discussions with a number of developers who are interested in taking on the site.”

Comments (21)

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7:08am Thu 13 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

""""Wichelstowe is 'fit for purpose'""""

Unlike our Council and Councillors.
""""Wichelstowe is 'fit for purpose'"""" Unlike our Council and Councillors. house on the hill
  • Score: 6

7:32am Thu 13 Feb 14

Al Smith says...

What are the odds that scrapping the Southern Relief Road will just repeat all the errors the happened in North Swindon leading to roads being unable to cope with traffic?
What are the odds that scrapping the Southern Relief Road will just repeat all the errors the happened in North Swindon leading to roads being unable to cope with traffic? Al Smith
  • Score: 17

8:17am Thu 13 Feb 14

StillPav says...

Absolutely Al. There is an obvious bottleneck at the bottom of Thamesdown Drive and they are creating exactly the same thing here by not building a dual carriageway along the length of the motorway up to J16.

It is very short sighted, as it would also help reduce the traffic along Marlborough Road.
Absolutely Al. There is an obvious bottleneck at the bottom of Thamesdown Drive and they are creating exactly the same thing here by not building a dual carriageway along the length of the motorway up to J16. It is very short sighted, as it would also help reduce the traffic along Marlborough Road. StillPav
  • Score: 11

8:38am Thu 13 Feb 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

The biggest issue is that once the dust settles following the changes, no one will ever be held accountable for the screw up; not the planners; not the developers; not the councillors....No one...!

It will be the same old mantra of "lessons will be learned", which they won't and the same mistakes will happen in the next large development.
The biggest issue is that once the dust settles following the changes, no one will ever be held accountable for the screw up; not the planners; not the developers; not the councillors....No one...! It will be the same old mantra of "lessons will be learned", which they won't and the same mistakes will happen in the next large development. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 13

8:50am Thu 13 Feb 14

scottwichall says...

LordAshOfTheBrake wrote:
The biggest issue is that once the dust settles following the changes, no one will ever be held accountable for the screw up; not the planners; not the developers; not the councillors....No one...!

It will be the same old mantra of "lessons will be learned", which they won't and the same mistakes will happen in the next large development.
This is the root of the problem.

Nationally we are reaping the rewards of years of ill advised planning decisions allowing building on flood plains, yet not a single design engineer, developer or planner will ever find themselves on the inside of a courtroom to explain how they failed and caused loss to the people who bought the properties.

Futhermore, why does it seem like they are proposing to rip out the existing road to the south of Wichelstowe? Leave it there to serve its purpose and build another bloody road. Don't take away this vital relief for Old Town.
[quote][p][bold]LordAshOfTheBrake[/bold] wrote: The biggest issue is that once the dust settles following the changes, no one will ever be held accountable for the screw up; not the planners; not the developers; not the councillors....No one...! It will be the same old mantra of "lessons will be learned", which they won't and the same mistakes will happen in the next large development.[/p][/quote]This is the root of the problem. Nationally we are reaping the rewards of years of ill advised planning decisions allowing building on flood plains, yet not a single design engineer, developer or planner will ever find themselves on the inside of a courtroom to explain how they failed and caused loss to the people who bought the properties. Futhermore, why does it seem like they are proposing to rip out the existing road to the south of Wichelstowe? Leave it there to serve its purpose and build another bloody road. Don't take away this vital relief for Old Town. scottwichall
  • Score: 9

9:09am Thu 13 Feb 14

scottwichall says...

Oh Christ.. just reading the planning documents.. and there are "step changes". And STArs. And lots of other public sector bubblespeak. Bet there was some blue sky thinking in a safe environment when these documents were drawn up.
Oh Christ.. just reading the planning documents.. and there are "step changes". And STArs. And lots of other public sector bubblespeak. Bet there was some blue sky thinking in a safe environment when these documents were drawn up. scottwichall
  • Score: 3

9:23am Thu 13 Feb 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

People living on top of each other near busy motorway, great idea....
One look at the photo and I prefer the older houses in the background, bigger houses & more green space and probably cheaper too.
People living on top of each other near busy motorway, great idea.... One look at the photo and I prefer the older houses in the background, bigger houses & more green space and probably cheaper too. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 6

9:26am Thu 13 Feb 14

ChannelX says...

Of course the roads won't be able to cope once all the houses are occupied. Similarly, of course the 'experts' will claim they will be able to cope... right up until the point the reality proves them wrong and it'll all then be swept under the carpet.

