Category Archives: Planning Information

Click here for details of activities undertaken by South Marston Parish Council with regard to defining the Supplementary Planning Document to steer future development by Swindon Borough Council

Keypoint Energy Centre Appeal

The appeal opened on Tuesday 22nd January with well over 100 people attending.   The first speakers included South Marston Parish Councillor Tony Leathart who raised:

  • The visual impact of the 170ft high chimney on the rural aspect of our village
  • The risk that pollution from the process would not be possible to control effectively
  • The likelihood of HGVs queuing on the approach to the site, with the risk of congestion on roads inside and outside the Keypoint site
  • The lack of sufficient waste from the local area, requiring transit from too wide an area into the site.

On the last point, Rolton Kilbride had submitted further documents claiming that additional waste could be brought in by train from a wider area with no resulting impact on local traffic.  Their proposal was to bring trains into the rail link site, offload using HGVs which would then travel on the roads internal to the Keypoint site to be unloaded at the plant.

Our representative stated that this was simply not practical – only a few trains had ever been brought into the rail-link and there was no confirmation that Network Rail would give permission for use of the main line track access.  Furthermore, the HGVs working adjacent to the rail-link siding within the Keypoint would impact severely on access by existing occupiers, particularly Honda’s deliveries and those warehouses involved in supplying Honda’s ‘just-in-time’ production operation.

The full appeal response from South Marston Parish Council can be viewed  here.

The appeal continues on Tuesday 29th January at the Steam museum, beginning each day from 9.30 a.m.

BBC: Swindon 40 hectare business park plans submitted

BBC WiltshireOriginally from the BBC News website: here

Plans for a large business park in Swindon, which developers say could create 2,000 jobs, have been submitted.

The application is for a 40-hectare site by the A420 at Marston Farm, near a proposed area of new homes, schools, health facilities and improved roads.

According to Gleeson Developments Ltd, the eastern area of Swindon would “see a significant investment”.

However South Marston Parish Council has raised concerns about how the site will work as an employment park.

Sylvia BrownSylvia Young, the council’s vice chair, said: “I think our problems are not that it’s an application on a green field site with no infrastructure – it’s that it doesn’t contribute enough to making it work as an employment park.

“As a standalone application it is not connected well enough in terms of the road infrastructure, walking and cycling to the site, and there are definite difficulties with the capacity of the road to take the HGV traffic despite what the developers are proposing to do.

Gleeson Developments Ltd and Portfolio Holdings, which are promoting the scheme known as ‘the Hub’, have said the jobs will be across a range of employment sectors including office, logistics support, drivers and warehouse staff.

Scott Chamberlin, from Gleeson Developments, said: “There are significant and immediate requirements within and around Swindon Borough for new commercial space, particularly larger distribution warehouses of up to one million square foot.

“By providing the opportunity to live and work in the same area, it is not only sustainable but provides a further boost to the local economy as residents re-invest salaries in the local housing, retail and leisure market.”

Planning Application: S/OUT/14/0253

Advertiser – new estate delayed by road chaos fear

Swindon Advertiser today ran the following article:

PLANS to build an estate that will dwarf South Marston have stalled after the Highway’s Agency raised concerns about its impact on the roads.

Last year developers submitted an application to build 2,380 homes just north of the A420 in South Marston in a project known as the Rowborough Development.

But fears that the increased traffic development could swamp the roads, which are already a nightmare for commuters during rush hour, have led to a six-month delay in the application process to give developers time to adjust their plans.

The news has been welcomed by residents of neighbouring South Marston, who had concerns that the initial application did not give enough thought to how to deal with increasing levels of traffic expected by the development .

Sylvia Brown, the vice-chairman of the South Marston Parish Council, said: “They have put it on hold to allow them to amend their application. It will also mean that it will go before the local plan inquiry later this year. The main issue is the road infrastructure for the whole of the Eastern Villages development.”

The news has also been welcomed by villagers in nearby Wanborough.

Gary Sumner, the chairman of the Wanborough Parish Council, said: “I think it’s positive news because the examination in public will take place in May and at least then it will be examined and it will be checked whether the right infrastructure will be put in place. So I am pleased.”

