Village Expansion: Your chance to influence the Background Documents – Postponed

Note: Meeting on 23rd November @ 7:30 in the Village Hall

Meeting postponed. Revised date: TBD

1) Planning Framework

The planning framework remains higgledy-piggledy, as the effects of the scrapping of the ‘RSS’ system by the new government works itself through. What has not changed is government’s desire to build more homes, Swindon’s policy of continued expansion and the desire of the developers who own or have options on the land adjoining the village to develop.

Swindon Council is currently re-writing its ‘Core Strategy’ document, the first draft of which was released last year, to comply with the new government policy. This will govern planning policy in the borough for years to come. It includes the overall level of expansion, the proposed sites and the criteria to be applied in the Supplemental Planning Documents (SPDs), such as that for the expansion of South Marston.

The full draft document is being prepared to go out to public consultation early next year. We are invited to make our submissions as to what should be in it by early December.

The 2009 draft and associated documents can be found here.

The parts of the current draft that are of particular interest to us are:

SSP8: Eastern Development Area

SSP12: Rural Settlements

SSP13: South Marston

SSP14: The Countryside and Smaller Settlements

Our current submissions are listed as ‘Respondent 632’ on pages 306-318 on the ‘Summary of Responses’.

Also open for input is the Swindon Local Transport Plan 3 that will determine borough policies on everything from strategic issues, like the M4 interchanges, to footpaths. Details of this and the background papers are here.

Both of these documents will determine not only how Swindon’s future is planned, but also the policies that our SPD must follow. Therefore it is vital that we ensure that they permit what we want for our community.

2. Crown Timber / Thornhill

The Parish Council is concerned that the Swindon Planners have been concentrating on the Greenfield area of the EDA to the south of the village and have let the Crown Timber and Thornhill sites, which will be more difficult and expensive to develop, drop off the radar.

We are meeting with the senior planners to thrash out this and other issues, such as how the infrastructure money generated by the expansion is to be spread between the village, the EDA and the wider borough. We do not see that we can develop the village plan further until these matters are clarified.

The Core Strategy and Transport Plan will both have a significant influence on the future of Swindon and the village. The Parish Council propose drafting representations on behalf of the village and you are invited to a meeting at the Village Hall on the 23rd November at 7.30 pm to take part in this process and to hear feedback from our meeting with the planners. It would be helpful if you could bring along your laptop with the documents saved, or a printed copy of the documents.

By the end of the meeting, you should have:

  • gained a better understanding of the planning process,
  • where we are now,
  • and of Swindon Borough Council’s Planning and Development aims.

We will have identified and agreed key issues, features and aspects that need to be included in the Village SPD.

If you would like to get involved in drafting prior to the meeting, please contact me at chairsmpc@southmarston.org.uk

Colin McEwen

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One thought on “Village Expansion: Your chance to influence the Background Documents – Postponed”

  1. It is blatantly clear to date that the proposals so far for the SPD, are dictatorial. IE it’s this way or no way. We are seeing small developments popping up all over the Borough despite this ‘alleged’ moratorium on this type of development.

    If we are not careful we will ‘get trapped’ and left with the ‘no alternative’ approach SBC seem to favour. The PC should look at proposals with an open mind. It is simply not possible to develop a proposal that ticks all the boxes for the village. Whether we like it or not there is no architect that stands out. It is a mish mash of design and colour.

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