Your Parish Council is pleased to announce that The South Marston Neighbourhood Plan has passed one more hurdle with the independent examiner judging it as ‘sound’ in planning terms. Following a very lengthy examination stage, the final report has now been published (South Marston NP Final Report 7.4.17).
The examiner complimented the plan, commenting ‘I can see that the Parish Council and its volunteers have put in a great deal of hard work into the submission of the plan and the supporting documents. The plan is well presented and clear; and seeks to represent the local community’s aspirations, which it does well’.
The examiner recommended that 7 of the original 14 policies in the plan should be adopted without change. A further 4 policies should be adopted in the amended versions agreed by the Borough and the Parish Council in September 2016. The remaining policies have been proposed for amendment in line with wording proposed by the major developers in South Marston. None of these proposed amendments should seriously impact on the integrity of the policies which reflect what villagers said were their priorities during the many consultations that led up to the plan submission in January 2016.
The next stage is for Swindon Borough to agree to the amendments as recommended by the examiner and then the plan will be ready to submit to a referendum of parish residents. If the referendum vote produces a simple majority vote in favour of the plan, it will become a key document in decisions on the raft of planning applications anticipated in the parish over the next few years.
Parish Councillors will be holding another information event in May on the same date as the Annual Parish Meeting. This will provide updates on the current position relating to development in our parish and the contribution of various organisations to village life.
The March 2017 report from the independent examiner is here.
HHT have submitted an amended application to the Borough that is displayed on the Swindon Planning Portal, Application S/OUT/13/1555.
Comments should be submitted by the 22nd March.
The “Letter from the Agent” explains that the application and all the new information relates to an extension of the new village of Rowborough to the East, the overall number of houses is not increased and in all other respects the application remains as submitted last year.
As always, residents are encouraged to put in their own responses, but if there are any points that you would like the Parish Council to make, please contact us via the Clerk .
The developers of the proposed Energy Centre at Keypoint have submitted further papers that can be viewed on the Swindon Planning Portal under reference S/16/1055.
Responses should be submitted to the Borough Council by the 15th December.
The Parish Council’s planning group have prepared a note for the Parish Council analysing the traffic issues raised and recommending that the Parish Council repeat their previous concerns and objection.
The note can be viewed here.
Swindon Borough Council have confirmed that two supplementary planning documents were formally adopted at Planning Committee on 11th October 2016.
The documents (Planning Obligations and Travel Framework) include the Masterplan, the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) as it relates to the New Eastern Villages and the Diversity Impact Assessment (DIA).
The SPD sets out a comprehensive approach for dealing with the development of the NEV, including the provision of infrastructure necessary to create a sustainable development as required by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
In an effort to reduce the amount of paper they produce they are not printing many hard copies of the document. The SPD is available for public inspection at the Council Offices or can be seen here www.swindon.gov.uk/spd (At the bottom of the page)
If you would like to purchase a hard copy or require further information, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Angela Clack on 01793 466370.
The Planning Officer at the Borough dealing with Hotel site has sent the Parish Council the following update:
Further to my previous email, the submitted demolition application and relevant legislation have been reviewed and assessed. Whilst the level of concern from residents is acknowledged, the Local Planning Authority (LPA) have limited control when determining prior notification applications for demolition; and can only assess the method of demolition and any proposed restoration of the site. In addition to supplying these details to the LPA they are required display a site notice to inform the public that an application has been made to the LPA in relation to the demolition; which we understand has been done.
The LPA have 28 days to consider whether prior approval is required. If approved, the LPA then consider whether the proposed method of demolition and restoration is acceptable and whether any conditions are required. If no decision is made within 28 days, the demolition may proceed without prior approval.
The concerns from residents primarily relate to the impact on the village in terms of traffic, noise, pollution and safety to pedestrians; particularly due to the Old Vicarage Lane railway bridge being closed until 16th December 2016. Further details were sought from the applicant to clarify the proposed schedule of demolition and preferred route for the construction traffic. Their response states that a license is required from Natural England to undertake the demolition work, which can take up to 3 weeks. The suggested date of 24th November 2016 is therefore the earliest predicted start date. The applicants have also indicated that the preferred route for construction traffic is from the A420 and Old Vicarage Lane. Whilst the railway bridge is expected to be closed until 16th December, the first few weeks work would be largely taken up stripping out the internal fixtures and fittings, and as a result heavy machinery would not be required at this stage. The applicants have also stated that waste can be stored on site until the Old Vicarage Lane railways bridge reopens on 16th December 2016, so as to avoid sending larger vehicles via Pound Corner.
Upon reviewing the application, the LPA broadly consider the method of demolition to be acceptable and propose to condition the construction operating hours. The current recommendation is therefore that prior approval is required and given.
The Parish Council are continuing to liaise with the Borough on the issues raised by the planning application itself and in particular the retention the “Old Vicarage” building.
The latest Application to demolish the Hotel buildings show that the substantial Victorian building that gave its name to Old Vicarage Lane is to be preserved.
The Prior Notice for the Proposed Demolition has been lodged with the Borough Council and can be viewed here
The Parish Council is reviewing the proposed conditions and in particular will be emphasising that no heavy traffic should come through the centre of the village. Councillor Russell Holland has written to the Planning officer asking that, if possible, no action should be taken until the planning application has been determined. However, as the buildings are not “Listed”, the powers of the planning system to prevent an action that does not involve a new use are very limited.
Parish Council Chair, Colin McEwen, said “This highlights both the strength and weakness of the draft Neighbourhood Plan. We were not able to insist that the Club was kept open, but citing the Old Vicarage as a Heritage Building has provided evidence for it to be retained to provide a focal point amongst the proposed modern housing.”
The Parish Council submitted their formal response to the application last month.
Details of the response are below and can also be seen on the Swindon Borough Planning portal along with responses from other statutory consultees and members of the public. The planning reference is S/OUT/13/1555
S-OUT-13-1555 Parish Council response