Village development background

Making South Marston a Great Place to Live

The community, led by the Parish Council, has produced a draft “Neighbourhood Plan” to both mitigate the effects of proposed development and to seize this unique opportunity to shape the expanded village. This note sets out the background.

In April 2015 Swindon Borough Council adopted the Swindon Local Plan that set out the development proposals for the Borough to 2026.
Policy NC3 authorised the development of @8,000 houses in the “New Eastern Villages” (NEV) stretching from immediately south of South Marston village to the Commonhead Roundabout, which is by the Great Western Hospital on the A419.

NC3 includes 500 NEV houses by way of expansion of the village together with smaller strategic sites. A further @1,800 houses are allocated in a new village at Rowborough.

A further Policy, RA3, deals specifically with development at South Marston. This permits additional development of the village, particularly on the “brownfield” sites at Crown Timber and Thornhill Industrial Estate. It also provides for an expanded school and expanded village centre with a new village hall and policies such as that development must contribute towards an integrated village.

The Neighbourhood Plan drew on previous consultation and was amended following a formal village consultation in 2015. It has been submitted to Swindon as the local planning authority and they are now inviting comments on the proposed policies in a second round of consultation. Following this it will undergo an independent examination and, if it passes this hurdle, the village will be asked to vote for or against in a referendum. The Plan and accompanying documents can be viewed at http://www.southmarstonplan.com . In particular the “Consultation” tab provides a more detailed account of the background.

The NEV land north of the A420 is controlled by a consortium, Hallam Land, Hannick Homes and Taylor Wimpy (HHT). Although we have sought to involve them in our thinking and relations remain cordial, we do not see eye to eye on all points. They are currently involved in confidential discussions with the Borough’s planning officers and expect to submit an amended Planning Application shortly and for a decision to be made in April or May. There will be a public consultation and opportunity to comment before the Borough makes a decision.

The potential loss of the hotel’s facilities highlights the importance of maximising the opportunity to obtain adequate facilities in the new Village Hall complex. I am pleased to say that discussions with HHT on its design have resumed and that the village is now able to turn its attention to designing an attractive village centre that is used by all rather than just for organised sport and dog walking.

If you have any questions, please get in touch via Clerk Claire Penny: clerksmpc@southmarston.org.uk

Colin McEwen, Chair of South Marston Parish Council

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