New estate delayed by road chaos fears
5:30am Wednesday 26th March 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
PLANS to build an estate that will dwarf South Marston have stalled after the Highway’s Agency raised concerns about its impact on the roads.
Last year developers submitted an application to build 2,380 homes just north of the A420 in South Marston in a project known as the Rowborough Development.
But fears that the increased traffic development could swamp the roads, which are already a nightmare for commuters during rush hour, have led to a six-month delay in the application process to give developers time to adjust their plans.
The news has been welcomed by residents of neighbouring South Marston, who had concerns that the initial application did not give enough thought to how to deal with increasing levels of traffic expected by the development .
Sylvia Brown, the vice-chairman of the South Marston Parish Council, said: “They have put it on hold to allow them to amend their application.
“It will also mean that it will go before the local plan inquiry later this year.
“The main issue is the road infrastructure for the whole of the Eastern Villages development.”
The news has also been welcomed by villagers in nearby Wanborough.
Gary Sumner, the chairman of the Wanborough Parish Council, said: “I think it’s positive news because the examination in public will take place in May and at least then it will be examined and it will be checked whether the right infrastructure will be put in place. So I am pleased.”
In response to the concerns raised by the Highways Agency, Swindon Council has also extended the time limit for determining the planning application.
A council spokesman said: “The planning application for the Eastern Villages has been put on hold for up to six months after the Highways Agency issued a Direction Of Non-Approval.
“This has been imposed to allow the applicant to address outstanding highway matters.
“If these matters are addressed before the six-month time limit, the Highways Agency has the power to lift the direction.
“In addition to the direction being imposed, the council has also formally agreed to extend the time limit for determining the planning application until July 31 2014 due to the complexity of the application. The time limit may be extended further if required.”
Hallam Land Management, Hannick Homes and Developments and Laing Homes have come together in the joint venture to build on the 162-hectare site, which stretches from the Thornhill Road junction with the A420 east to Acorn Bridge and north up to Nightingale Farm.
To see the plans, visit www.swindon.go.uk/planning and search for application number S/OUT/13/1555.