In response to the concerns raised by the Highways Agency, Swindon Council has also extended the time limit for determining the planning application.

A council spokesman said: “The planning application for the Eastern Villages has been put on hold for up to six months after the Highways Agency issued a Direction Of Non-Approval. This has been imposed to allow the applicant to address outstanding highway matters.

“If these matters are addressed before the six-month time limit, the Highways Agency has the power to lift the direction.

“In addition to the direction being imposed, the council has also formally agreed to extend the time limit for determining the planning application until July 31 2014 due to the complexity of the application. The time limit may be extended further if required.”

Hallam Land Management, Hannick Homes and Developments and Laing Homes have come together in the joint venture to build on the 162-hectare site, which stretches from the Thornhill Road junction with the A420 east to Acorn Bridge and north up to Nightingale Farm.

To see the plans, visit and search for application number S/OUT/13/1555.

Advertiser – plans map out future in 100 plus homes preview

Swindon Advertiser Site Logo 2010Swindon Advertiser ran the following article today:

RESIDENTS in South Marston trickled through the Mercure Hotel yesterday afternoon to view pre-application proposals to build more than 100 new homes.

Hartwell Plc is preparing a planning application to build 160 new homes on two sites in the village, and held a public exhibition in the hotel yesterday afternoon.

From 3pm to 8pm residents were able to view the plans to build on Crown Timber and on Thornhill, two brownfield sites which Swindon Council is quite keen to be made use of.

The parish council has few concerns with the proposals at this stage, and looks forward to working with the developers to ensure that the needs of existing and future residents are met.

Barry Thunder, a member for the South Marston parish council, said: “So far the developers have been happy to meet with us and work with us and the plans look fine. As long as we can work with them and can say to them that’s fine, have you thought about this, then this could work very positively for the village.”

The 1.9 hectare site at Crown Timber is to the north west of Thornhill Road, and is already owned by Hartwell Plc.

But the 4.2 hectare Thornhill site, to the south east of Thornhill Road, is still owned by various companies who Hartwell hope will release the land to them.

Residents can still ask questions and discuss the plans with the developers.

For more information or to share your views, call Walsingham Planning on 01628 532244.

Parish Council: Roads and Connectivity Resolutions

The Parish Council discussed the issues of roads and connectivity at the Parish Council meeting on the 18th February 2014. The following resolutions were passed unanimously, with all Parish Councillors in attendance:

Consultation over the last few years has confirmed that the top concern of local residents is the impact by development on local road networks and junctions onto the A420. A particular cause of concern is the likely increase in traffic using Pound Corner and Old Vicarage Lane to access the planned new community facilities and school.

Resolution 1:

  • South Marston Parish Council confirms its agreement with the draft SM SPD’s proposal/requirement for a road link connecting the new areas of development running north of Manor Farmhouse. This should provide road access into the village central area from the south and from the west rather than via a ‘bypass’ and existing village roads as suggested by the developer’s outline planning application.
  • To enable this to happen, the Parish Council is willing to allow access across the southern end of the existing recreation ground to the school and community facilities provided the community gains the compensatory green open space behind Bell Gardens.
  • The Parish Council will continue negotiations with HHL and other developers to achieve an integrated plan for the village, consistent with the draft Supplementary Planning Documents and Local Plan.

Resolution 2:

Housing development at Crown Timber has previously been refused as being too remote from the village centre. The Parish Council will oppose residential development of the Crown Timber or Thornhill sites without:

  • A satisfactory footpath provision from the site to the centre of the village in the first phase of development.
  • A design layout for both sites that enables appropriate links with the proposed Eastern Villages development for pedestrians and cyclists as well as cars.

Swindon Advertiser: Concern at lack of detail in 2380 home plans

Swindon Advertiser today ran the following article:

South Marston Parish Council are becoming frustrated with what they see as a lack of co-operation from developers for a proposed 2,380-home expansion.

The application, which was submitted in November of last year, would see an area four times the size of the village marked out for new housing.

While negotiations continue, the parish council hopes its own housing blueprint can be confirmed before a concrete plan is agreed.

