Residents up in arms over homes’ design
5:30am Saturday 19th April 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
A CONTROVERSIAL housing development is set to face its final hurdle later this month, despite opposition from a number of residents.
The Hook Street development has been called to the planning committee following objections about the design of the houses.
Last year the national planning inspector decided that the application for 73 homes could go ahead on the land which is adjacent to Lydiard Park, despite opposition from local pressure groups and politicians.
Now the plan, which was put forward by Persimmon Homes, has been called before the committee over the design of the houses.
As permission has been granted the plan to build houses, or the access routes, cannot be changed. The application is now at the reserved matters stage, which is when the details are decided.
However, concern has been raised that not enough has been done to protect residents from the development or shield the grounds at Lydiard Park.
The Lydiard Fields Action Group has opposed the plan from the start and is urging residents to make their thoughts known.
In a statement on their website the group said: “Despite a short consultation period, the planning application is now going through the reserved matters stage.
“The developers are seeking approval for appearance, landscaping and scale. “As it stands we do not think the designs, landscaping or planting are sufficient for this controversial site.”
In 2011 plans to build 175 homes by Persimmon at the site were rejected by both Swindon Council’s planning committee and a planning inspectorate but the developers came back with the new proposal.
Many residents have also objected to the actual buildings proposed, a view shared by several residents as well as South Swindon MP Robert Buckland.
He said: “I have objected to this development from the start and am glad that this stage is going before planning committee.
“I am always keen to see innovative housing and do not want to see generic and bland options.
“It is important that, although the plan cannot be stopped at this stage, we make sure the right plan goes through.
“I would also like to see a green corridor between the houses and the development so residents who have been looking on to open space are not suddenly confronted with this development.”
No one from Persimmon was available for comment but within the planning application they have described the homes as within the criteria for which they received permission.
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