The only upside to any of this is the 50% reduction in the number of affordable homes required on the estate. Good move.
Of course the roads won't be able to cope once all the houses are occupied. Similarly, of course the 'experts' will claim they will be able to cope... right up until the point the reality proves them wrong and it'll all then be swept under the carpet. The only upside to any of this is the 50% reduction in the number of affordable homes required on the estate. Good move. ChannelX
  • Score: 2

9:32am Thu 13 Feb 14

umpcah says...

4500 more homes ? Will 4500 jobs be created in the area to fund the relative mortgages and rents ? Tell us more Mr. Bawden !
4500 more homes ? Will 4500 jobs be created in the area to fund the relative mortgages and rents ? Tell us more Mr. Bawden ! umpcah
  • Score: 6

10:00am Thu 13 Feb 14

Al Smith says...

umpcah wrote:
4500 more homes ? Will 4500 jobs be created in the area to fund the relative mortgages and rents ? Tell us more Mr. Bawden !
I'm sure they won't be created. Interestingly there seems to prep work going on at Coate for the housing development there (though there could be another reason why the equipment was present). Wonder why a development situated right next to the A419, M4 and J15 seems to be ploughing ahead yet Wichelstowe (2-3 miles from a motorway junction) is struggling?
[quote][p][bold]umpcah[/bold] wrote: 4500 more homes ? Will 4500 jobs be created in the area to fund the relative mortgages and rents ? Tell us more Mr. Bawden ![/p][/quote]I'm sure they won't be created. Interestingly there seems to prep work going on at Coate for the housing development there (though there could be another reason why the equipment was present). Wonder why a development situated right next to the A419, M4 and J15 seems to be ploughing ahead yet Wichelstowe (2-3 miles from a motorway junction) is struggling? Al Smith
  • Score: 2

10:41am Thu 13 Feb 14

Davey Gravey says...

Looks a short cutting **** up to me. Almost guaranteed to be problems and people would be mad to buy o n that flood plain anyway.
Looks a short cutting **** up to me. Almost guaranteed to be problems and people would be mad to buy o n that flood plain anyway. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 4

11:52am Thu 13 Feb 14

Blackmalkin says...

I looked at a house there. Tiny gardens, dog poo and litter everywhere (shows the sort of resident), parking problems already, with cars parked in No Parking areas even in the daytime (and the council have said they will make all the roads no parking when adopted, so where will visitors park?). Speeding cars down East Wichel Way and the constant roar of the M4.

The only upside is that it probably won't flood; it's not actually a flood plain and the only stream is in a very deep valley between Wichelstowe and Old Town.

I would have been mad to buy anything in there with my own money. Leave it for the HA tenants.
I looked at a house there. Tiny gardens, dog poo and litter everywhere (shows the sort of resident), parking problems already, with cars parked in No Parking areas even in the daytime (and the council have said they will make all the roads no parking when adopted, so where will visitors park?). Speeding cars down East Wichel Way and the constant roar of the M4. The only upside is that it probably won't flood; it's not actually a flood plain and the only stream is in a very deep valley between Wichelstowe and Old Town. I would have been mad to buy anything in there with my own money. Leave it for the HA tenants. Blackmalkin
  • Score: 6

12:42pm Thu 13 Feb 14

ChannelX says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Looks a short cutting **** up to me. Almost guaranteed to be problems and people would be mad to buy o n that flood plain anyway.
You're right that Wichelstowe has been constructed on a flood plain... but has anyone there been flooded out during the recent record levels of rainfall, the most recorded in over 300 years?
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Looks a short cutting **** up to me. Almost guaranteed to be problems and people would be mad to buy o n that flood plain anyway.[/p][/quote]You're right that Wichelstowe has been constructed on a flood plain... but has anyone there been flooded out during the recent record levels of rainfall, the most recorded in over 300 years? ChannelX
  • Score: 1

1:00pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Futura says...

Blackmalkin wrote:
I looked at a house there. Tiny gardens, dog poo and litter everywhere (shows the sort of resident), parking problems already, with cars parked in No Parking areas even in the daytime (and the council have said they will make all the roads no parking when adopted, so where will visitors park?). Speeding cars down East Wichel Way and the constant roar of the M4.

The only upside is that it probably won't flood; it's not actually a flood plain and the only stream is in a very deep valley between Wichelstowe and Old Town.

I would have been mad to buy anything in there with my own money. Leave it for the HA tenants.
Whatever you may think after one visit a lot of residents in East Wichel have been sold properties on empty promises from the developers and Council. Taylor Wimpey have dragged their heels on this development as they've wanted out since starting it. East Wichel could have been finished in as little as three years and I've seen bigger developments wrapped up quicker than that.

