NEW Masterplanning – Initial Workbook of Plans

South Marston Parish Council appointed NEW Masterplanning to assist in the preparation of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for South Marston.

Working with the South Marston community and Swindon Borough Council, the SPD aims to  establish an agreed strategy for the village that responds to the unique development pressures it is facing.

In starting this process NEW Masterplanning has looked around the village, to establish an understanding of the its character, pressures, issues and opportunities to feed into the preparation of the SPD.

NEW MasterPlanning Workbook

This Workbook of plans highlights the findings of the analysis work. It provides a basis for further testing and exploration with the community as progress is made in the coming months to agree objectives, principles and options for the village. It does not set out any recommendations for change, seeking at this stage to identify the key points for the SPD process to consider.

In about two week’s time the initial report from Borough’s transport consultants for the Eastern Development Area (JMP) should be available. This will include their initial findings and suggestions for traffic movement in and through the village. The Workbook will be updated to include this information.

Please use this Blog post if you wish to make any comments on the points raised in the Workbook or any other aspects of future village expansion.

7 thoughts on “NEW Masterplanning – Initial Workbook of Plans”

  1. Taken from Email from Darren Cook:

    I do not agree with the conclusion on Page 23 that the “initial focus area of search for sustainable new growth” should centre on the current school/church and Pound Corner.
    This “historic core” is too far north in the SPD area – the centre is between the hotel and Manor Farm – the school is an inadequate jumble of Victorian hall and prefabs and Pound Corner is a blind junction, dangerous for cars, bicycles & pedestrians.
    We should instead look at the SPD area from scratch and be both sensitive enough to preserve our heritage and bold enough to grasp this opportunity to create a comprehensive solution which will safe-guard the village for the future. We must have the vision to be radical:
    · a central park stretching from Pound Corner to the railway, protecting the archaeology & landscape features & providing a network of walks & cycle paths, a village square (see below), sports pitches, tennis courts, a bowling green, playgrounds, public gardens & a woodland lake (see below);

    · all land within the central park to be transferred by the developers into public ownership, preferably the Parish Council, to protect it from future development;

    · the new village square to include a new school, a multi-purpose hall/gym (school assemblies, gym & performances; clubs for tennis, badminton, basketball, netball, 5 a side football, aerobics, gymnastics, dance, drama, music, Scouts/Guides/Youth clubs & Friendly & Gardening clubs), rent-free café & two or three shops (e.g. Sainsbury’s Express, Oxfam, local farm shop, incorporating a post office), bicycle-parking;

    · the new woodland lake to be opposite the Carpenters Arms, to take central flood run-off (re-using the central drainage channels in a “sustainable urban drainage system”) & new run-off ponds along the brook;

    · existing school & grounds redeveloped as OAP day-centre/canteen & housing;

    · all houses built in cul de sacs of 40, along Thornhill Road (including Crown Timber & Isotron) & Old Vicarage Lane, linked together by safe pedestrian & cycle access through the central park (through which no cars can pass);

    · houses to be eco-designed with super-insulation, southerly orientation, solar electric & hot water panels, grey-water recycling & to have adequate car-parking;

    · private-public housing ratio to be decided upon by village (e.g. 9:1 instead of 7:3 so that there is a “village” ratio, rather than a suburban one designed to alleviate Swindon’s housing problems);

    · public housing to be same standard & mixed with private housing, (e.g. 4 houses in each 40 block);

    · widening of Carpenters Arms railway bridge to two lanes & traffic lights on A420 to give easier & safer access;

    · traffic lights on Sainsbury’s roundabout;

    · new “Pound Corner” junction: close existing one, put new road immediately south of school grounds to connect Thornhill Road & Old Vicarage Lane, with Highworth Road traffic to give way at new T-junction;

    · traffic lights at Highworth Road allotments to “delay” south-bound traffic, especially at rush hours (to deter Highworth-Sainsbury’s rat-run through village);

    · every-ten-minute Swindon bus service at rush hours;

    · no road access (other than A420) from East Marston (to prevent traffic over-load in South Marston).
    Darren Cook

  2. Taken from email from Simon Olive

    If we believe that the scale of development to the East & for South Marston is unavoidable, then Darren’s ideas below have a degree of merit. However if we believe this is our opportunity to create what we want and as a result avoid such undesirable level of expansion and the loss of being “a Village” then working to retain the existing core is the right way to go I feel.

