Housing plans are criticised

This Is Wiltshire: Ian Jankinson Ian Jankinson

PLANS to bring in more housing around the Abbey Stadium have been criticised amid claims it will leave a shortage of job opportunities in North Swindon.

Permission has been given to build houses and commercial space in the development around the stadium, set to be started next year.

However, because of a downturn in the economy there is little demand for the office space so the site owners want permission to make all the surrounding land residential space.

Blunsdon Parish Council has objected to this on a number of grounds, including the need for jobs.

Chairman Ian Jankinson said: “When you look at the amount of houses due to be built not just in Blunsdon but all over North Swindon then you see the need for employment. There are no significant areas of employment so this would have been ideal. If you don’t, all you are going to see is a lot more cars on already packed roads as the people head towards the town centre.

“Part of the initial reasoning behind locating the commercial space there was also that it would protect homes from noise created at the race track.”

An independent report was commissioned as part of the application to look at the marketability of the land as office space.

Written by Jones Lang Lasalle, it has concluded that it would be difficult to attract office-based employment to the area but smaller warehouse focused companies may find it attractive.

It concluded: “Groundwell West/Abbey Meads in not an office location and is unlikely to become one in the near future. Take-up levels alone indicate that any form of speculative development would be unwise and in any event such development would have great difficulty in securing funding. “We feel that linking this site with adjacent landowners and perhaps losing or reducing the employment element is the most viable option as larger scale warehousing is far more likely to attract an employment provision.

“Funding is the key. Unless a development is occupier-led, the implied voids, marketing periods and rates liabilities are impacting appraisals to such a degree that only those on the best sites are proving viable.”

A consultation on the proposed alterations was held last year at the current Abbey Stadium. Speaking at the time Martyn Sutchbury of Landvest said: ”To put it simply, there is no-one to fill the space. We want to hurry the process along so we’ve decided to change the plans.”

Comments (3)

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1:34pm Thu 24 Jul 14

AndyJH says...

Oh how hypocritical of Blunsdon Parish Chairman Ian Jankinson to say there needs to be more employment opportunities in North Swindon whilst at the same time his parish council prevents local traders at Blunsdon Indoor Market from putting up signage that would attract more people to this struggling market.
Hundreds if not thousands of cars pass by the stadium without realising there's a lovely little market just behind it. The height of the new road and trees means that many drivers miss the only on site advertising boards that the market is permitted to use. Better advertising through signage is one of the best ways to make people aware that the market is open and would no doubt not only increase passing customers but encourage new and small businesses to locate there.
Mr Jankinson if you really want to help create employment opportunities then wipe away your crocodile tears, stop your snobbery and let the market put some signs up.
Oh how hypocritical of Blunsdon Parish Chairman Ian Jankinson to say there needs to be more employment opportunities in North Swindon whilst at the same time his parish council prevents local traders at Blunsdon Indoor Market from putting up signage that would attract more people to this struggling market. Hundreds if not thousands of cars pass by the stadium without realising there's a lovely little market just behind it. The height of the new road and trees means that many drivers miss the only on site advertising boards that the market is permitted to use. Better advertising through signage is one of the best ways to make people aware that the market is open and would no doubt not only increase passing customers but encourage new and small businesses to locate there. Mr Jankinson if you really want to help create employment opportunities then wipe away your crocodile tears, stop your snobbery and let the market put some signs up. AndyJH
  • Score: 4

3:51pm Thu 24 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

I think you hit the nail on the head with the "snobbery" angle. These "mini dictators" who take on this sort of role to pump up their own self importance just see the world through their own narrow minded view of what's best for everyone in their double standards world.
I think you hit the nail on the head with the "snobbery" angle. These "mini dictators" who take on this sort of role to pump up their own self importance just see the world through their own narrow minded view of what's best for everyone in their double standards world. house on the hill
  • Score: 1

5:59pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Ian Jankinson says...

Hi AndyJH I read your comment and was surprised. The Parish Council has never refused you the right to put up better signage for the Market. I will find out who it was and let you know if we CAN do anything to help you gain more trade. Does the Market have a managing group or committee or a person that I can meet and talk with to see what may be done to help?
Hi AndyJH I read your comment and was surprised. The Parish Council has never refused you the right to put up better signage for the Market. I will find out who it was and let you know if we CAN do anything to help you gain more trade. Does the Market have a managing group or committee or a person that I can meet and talk with to see what may be done to help? Ian Jankinson
  • Score: 0

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