Developments mean lack of space to play

Some of you may have read Bob Pixton's letter in the Swindon Adver (April 15) asking where the open space provision for childrens' play areas, sport, recreation etc would be for all these homes proposed in the town centre from conversion of office and commercial buildings.

Mr Pixton has hit the nail on the head as there is no where to create the additional open space legally required per 1000 population.

All local authorities have a legal obligation to provide a set number of acres/hectares per 1000 population.

This open space is subject type, (ie. children's play area, parks, sports field ) quality, quantity and accessibility (i.e. within 5 - 20 minutes walk).

Quality dictates it must be attractive and appealing and safe. Quantity is acres/hectares per 1000 population i.e. a guideline would be say, children/teenagers play areas (inc say skate parks) would be around 0.3 hectares per 1000 population; sports areas 1.6 hectares for example and general recreational areas 1.00 hectare per 1000 population and say 0.3 hectares perhaps for allotment gardens.

(Source SBC Open Space Audit & Assessment 2011 Appendix 1 and 4)

This information is available from local authorities as part of its statutory duty to carry out annual open space audits and assessments every so many years. i.e. there was one in 2011 and possibly another done since then.

So all these proposed flats (and imbalance in family accommodation to single or couple or HMOs is likely to exceed the legal requirement for open space provision.

Mr Pixton has every right to voice his concern that the provision of open space cannot be met.

The developers seem to be looking at roof gardens for all these converted dwellings.

Roof gardens do not constitute public open space.

There is also the environmental hazard of high density housing such as multi storey flats.

Where is all their rubbish going to go?

I can hazard a guess that it will just pile up or be dumped on the roof gardens or down town centre alleyways which is happening all over the town centre and Eastcott wards.

There also seems to be an obsession with providing cafes and restaurants under them.

Let's be realistic about this! There is only so many businesses of the same type that the town could support and thus be likely to survive.

Too many of the same sort would not be sustainable and we would end up with further empty buildings on the lower floors.

Josie Lewis


How was lockdown for your schoolchild?

Is it reasonable to suppose that people who have children at school do not read the Adver?

If they do, have I missed seeing their comments about how lockdowns have affected children's education?

Perhaps they use Facebook etc. Have I missed their public appreciation of and gratitude for the efforts made by schools to deliver what has been possible?

Have they done their utmost to support this?

During the Easter break, has learning continued at home?

To help with catch-up, homework was probably set. Has it been done?

John Davies


Byron Avenue

Royal Wootton Bassett