Strong resistance to homes proposal

A group of residents in Wroughton who are campaigning against a developer’s plans to build 103 homes

A group of residents in Wroughton who are campaigning against a developer’s plans to build 103 homes

First published in News

HUNDREDS of objections have been submitted by Wroughton residents and outside agencies about plans to build on fields behind Marlborough Road.

Residents say they are particularly concerned that the plan to build up to 103 homes to the east of Marlborough Road may put pedestrians’ lives at risk on an already dangerous thoroughfare, and potentially see existing homes underwater.

Cathy Martyn is one of the residents most concerned about the increase in traffic along Marlborough Road, plans to insert a T-junction access road and the perceived risk to pedestrians.

The 46-year-old said: “The pavement is already very narrow and if a car goes past and you’re carrying shopping, you have to turn sideways to let the car go past. “It’s the same if you are walking with a child and a car goes past, you have to hold their hand and have them walk in front of you or behind you.

“It’s not even wide enough for a wheelchair.

“And if it’s a lorry, they have wing mirrors which overhang the pavement.”

At the moment, on-road parking along Marlborough Road acts as a buffer to pedestrians walking along the narrow pavements as vehicles drive down Brimble Hill.

But with the development, on-road parking will disappear, providing more room for more vehicles.

Coun Wayne Crabbe (Con, Wroughton and Wichelstowe) said: “All the councillors, no matter their political affiliations, are in agreement against this. Currently parked cars are enough to protect pedestrians crossing the road or walking along pavements, acting as a buffer. “At the moment it just means that every so often we lose a car, but if they take them away then it could be a mother and a child.”

A secondary concern is that if the development goes ahead, existing residents could see their homes underwater as the work develops on a natural sponge.

Even a flood risk assessment commissioned by Hannick Homes indicated that there was some risk of flooding from rising groundwater, and recommended that the ground floor of dwellings should be at least 150mm above ground level to mitigate this.

In the report, environmental consultants Enzygo said: “The secondary flooding source will only inundate the site to a relatively low water depth and water velocity, will only last a short period of time, in very extreme cases, and will not have an impact on the whole of the proposed development site. It is recommended that a precautionary approach is taken whereby internal finished floor levels of all proposed building footprints are located at a minimum of 150mm above external levels to mitigate secondary flooding sources.”

But although this will protect the new homes, Cathy said that it will not protect existing homeowners from the floods.

She said: “The water table is naturally very high here, it’s only 30cm below the surface so if it rains, then we flood, and the fields they want to build on are already saturated. In the summer while everyone else has hosepipe bans we don’t have to worry because the ground is so wet.”

Resident of 38 years David Bryant said: “The fields act as a natural sponge at the bottom of all the surrounding hills, and soak everything up.

“But some of our houses’ foundations are below ground level, and without the fields taking the water then our houses could flood.”

To view the application plans, visit http://pa.swindon.gov.uk/publicaccess/search.do and search for S/OUT/13/1862 To find out more about the residents’ objections, or to get in touch, email councillor Ann Richards at ann.richards@live.com

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:29am Mon 3 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

Average age of those in the picture about 102! And every singe one has chosen to forget that at some time or other their house was a field too!
Average age of those in the picture about 102! And every singe one has chosen to forget that at some time or other their house was a field too! house on the hill
  • Score: -1

8:51am Mon 3 Mar 14

Logos1863 says...

In light of concerns (amongst the many others) about potential flooding, this seems like a relevant and timely issue. There has been flooding not far from that site and given recent events of widespread flooding, this seems fair enough to highlight. Not all residents/locals are elderly or retired. Perhaps reading the article and thinking rather than just looking at the pictures (you can do that, right?) may offer a better context. Housebuilding prior to the most recent squeeze/bubble (fuelled by ultra low rates and lending to anyone to keep it all going - i.e. 'help to buy') was probably less desperate in terms of chucking up rabbit hutches anywhere - flogging it off and moving on. There's a large development not far away built on a flood plain and in all sorts of trouble by the looks of it...
In light of concerns (amongst the many others) about potential flooding, this seems like a relevant and timely issue. There has been flooding not far from that site and given recent events of widespread flooding, this seems fair enough to highlight. Not all residents/locals are elderly or retired. Perhaps reading the article and thinking rather than just looking at the pictures (you can do that, right?) may offer a better context. Housebuilding prior to the most recent squeeze/bubble (fuelled by ultra low rates and lending to anyone to keep it all going - i.e. 'help to buy') was probably less desperate in terms of chucking up rabbit hutches anywhere - flogging it off and moving on. There's a large development not far away built on a flood plain and in all sorts of trouble by the looks of it... Logos1863
  • Score: 6

9:46am Mon 3 Mar 14

BCDR99 says...

What exactly is the matter with forcing developers to build houses on the numerous brown field sites scattered all over town?

Why does every bit of green land seem to be earmarked for new houses at the moment?

Surely, a brown field site has got to be easier as the infrastructure is mostly in place and may require some upgrading only rather than a complete new build? They managed to build and open a Morrisons store in a few months and the houses on the old railway ground off Shrivenham Road went up pretty quickly.
What exactly is the matter with forcing developers to build houses on the numerous brown field sites scattered all over town? Why does every bit of green land seem to be earmarked for new houses at the moment? Surely, a brown field site has got to be easier as the infrastructure is mostly in place and may require some upgrading only rather than a complete new build? They managed to build and open a Morrisons store in a few months and the houses on the old railway ground off Shrivenham Road went up pretty quickly. BCDR99
  • Score: 13

9:56am Mon 3 Mar 14

Always Grumpy says...