The first home there was occupied in April '09 and 5 years later there are a few plots left to build upon which means the council will not adopt the roads so they remain unfinished, leases on the retail units there are too long/expensive so no shops and it is a disgrace that all parties involved are washing their hands of responsibility there leaving residents with no infrastructure and house-prices affected accordingly.

For your information there aren't many 'Housing Association' dwellings in East Wichel. There are however, some 'affordable housing' dwellings though, more commonly known as 'part rent, part buy' or 'buy to let' . Most of these inhabited by families that cannot afford a full deposit on a standard mortgage.
[quote][p][bold]Blackmalkin[/bold] wrote: I looked at a house there. Tiny gardens, dog poo and litter everywhere (shows the sort of resident), parking problems already, with cars parked in No Parking areas even in the daytime (and the council have said they will make all the roads no parking when adopted, so where will visitors park?). Speeding cars down East Wichel Way and the constant roar of the M4. The only upside is that it probably won't flood; it's not actually a flood plain and the only stream is in a very deep valley between Wichelstowe and Old Town. I would have been mad to buy anything in there with my own money. Leave it for the HA tenants.[/p][/quote]Whatever you may think after one visit a lot of residents in East Wichel have been sold properties on empty promises from the developers and Council. Taylor Wimpey have dragged their heels on this development as they've wanted out since starting it. East Wichel could have been finished in as little as three years and I've seen bigger developments wrapped up quicker than that. The first home there was occupied in April '09 and 5 years later there are a few plots left to build upon which means the council will not adopt the roads so they remain unfinished, leases on the retail units there are too long/expensive so no shops and it is a disgrace that all parties involved are washing their hands of responsibility there leaving residents with no infrastructure and house-prices affected accordingly. For your information there aren't many 'Housing Association' dwellings in East Wichel. There are however, some 'affordable housing' dwellings though, more commonly known as 'part rent, part buy' or 'buy to let' . Most of these inhabited by families that cannot afford a full deposit on a standard mortgage. Futura
  • Score: 5

1:00pm Thu 13 Feb 14

villageoldman says...

The reason it hasn't flooded is because of the pipe work which has pushed the water towards Coate. Why anybody would want to live on a land locked bottle neck is beyond me. Road noise , fumes from M4 and idle traffic just the place to bring your little ones up ! Ask anyone who lives there now , would they move . I have and the answer is always ,yes.
The reason it hasn't flooded is because of the pipe work which has pushed the water towards Coate. Why anybody would want to live on a land locked bottle neck is beyond me. Road noise , fumes from M4 and idle traffic just the place to bring your little ones up ! Ask anyone who lives there now , would they move . I have and the answer is always ,yes. villageoldman
  • Score: 2

8:26pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Eastern Badger says...

Borough Council about to repeat the same mistakes in the Eastern Villages - 8,000 homes - paring down the infrastructure - residents in East Swindon will live with the consequences - a flood plain, major bottleneck in roads - nothing in Local Plan to say where the money will come from and the only thing we hoped for were 'trigger points' to ensure infrastructure comes at the right time. As we can now see in Wichelstowe they can change the 'gold standard' goal posts to suit themselves later. And they are kidding themselves if they think developers will queue up for the land now - it's still overvalued.
Borough Council about to repeat the same mistakes in the Eastern Villages - 8,000 homes - paring down the infrastructure - residents in East Swindon will live with the consequences - a flood plain, major bottleneck in roads - nothing in Local Plan to say where the money will come from and the only thing we hoped for were 'trigger points' to ensure infrastructure comes at the right time. As we can now see in Wichelstowe they can change the 'gold standard' goal posts to suit themselves later. And they are kidding themselves if they think developers will queue up for the land now - it's still overvalued. Eastern Badger
  • Score: 2

9:00pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Skint says...

I wish they'd stop building at both Coate and Wichelstowe, it really depresses me that we will have very little countryside left in Swindon and nothing really to show for it. Also, my horses will be homeless
I wish they'd stop building at both Coate and Wichelstowe, it really depresses me that we will have very little countryside left in Swindon and nothing really to show for it. Also, my horses will be homeless Skint
  • Score: 0

6:54am Fri 14 Feb 14

GalaxyMan says...