The council’s vice chairman Sylvia Brown said: “We are not getting the co-operation we deserve. We have been talking to developers for three years. Every time we ask them to do something in order to move to the next stage they came back with something else. We have had outline applications in the past where significant issues have been glossed over in the detailed application. They are relying on the lack of conditions on outline planning permission to get away with it. That cannot happen with a development of this size.”

Objections lodged by the parish council include a lack of detail in the road network and fears around drainage and flooding.

”We are not objecting to the plans because they are premature, we are simply objecting to the proposals put forward,” Sylvia said.

“The infrastructure in terms of road networks and facilities are inadequate to provide what is required under the Local Plan. The plan is going for examination in public in May, and it is likely this won’t be determined before then because there is so much work to be done. We are happy for it not to be rejected but for discussions to continue.”

A spokesman for David Lock Associates, agents for the application, said: “The area to the east of Swindon has been identified as a potential area for growth for a number of years.

“The Local Plan is being examined by a planning inspector and one area that he will scrutinise will be the deliverability of schemes identified in the plan to meet the housing requirement for Swindon.”

This is Wiltshire: Parish Council backs Honda biomass plans

Logo for 'This is Wiltshire'
This is Wiltshire ran the following article regarding last nights Parish Council meeting:

PLANS for a state-of-the-art energy centre at Honda received a boost at a meeting of South Marston Parish Council last night.

The car manufacturer lodged its plans for a biomass plant on its existing Highworth Road site on December 17.

Consultations on the plans were requested before January 10, but the parish council, which has a long-established working relationship with the Japanese firm, requested an extension for their views to be heard today.

Last night the council met in the village and offered no adverse comments on the plans, which were passed around the meeting. The council offered its full backing for the energy solution.

Barry Thunder said: “There will be a small number of extra trucks coming in and out of the site as a result of the new plant. From the village’s perspective it doesn’t affect us. It is tucked away on the existing site and is no higher than the structures already on the site, which means it won’t affect the skyline.”

The council’s official comments will be added to the planning application, which has a determination date of Friday, March 14.

If successful, the new centre will replace former plans to build three wind turbines, which had been rejected.

Although the centre will take the form of a biomass plant, Honda is keen to stress it is very different from other proposals in Swindon.

The company will bring in recycled wood chip which will then be converted into gas. The heating of this gas then provides the energy.

Julian Bliss, a senior staff engineer at Honda, said the new centre would give the company far more energy security in the long term without affecting residents nearby.

This is Wiltshire – Special planning orders will help to speed up business projects in Swindon

Original article is here:

A SERIES of planning orders are set to be introduced in the South Marston area in an attempt to attract businesses and help them to grow.

Local Development Orders are to be placed on the HondaManufacturing Plant, the South Marston Trading Estate and Keypoint, which is adjacent to the village.

If they are formally adopted then it would mean that companies based on those sites would be able to build non-contentious projects without having to go through the planning process.

Honda would therefore be able to make minor alterations to the plant while businesses on the other site can upgrade their buildings without having to go through the often time consuming process on applying for formal permission.

It is hoped the orders will also act as an incentive to attract new businesses to the area, which will bring new jobs.

There are restrictions on what can be built so companies will have to get a certificate from the council to confirm their works is within the limitations of the Local Development Order.

A number of affected businesses were consulted on the plan, along with the parish council, who all came out in favour once a few minor alterations to ensure neighbouring properties could not be affected by any build works.

Honda have said they are fully supportive of the orders. During the 30 year lifetime of the manufacturing plant, Honda have put in more than 100 low impact planning applications, which can take several months to be accepted.

The council has decided to place the order on the plant in the hope it will give the firm more confidence to invest.

It will allow Honda to make a variety of changes including extensions up to 5,000 square metres and the replacement of existing buildings.

A spokesperson for the car maker said: “We welcome the news that the Local Development Order has been put in place. The new process will enable us to move certain changes through quickly and efficiently, saving time and money.

The Local Development Orders are due to go before the planning committee for approval tonight.

Village Expansion: Comments Required – Updated with slides from Exhibition


Comments can be made by searching ‘Swindon S/OUT/13/1555’, where the full application and a non-technical summary can also be viewed.

