Category Archives: VIllage development latest news

HHT application: Summary

Having first been submitted in November 2013, the application for 2,380 houses in South Marston and Rowborough was granted by SBC planning committee on 14th November 2017. The outline Planning Permission is constrained by a large number of planning conditions and subject to agreed financial obligations – the developer money required to fund essential infrastructure.  The conditions also state where further work is required under reserved matters applications, prior to detailed planning applications coming forward across the site.

The 98 page report by officers covered the history of the application and the range and nature of consultation responses that had shaped revisions to plans over the past three years.  The Strategic Planning Group gave input to SBC officers in the last couple of weeks over the exact wording of the planning conditions.   An example is the requirement for the new link road from Thornhill Rd to OVL to be in place prior to any building east of the village, to safeguard the village roads from construction traffic.  On behalf of the Parish Council, The PC Chair spoke at the meeting in support of the grant of permission which allows everyone to move onto the next stages.

The headline conditions are:

  • The housing at South Marston is restricted to 500 units, of which 23% will be affordable; at Rowborough it is restricted to 1830 units, of which 23% will be affordable
  • The route of the link road between Thornhill Rd and OVL must be ‘tortuous’ to deter rat-running and run through the relevant housing parcels.  Two roads will connect Rowborough with Old Vicarage Lane, but the most northerly must be designed to deter use of the link road as an alternative to the A420.
  • Primary school provision will be via the expansion of the school site onto the existing Recreation Ground in exchange for compensatory land.  The fall-back position of an additional new school south of the development will not be pursued unless the developers can show the preferred option cannot come forward in a timely fashion.
  • The developers will transfer ownership of the field behind Bell Gardens plus the new allotments at South Marston and Rowborough to SMPC; a management strategy for other open space and green infrastructure will not preclude SMPC taking on further responsibilities should they wish
  • The new eastern access tunnel from Rowborough to the A420 must be constructed and available for use when more than 1,200 houses are built at Rowborough.
  • A ‘Strategic’ Design Code must be developed, consulted upon and agreed in advance of any ‘reserved matters’ planning applications.  The Strategic Code is where proposals for the internal road layout, architectural character, landscaping and open space, foul and surface water drainage, rights of way and related matters can be developed in line with the SM Neighbourhood Plan. More detailed design codes for each housing area must then be submitted and agreed prior to any detailed planning applications being submitted.
  • The design of the road junctions on Thornhill and OVL are subject to further work
  • A phasing plan for completion of different aspects of construction must be submitted and agreed prior to any construction work taking place.
  • Limits on development are subject to the timing for Thames Water to supply fresh water and capacity and infrastructure to cope with waste water and sewer disposal
  • The developers have to ensure that the ‘noise issue’ from Steris has been solved to comply with the outline planning conditions.

The scale of financial planning obligations is more or less as required by the SBC Planning Obligations SPD, with the exception of a reduction in the number of affordable homes on the development and contribution to adult social care.  The amount of funding offered towards developing the Village Centre at South Marston (£1.6 million) is significantly more than the figure required by the SPD.

Whilst two key points in particular – the trigger point at Rowborough for the tunnel and the second road from Rowborough to OVL – are not as we wish, the other conditions and the package of infrastructure obligations are better than we previously anticipated.

Sylvia Brown, on behalf of South Marston Parish Council.

Note from the Clerk: The Parish Council are continuing to work with the developers and Swindon Borough Council and regularly report on progress in the monthly Parish Council meetings. Full minutes of these meetings can be found here Minutes of monthly Council meetings


South Marston says Yes!

At today’s Neighbourhood Plan referendum,  over 95% of those that voted said yes to the Neighbourhood Plan being adopted.

The turnout at 47% exceeded the recent votes for neighbourhood plans in Highworth and Wroughton.

Chair of South Marston Parish Council, Colin McEwen, said “this is a good result for village; it gives us a lever in negotiations with both the developers and the planning officers. 

We would like to thank everybody who voted and in particular, those who contributed to the development of the neighbourhood plan.”



Hotel site fires: Update

Many homes in the village have been affected by smoke from the fires on the old hotel site. The Parish Council, our Borough Councillors and our MP have been informed and have all pressed for action.

On their initial visit Borough officers saw nothing untoward, but they will attend again.

The Parish Council has investigated how this came about and what can be done and a copy of the report is available from the Clerk. The nub of it is that the extent of the nuisance that enables the Borough’s officers to take effective action is a good deal worse than we might wish.

The Borough Public Protection officers have advised the Parish Council that:

• if residents call on 01793 445500 to report significant effects from visible smoke at any time arising from the activities on site then they will always contact them as soon as they are able, and to visit the site if appropriate. However they stress that they are unable to act on the odour arising from the burning which is happening, and can only consider acting where thick smoke is moving into residents homes as a result of the fire(s).
• officers will also proactively visit the site if and when they can to keep an eye on what is happening there
• if local residents consider that there is a real risk of fires becoming out of control, they should dial 999 and ask for the fire service.
• if residents consider that large quantities of unsuitable materials are being burned, such as tyres or plastics, and that toxic smoke is thus being produced; they should contact the Environment Agency on their incident hotline: 0800 807060.

The Parish Council are continuing to monitor the situation and remain in regular communication with Swindon Borough Council and other relevant organisations.

South Marston Hotel: Update

The Old Vicarage section of the Hotel site has been severely damaged by a fire that  started on Friday evening, a week after demolition contractors started work on the site. No other buildings appear to have been affected.

Hotel 29.07.17

It is a condition of the outline planning permission for the site that the building be kept and converted, subject to the usual financial viability test. The Victorian building was listed as a Heritage Asset in our draft Neighbourhood Plan.

Owner Paul Cripps, who is currently here on a visit from his home in Bermuda, attended the scene whilst the fire services were fighting the blaze. He suggested that the fire was probably started by vandals.

Colin McEwen, on behalf of South Marston Parish Council. 29.7.17