Certainly the main road through will cope just fine. Because no sooner will they get people used to using it then they intend to close it to all but buses in rush hour!
The mindlessness of Councils and Politicians simply staggers and outrages in equal measure.
Certainly the main road through will cope just fine. Because no sooner will they get people used to using it then they intend to close it to all but buses in rush hour! The mindlessness of Councils and Politicians simply staggers and outrages in equal measure. GalaxyMan
  • Score: 2

7:44am Fri 14 Feb 14

scottwichall says...

GalaxyMan wrote:
Certainly the main road through will cope just fine. Because no sooner will they get people used to using it then they intend to close it to all but buses in rush hour!
The mindlessness of Councils and Politicians simply staggers and outrages in equal measure.
And then force all the traffic back through Old Town - we have already seen the effect that has had during the temporary closure.
[quote][p][bold]GalaxyMan[/bold] wrote: Certainly the main road through will cope just fine. Because no sooner will they get people used to using it then they intend to close it to all but buses in rush hour! The mindlessness of Councils and Politicians simply staggers and outrages in equal measure.[/p][/quote]And then force all the traffic back through Old Town - we have already seen the effect that has had during the temporary closure. scottwichall
  • Score: 0

8:22am Fri 14 Feb 14

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

umpcah wrote:
4500 more homes ? Will 4500 jobs be created in the area to fund the relative mortgages and rents ? Tell us more Mr. Bawden !
Not as simple as that as many houses have more than one adult living in them. More like 7 -9000 jobs needed..
[quote][p][bold]umpcah[/bold] wrote: 4500 more homes ? Will 4500 jobs be created in the area to fund the relative mortgages and rents ? Tell us more Mr. Bawden ![/p][/quote]Not as simple as that as many houses have more than one adult living in them. More like 7 -9000 jobs needed.. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

11:12am Fri 14 Feb 14

Swindon_AOK says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
umpcah wrote:
4500 more homes ? Will 4500 jobs be created in the area to fund the relative mortgages and rents ? Tell us more Mr. Bawden !
Not as simple as that as many houses have more than one adult living in them. More like 7 -9000 jobs needed..
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with an ambition to expand the town, as the only way Swindon is eventually going to attract the necessary level of commercial investment (like has happened to other towns on the M4 corridor) is for the catchment area to be of sufficient size to influence firms to relocate or invest in new facilities.

Eventually the town will grow to a size that will support an expanded retail offering, and will have a workforce that can support a greater number of comapnies relocating and start-ups. Thousands of new jobs will be created in Swindon in coming years e.g. the refurbished oasis/new ski centre, expansion of the outlet village, new cinema complex, new regional shopping centres etc etc.

More of an issue is the missed opportunity to create desirable new housing areas which will stand the test of time vs the mistakes of the past and newer versions of some of the downmarket estates we already have.

This acceptance of less than the 'gold standard' is the fundamental readon why Swindon is in such a mess. It applies to everything that happens in this town. Just look at teh new Regent Circus development - bland, cheap fabricated materials are being used and an uninspiring design, that in 20 years will be another Swindon College eyesore rather than the 'Covent Garden' that this town needs.

Everything we do in Swindon is half-arsed and the town suffers accordingly....
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]umpcah[/bold] wrote: 4500 more homes ? Will 4500 jobs be created in the area to fund the relative mortgages and rents ? Tell us more Mr. Bawden ![/p][/quote]Not as simple as that as many houses have more than one adult living in them. More like 7 -9000 jobs needed..[/p][/quote]There's nothing fundamentally wrong with an ambition to expand the town, as the only way Swindon is eventually going to attract the necessary level of commercial investment (like has happened to other towns on the M4 corridor) is for the catchment area to be of sufficient size to influence firms to relocate or invest in new facilities. Eventually the town will grow to a size that will support an expanded retail offering, and will have a workforce that can support a greater number of comapnies relocating and start-ups. Thousands of new jobs will be created in Swindon in coming years e.g. the refurbished oasis/new ski centre, expansion of the outlet village, new cinema complex, new regional shopping centres etc etc. More of an issue is the missed opportunity to create desirable new housing areas which will stand the test of time vs the mistakes of the past and newer versions of some of the downmarket estates we already have. This acceptance of less than the 'gold standard' is the fundamental readon why Swindon is in such a mess. It applies to everything that happens in this town. Just look at teh new Regent Circus development - bland, cheap fabricated materials are being used and an uninspiring design, that in 20 years will be another Swindon College eyesore rather than the 'Covent Garden' that this town needs. Everything we do in Swindon is half-arsed and the town suffers accordingly.... Swindon_AOK
  • Score: 4

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