Wanborough gains a voice on planning issues

This Is Wiltshire: Gary Sumner, chairman of Wanborough Parish Council, has welcomed the extra influence the parish will have on future development plans Gary Sumner, chairman of Wanborough Parish Council, has welcomed the extra influence the parish will have on future development plans

RESIDENTS in Wanborough now have a say in what developments are built on their doorstep after Swindon Council designated the village a neighbourhood area.

As a neighbourhood area, Wanborough parish council can now produce a neighbourhood development plan to specify where any future development can take place.

This will then inform the detail to the local plan, which will set out future development plans for the whole of Swindon and is due to go in for examination in public in May.

Wanborough Parish Council applied to become a neighbourhood area last year and the plans went under public consultation during December and January this year.

Earlier this week the council announced that Wanborough had been successful in its application.

Gary Sumner, chairman of the Wanborough Parish Council, said: “It’s great news, we think it’s really positive news because it means that whatever development happens in the area it will be developed as part of our neighbourhood plan.

“There were some objections to our application but we managed to defend them and now our application has been granted.”

In total the parish council’s application received 19 outright objections, many of which centred on whether or not Redlands Airfield should be included in the area.

There were also concerns that it did not contain the whole of the Wanborough parish, leaving part of the parish to be dealt with elsewhere.

Mr Sumner said: “Because the northern part of the parish is backing onto where the eastern villages are going it is quite detailed in the local plan and we didn’t feel it was appropriate to include it under the neighbourhood plan. It’s going to be part of an urban area rather than part of a village area.

“The objections were mainly to do with Redlands which we have included under our Neighbour-hood Area.

“But we felt that Redlands could be regarded as a hamlet of our village and should be included in our neighbourhood.”

Wanborough now joins Blunsdon, Wroughton, Stratton St Margaret and Highworth as communities in Swindon designated as neighbourhood areas.

Swindon council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, Dale Heenan, said: “Wanborough Parish Council is the fifth Parish to apply to start the neighbourhood plan process, and this is something I am more than happy to support and fully encourage.

“Wanborough do need to tread carefully because their submission only covers a thin corridor from Lotmead Farm to the village so it does not cover the whole parish, and it received more complaints than any previous application with 19 residents lodging objections.

“However, it is good to see Wanborough parish put in writing that they support a high quality housing development at Redlands despite their previous public comments. I wish the parish well in agreeing a neighbourhood plan.”

To find out more about the neighbourhood plan, visit www.swindon.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning

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