    I take Darren’s point re the School, however it is growing its permanent structures and can replace the pre-fabs in due course and in any new plans can grow on its existing site if, adjacent recreational land is given over to the school as the Village has acquired other recreational land.

    I also believe, that the School & Church are at the heart of the Village – you can move the school, but not the Church and the school is a C of E school and the children do use it quite often – to move the school would make this less practical / safe.

    On the basis I am in the camp that this whole scale of development is incredibly fragile now – the arguments so strong against it I believe we should keep our eyes on an objective based on what we want, not what is making the best of what we don’t.

    Apart from that – the purpose of this document as a means to commence a discussion on what to do as opposed to being a suggestion of what to do in itself it looks fine to me.

    Darren – it would be interesting to see something visual of what you have suggested to be able to better picture it.

    Simon Olive BSc(Hons)

  3. Taken from email from Darren Cook:

    My approach is to reach a final solution for South Marston that would mean no threat of development in the future.

    Using Google Earth I calculate that there are 340 acres of developable land (excluding existing houses & Oxleaze Wood) within the SPD zone. If we allow 1 in 5 acres to be developed in return for ownership of the remainder being transferred to the Parish Council, that gives 68 acres at a density of say 35/hectare, making 963 houses, in return for 272 acres of protected open space! All we have to do is establish this principle, obtain the developers’ agreement & then zone the land as developable or non-developable.

    963 houses at an average sale price of £175k produces a gross return for the developers of £168.5 million. The optioned land has a minimum equalisation value of £75,000 per acre giving a minimum cost to the developers for all 340 acres of £25.5 million which means that it would certainly be cheap enough to give the 272 acres to the Parish Council. The solution is in the scale!

    If we zone the Crown Timber & Isotron sites as developable, the owners should be required to purchase non-developable land at the 1-4 ratio & transfer it to the PC.

    If we use your approach to drive down the scale & the developers cannot afford to buy all 340 acres & transfer 272 acres into PC ownership, we will lose control of the process & the village will face piecemeal planning applications from private landowners over the next 50 years.



    1. Taken from email from Simon Olive

      When presented like that I agree it “could have” merits, although that assumed housing density is much higher than the Village average density presently (from recollection) as such if a lower density is maintained less land is retained – but someone needs you to help the likes of me visualise what that might look like on a map.

      Simon Olive BSc(Hons)

  4. Taken from email from Darren Cook:
    In terms of layout it might look like the attached.

    Blue lines indicate housing roads (total area c.60 acres);

    Red line – new village square with school/gym/hall;

    Green line – new recreation ground;

    Yellow line – protected open space owned by the Parish Council.

    Straight lines for roads are more economical & make it easier for rear gardens to have direct access to public open space without crossing roads (safer for children).

    I would widen Pound Corner by purchasing the adjoining houses & reducing their gardens to accommodate a wider & safer junction.

    Three of the four WWII hangars at Isotron could be retained & accommodate 40 one-bed flats each (120 units!) with ground floor parking underneath.

    To visualise straight line roads (“ridge & furrow”) drive along Covingham Drive – believe me, as someone who has visited hundreds of clients across Swindon, it’s much better than the Abbey Meads maze!


  5. Whatever proposals move forward from the various consultations, it must be what the residents of South Marston want, not just vested interest groups. I frequently read emails, and comments sent to be that are NIMBY in the extreme, or others that my way or no way.

    We are all concerned that inappropriate planning could be harmful but proposing for instance road infrastructure that would be fiscally, if not, engineeringly impossible and saying ‘that would be someone else’s problem’, is simply not constructive.

    I have made my position on smaller non EDA developments which fit the Village ‘vision’ should not be objected to out of hand. If there is no good reason to say no then the Parish Council should give their approval.

  6. Well said Bob,we should be talking about ring roads and building new housing around them.Not trying to build a dual carriage way through the real heart of South Marston village.

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