Advertiser: Homes plan on firms’ land backed by South Marston parish councillors

Please note Sylvia Brown is the Vice-Chair of South Marston Parish Council

Swindon Advertiser today ran the following article:

SOUTH Marston Parish Council has backed plans for more than 160 homes in the village, but wants Swindon Council to be more involved with affected businesses.

Fallen Oak Properties and Crown Timbers have applied for outline planning permission to tear down industrial buildings at two sites straddling Thornhill Road in the village.

A variety of flats and houses would be built across the sites, but whereas the northerly Crown Timber site is derelict, a number of businesses would need to be relocated for progress at Thornhill Industrial Estate.

In recent weeks, both TransXL and Dennis’s Removals have spoken out about their concerns and lack of interest in relocation without substantial financial gains.

At a meeting of the parish council on Tuesday night, the plans were supported, but parish council chairman Sylvia Brown said the members want strict conditions in place and further investigation into relocation options for the businesses.

Sylvia said the parish council had had conversations going back several years with the applicants about these plans.

Fallen Oak and Crown Timbers have included a footpath, linking the estates with the village and Gablecross roundabout, within the plans, which was a major plus for Sylvia and colleagues.

They have been very good in responding to our draft supplementary planning document. They have taken on board our comments about the continuity of footpaths,” she said. “We have to make sure, when it’s finally built, those conditions are retained because they’re needed to make the development acceptable.

“It’s important for a site the size of Crown Timber to have a continuous footpath and links to the bridleway to reach Sainsbury’s and Gablecross.

“Thornhill is clearly more complex because we think that’s going to take some time to assemble the parcels of land, which is why we want the conditions on the Crown Timber site right, because that will come quickly.

“In general, the principle is also supported by us, but there’s also the issue about existing occupiers who obviously have perfectly viable businesses there.

“We encourage the borough to talk to them about possible relocation and it’s not going to be terribly good if we still have HGV traffic right next to a residential development.

“Those businesses have invested a lot of their own money in these sites and they obviously need a reason to make it worthwhile moving. I would like to see the borough encourage the moves. Their economic development officer should have looked into relocation sites.”

For more information on the applications, visit Swindon Council’s planning portal and search: S/OUT/14/2058 or S/OUT/14/2059.

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