Boards from the Developer Exhibition

The Parish Council Expansion Working Group has regularly sought village opinion and worked with Swindon Borough Council to develop a blueprint for development within South Marston village and the wider expansion area.  The two draft Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) are now due to be examined as part of the overall Swindon Borough Local Plan.  We have also been in dialogue with the developers over the last 18 months to try to ensure that what they put forward is the best possible for the village.

The application submitted by the Developers is similar to the SPDs in many ways, but the Parish Council Expansion Working Group has major concerns:

  1. We object to the additional housing taken for residential building at South Marston compared with the SPD, both in numbers and land allocation.   The South Marston SPD proposed just 500 on the developer-controlled land, but this has been increased to 580 in this planning application.   We are already expecting a tripling of the size of the village and wish to retain the village identity.
  2.  The Developer’s figures predict an increase in daily traffic at the Thornhill Road exit onto the A420 at the Sainsbury’s roundabout from 5,108 now to 8,336 in 2026, with a 48% increase during the morning rush hour. They believe that widening the junction will be adequate to deal with this increased flow. We dispute this.  Traffic from Saint Margaret’s Park (Dunelm) increases the difficulty of exiting the junction, and no allowance has been made for Rowborough traffic using the proposed link road to this junction rather than joining the rush hour queue on the A420 at the Carpenter’s Arms.
  3. We object to the proposed link road across the South Marston SPD site which will serve as a route for Rowborough traffic, confirmed by the significant roundabout at its junction with Old Vicarage Lane (OVL).  This is contrary to the Village SPD.  The proposed road never reaches the central parcels of housing development or the intended site of the new Village Hall so is of little value for internal village traffic.   It is also an unwanted opportunity for further development.
  4. We do not understand why there are two roads from Rowborough onto Old Vicarage Lane unless it is to act as an eventual alternative to the provision of the expensive tunnel under the railway for access between the A420 and Rowborough or to more easily feed Rowborough traffic onto the link road
  5. The traffic model assumptions are that no Rowborough traffic will use the link road. We do not accept this. They also assume that the ‘Green Bridge’ over the A419 from the development south of the A420 will be built. What guarantee is there of this?
  6. What is the intended phasing of the development? Is it intended that South Marston will be completed before Rowborough is started? What will be the trigger points for the building of the tunnel from Rowborough onto the A420? The school expansion? The new Community facilities?
  7. The development of a village centre, with appropriate road and footpath links to the development, is the key to providing a sustainable development in SM and should be considered within the planning application rather than as an afterthought. There is virtually nothing about this.  How will it be brought into the plan?  Similarly the development of the land behind the hotel will have an impact on the village centre. Are the developers working with with the owner and his advisers and making every effort to maximise the integration of the plans?
  8. No relevance has been given to preserving views of the Downs, from either village.
  9. What are the plans for preserving existing hedgerows and trees?
  10. Flood risk: Although there are proposals for managing surface water and flooding, what will happen if we have another 2007 event?
  11. School: The location of the expanded school has, in the past, been contentious. The only proposal that is financially acceptable to the Swindon Local Education Authority (LEA) is to expand the existing site, preserving the Victorian part of the building.  This has now been agreed by the Parish Council and is in the Village SPD.  The school Governing Body are starting to look at the implications of implementation with the LEA.  The Developers will have to contribute the major portion of the cost, based on the number of houses being built.

The Developers have been fully aware, for the past two years, of the analysis commissioned by the Borough, including the significant cost differentials for the LEA.  They said nothing then, but are now suggesting that it would be more profitable for them if they built a new school on a new site.  There are significant obstacles to be overcome here and we are not sure whether the developers are serious or trying to deflect village opinion and debate away from the fundamental issues of the traffic routes, and the quality of other infrastructure proposed under their plan.

There will be a significant amount of work to come before the detail of what is built is decided – the Parish Council would welcome volunteers for this

We are also seeking to recruit 2 new Parish Councillors!!  Please contact our Clerk, Amanda Burchell, at

We will also be displaying drawings for the proposed 20mph zone for your comments