Traffic fears over 1,000 homes plan in Chippenham
More than 200 people went to see plans for the proposed Rowden Park garden village which would include 1,000 new homes in Chippenham.
Crest Nicholson and Redcliffe Homes unveiled their plans, for a mix of two to five-bedroom homes between Rowden Lane and the Patterdown Road, at a public consultation in the town hall on Thursday and Friday.
If planning permission were given, houses would be built from 2016 to 2021, with the first up for sale by the beginning of 2017.
A proposed 188-acre country park with copses and nature trails, running to the east of the new houses from behind the hospital to down just below Mortimores Wood, was popular.
But there were concerns about traffic and whether promised amenities would materialise.
The developers are promising a community centre, primary school, shops, sports pitches and allotments.
Marilyn Logan, 66, of Cepen Park North, said she was not convinced.
She said: “The council have in the past allowed Crest to build an estate where we were promised these things, none of which materialised. The council don’t follow through, they allowed that to happen. We have a residents’ association and we meet in the pub because we don’t have a community centre.”
Sean Grant, 45, of Cepen Park North, thought new housing should be accompanied by more leisure facilities.
He said: “What about all the amenities that go with developments? We’ve got all these plans for housing in Chippenham and none of these things to go with it. And my other concern is the traffic. I work in Bristol and it’s hard enough to get back into town at the moment.”
The site would be accessed by three junctions off Patterdown. One is already there, off Coppice Close, and two would be created, one just north of Showell Nurseries.
The developers said Rowden Park could be delivered without the need for large-scale infrastructure and would protect other sites from development, though suggest improvements would be needed at the Sainsbury’s, Bumpers Farm and Bridge Centre roundabouts. They also propose an improved bus service and bus lanes along Patterdown Road and the A4 at Rowden Hill.
John Terry, managing director of Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects, said: “Visitors liked the garden village design and commented on how it was particularly appealing to families and would create the feel of living in the countryside, while still being close to the town.
“The riverside park was also very well received, with people commenting that it would bring urban and rural together by opening up this area of land for more people to use and encourage people to access the town centre by cycle or on foot.”
The developers could provide a pedestrian and cycle route to connect the houses with the town centre and footpaths and bridges to connect Chippenham with Lackham College.
They want people to leave feedback at www.rowden parkchippenham.com by next Friday, July 25.