Oh, the old flooding argument rears it's ugly head yet again!
Strange the so called flood plains in Swindon haven't actually flooded, despite the odd shower or two lately.
Oh, the old flooding argument rears it's ugly head yet again! Strange the so called flood plains in Swindon haven't actually flooded, despite the odd shower or two lately. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 2

10:40am Mon 3 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

I hadnt noticed these fields flooded in the recent wet weather.
As for stating that parked cars are used as a buffer, are kids not shown at school the dangers of crossing between parked cars?
In parts of old town the issue of limited walkway space is a huge issue around schools and families. As this is such a pressing concern maybe limit numbers with residents parking only and improving pathways could be done while the development is put in place.
As stated above every development started with a field.
The Regent circus development has gone ahead with little or no injuries to the public I would of thought the potential for incidents there would be higher.
I hadnt noticed these fields flooded in the recent wet weather. As for stating that parked cars are used as a buffer, are kids not shown at school the dangers of crossing between parked cars? In parts of old town the issue of limited walkway space is a huge issue around schools and families. As this is such a pressing concern maybe limit numbers with residents parking only and improving pathways could be done while the development is put in place. As stated above every development started with a field. The Regent circus development has gone ahead with little or no injuries to the public I would of thought the potential for incidents there would be higher. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: -3

3:10pm Mon 3 Mar 14

twasadawf says...

Build out the areas that have planning(hundreds if not thousands of plots in and around swindon) before encroaching on those nimby's around swindon
Build out the areas that have planning(hundreds if not thousands of plots in and around swindon) before encroaching on those nimby's around swindon twasadawf
  • Score: 1

6:08pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Wildwestener says...

Good Luck but with Eric Pickles as ultimate planning supremo, you've got zero chance folks. They don't give a stuff what local people want. It's a policy called localism I believe !!!
Good Luck but with Eric Pickles as ultimate planning supremo, you've got zero chance folks. They don't give a stuff what local people want. It's a policy called localism I believe !!! Wildwestener
  • Score: -1

6:36pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Another example of not in my back yard????
If it was resident only parking it would eliminate the blocked pathways meaning people can walk side by side. This seems to be one of the main points solved also when were these houses last flooded? would be worth a study other than burst mains I cant find anything.
103 new homes in a lovely area with access to main roads, parks and schools this would be a desirable location, bringing money into the town. Surely the area would need to be surveyed and consultants called in to investigate any future health and safety issues?

So if there was no risk of flooding and the pathways were cleared would there still be resistance to the project?
Another example of not in my back yard???? If it was resident only parking it would eliminate the blocked pathways meaning people can walk side by side. This seems to be one of the main points solved also when were these houses last flooded? would be worth a study other than burst mains I cant find anything. 103 new homes in a lovely area with access to main roads, parks and schools this would be a desirable location, bringing money into the town. Surely the area would need to be surveyed and consultants called in to investigate any future health and safety issues? So if there was no risk of flooding and the pathways were cleared would there still be resistance to the project? Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: -1

8:11pm Mon 3 Mar 14

villageoldman says...

Nice to see in the photo no cars , vans parked on the pavement. Must have known the photographer was coming. Can't sell the houses 1mile away ,why build more!! (Front Garden).
Nice to see in the photo no cars , vans parked on the pavement. Must have known the photographer was coming. Can't sell the houses 1mile away ,why build more!! (Front Garden). villageoldman
  • Score: 1

11:43pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Eastern Badger says...

It's sad to see the comments on this - there are permissions for 4,500 homes at Wichelstowe nearby but houses not being built because of infrastructure problems (created by the Borough Council). This should not be a green light for every developer with an option on a bit of cheap farmland by a road to develop. Swindon Borough Council should get a grip - this drift in policy and leadership is causing unnecessary problems throughout the borough. Good luck to objectors - at least NIMBY's care about their back yard which judging from comments many do not.
It's sad to see the comments on this - there are permissions for 4,500 homes at Wichelstowe nearby but houses not being built because of infrastructure problems (created by the Borough Council). This should not be a green light for every developer with an option on a bit of cheap farmland by a road to develop. Swindon Borough Council should get a grip - this drift in policy and leadership is causing unnecessary problems throughout the borough. Good luck to objectors - at least NIMBY's care about their back yard which judging from comments many do not. Eastern Badger
  • Score: 2

8:03am Tue 4 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Is it not more about protecting village life?
The town needs money to be able to move forward as pointed out in other posts the Wichelstowe site is not ready to take 4,500 homes but 103 homes that will sell are in a great area with infrastructure in place.

I dont know this as fact but guessing that 103 homes will be easier to get into a ready to sell state than 4,5000, lets get the money in maybe that could be used to ensure the Wichelstowe site will be able to take these new homes?

Would be nice to hear an honest comment and just admit you down want a housing estate near your village?
Is it not more about protecting village life? The town needs money to be able to move forward as pointed out in other posts the Wichelstowe site is not ready to take 4,500 homes but 103 homes that will sell are in a great area with infrastructure in place. I dont know this as fact but guessing that 103 homes will be easier to get into a ready to sell state than 4,5000, lets get the money in maybe that could be used to ensure the Wichelstowe site will be able to take these new homes? Would be nice to hear an honest comment and just admit you down want a housing estate near your village? Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree