Objections come in against homes bid for Hook Street

Swindon Advertiser: The Hook Street public consultation at Lydiard Park Academy last July The Hook Street public consultation at Lydiard Park Academy last July

ABOUT 150 people have submitted objections to revised plans to build houses on fields near Lydiard Park.

In 2011, plans for 175 homes on land north of Hook Street, next to Grange Park, were thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate on appeal. In July 2012, developer Persimmon Homes held a pre-application public consultation on revised plans for 91 houses.

But the outline planning application which has now been submitted is for a reduced density development with 73 homes. The homes in the revised plans occupy less than half the original site – 3.6 hectares compared to 8.8 hectares – and are sited down the hill to avoid encroaching over the ridge, which was a main objection to the first plan.

During the statutory consultation, Swindon Council received about 150 objections, including ones from the Council for the Protection of Rural England, Friends of Lydiard Park, Lydiard Millicent Parish Council, and Lydiard Tregoze Parish Council. There were only two letters of support.

The concerns raised by the objectors include traffic impact, increased risk of flooding, the impact on views, access problems, and issues around amenities, infrastructure and the environment.

In its submission, the Lydiard Fields Action Group said: “This site is outside the Swindon urban boundary and the inspector’s decision did not necessarily give the green light to development on the lower part of the site.

“In fact his conclusion states that ‘development of the appeal site would not be acceptable: at the local scale and under current circumstances it would undesirably spread urban development into the rural hinterland of Swindon and it would also harm the setting of the registered park and garden’.

“There is strong local opposition to the development which should be given due weight.”

A document submitted with the application on behalf of Persimmon Homes says: “The development of the land off Hook Street offers the opportunity to create an attractive new residential neighbourhood for Swindon. The proposals are aimed at creating a new area of character and quality which responds positively to its setting and integrates with the existing urban area.

“The revised proposals no longer encroach beyond the crest and would retain an open setting to Lydiard Park with a robust landscaped edge.”

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