HELP US TO MAKE A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
South Marston Parish Council has begun the process of developing a formal Neighbourhood Plan to govern the future development of housing and facilities in the expanded village. To understand why we are doing this, please see the letter from the Chair of the Parish Council below.
Most of the work will involve creating planning policies for the expanded village area based on the proposals already in the draft Supplementary Planning Document for South Marston. This the document produced by Swindon Borough Council that drew on our past consultation work with the village over many years.
We now want to enhance this with an exploration of potential footpath and cycle networks across the area and to realise the potential of the expanded recreation ground and community buildings at the centre of the village.
An open meeting will be held in the Village Hall at 7pm on the 10 March to take this forward.
We will have current footpath maps available, as well as maps associated with the village expansion. Please come along and find out more about how to get involved.
This is the area we will be considering in developing the
South Marston Village Neighbourhood Plan.
Information about progress and about meetings of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee of the Parish Council will be available on the South Marston website. Please contact the Parish Clerk by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01793 686150 for more information.
A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANFOR SOUTH MARSTON
WHY DO WE NEED A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN?
The Parish Council has reached an impasse with the main developers (HHL) on the plans to develop the expanded village. We, after consultation with the village over many years, want to see an integrated plan that takes account of land controlled by all the different developers and relates well to the existing village. Swindon Borough Council (SBC) support this aim. Last April, HHL, who control most of the land south of the village, finally agreed to work with us and the other developers but failed to follow through on this. They are also insisting on a new road north of the railway that can take traffic from the new village at Rowborough to the Keypoint roundabout. We fear that this will result in major delays at peak times.
SBC have now written to HHL saying that their application for permission to develop is not acceptable in its current form. Rather than than wait passively to see if HHL will comply by submitting appropriate revisions to their plans, we want to take the initiative.
WHAT IS A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a statutory planning document that is produced by the community itself. However, it must comply with the Local Plan for an area. Swindon’s Local Plan sets out the number and broad locations of new houses to be built in South Marston. A Neighbourhood Plan can address the layout of the roads, footpaths and green spaces and the overall design principles for the expanded village.
Swindon’s Local Plan is just being formalised, which is why we couldn’t go for a Neighbourhood Plan previously. It must be written by the Parish Council in conjunction with the village and then checked by Swindon who will publish it for formal consultation. The next stage is an independent examination by a Planning Inspector to make sure that it is legally correct. It is then subject to a referendum of the villagers. It will be a simple question as to whether or not you want the Neighbourhood Plan to govern the future development of South Marston.
If the vote is ‘Yes’, then the Neighbourhood Plan acquires the same status as Swindon’s Local Plan and must be complied with by developers. If ‘No’, the Swindon planners will have less power to control how the development goes forward and the village’s aspirations will be harder to achieve.
This is a contest between community planning and developer expediency. I hope that you will support us in this venture to ensure we get high quality development in South Marston.
Chair, South Marston Parish Council
 HHL is the consortium led by Hallam Land and Hannick Homes that controls most of the land south of the village.