Swindon Borough Council’s problem
Many people were confused by the comments of Councillor Rod Bluh, which made the headlines in the Advertiser, saying that he did not want any houses on the EDA. The impression was that, if the Leader of the Swindon Borough Council was against it, then it might not happen.
Councillor Bluh has now written to Gary Sumner, of the East Swindon Communities Group, setting out Swindon’s position. In this letter, he makes it clear that the Council is committed to going ahead with the housing plans for the EDA, but he thinks that the timescale of the full development will be much beyond 2026.
Meeting with the planners 20 October
Roger Powell and I attended a productive meeting with the Martin Trewelle, Swindon Borough Council planner and our consultants, Andy Ward and Tom Smith, of NEW Masterplanning to kick off the process of ensuring that the expansion plans “make South Marston a great pace to live. “
We discussed the aims of the village and how they could be aligned with Swindon’s desire for high quality housing that people who work in Swindon will choose, rather than living (and paying their Council Tax) outside the borough.
The planners indicated a willingness to be flexible on the numbers of houses planned which would allow the development of a scheme led by the local community. They recognise that it may not be economic to upgrade the existing roads to permit the number of dwellings currently planned.
Sam Howell of the Transport department and Chris Sibthorpe, the traffic consultant were also present. Chris has started work on the village’s traffic problems both as they exist now and in the context of the EDA proposals. The idea is that development will fund improvements , both within the village and as part of the wider picture. A copy of his brief is on the southmarston.co.uk website. He will work with NEW as they develop the options for the village.