The Swindon Local Plan 2026 was finally adopted by the Borough in April 2015.
Policy NC3 provides for a Strategic Development Area to the east of the A419 and straddling the A420 of @ 8,000 houses, known as the New Eastern Villages.
This the currently largest greenfield residential development in Britain.
It was hoped that it would be developed by a single consortium of landowners and developers, but this has not happened. Until recently the Borough’s development planning department was woefully undermanned. This and the absence of any cohesion between the developers means that there is currently no clear overall plan for the area, although we are assured that an infrastructure plan is now in preparation.
Earlier in 2015 it was confirmed that National Government recognised the need for strategic road improvements associated with the development and they are making funding available for a total re-working of the White Hart A419/A420 junction and junction 15 of the M4.
Permission for two major distribution warehouses is likely to be granted for an area to the south of the A420. The Parish Council are pressing to ensure that appropriate footpath/cycleways are provided to meet with the Strategic Route proposed by our Neighbourhood Plan so that villagers can walk and cycle to the new secondary school, District Centre and through to the Downs.
South Marston Parish extends across the A420 to the River Cole. Beyond this, in the Parish of Wanborough, applications have been put in for 3 further development areas: Lotmead (2,000 and 200 houses) and Redlands Airfield (400 houses). Of particular concern is the assumption that traffic will come north onto the A420 before proper provision is made.
To the north of the A420 a consortium of Hallam Land, Hannick Homes and Taylor Wimpy (HHT) have made a single application for development areas adjacent to the village and for the new village at Rowborough. The Swindon Local Plan Policy RA3 counters this providing specific provisions for South Marston village and this policy has been developed further in our draft Neighbourhood Plan.
Despite this, HHT have taken the line that their development areas should be viewed as, effectively, a group of housing estates with no relationship to the village. This has not made for an easy negotiations.
As I write, an amended application is expected to be lodged with the Borough by HHT imminently.
If you would like to become involved in shaping this development, or would simply like further information, please contact the Parish Council Clerk, Claire Penny in the first instance via firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin McEwen 11.12.2015
The Swindon Local Plan 2026 can be viewed on the Swindon Borough Council website or, more simply, by Googling it
The South Marston village Neighbourhood Plan website issouthmarstonplan.com