AN ACTION group has been set up against Swindon Council’s plans to earmark fields near Blunsdon for an estate of 1,650 new homes.
Swindon Council’s final draft of the Local Plan, which sets out policies to guide Swindon’s growth until 2026, includes a new mixed-use development on agricultural land to the south and east of the village, between B4019 Broadbush in Blunsdon and Kingsdown Lane.
The proposal includes up to 1,000 sqm of retail space, a two-form entry primary school and children’s centre, and sport, leisure and community facilities, and its points of access include a new vehicular road bridge crossing the A419 to “connect to the urban area of Swindon”.
Concerned residents have set up Blunsdon Action Group to encourage people to object to the proposal during a public consultation on the Local Plan, which runs until February 21.
They say the development has only been put in due to pressure from developers following what they see as an over-optimistic evaluation of the number of jobs that could be created in Swindon over the next 15 years.
Matt Horan, the group’s spokesman, said: “They’re going to build all these houses and for them to be sustainable they need to have jobs associated with them. I cannot see where jobs associated with the 29,000 houses in the overall plan are going to be, so the overall plan is flawed.”
The group said the plan would ruin the character of Blunsdon, turning it into a suburb of Swindon, and would cause rat-running and congestion in the village, as well as increasing congestion through Highworth and Stanton Fitzwarren.
Coun Dale Heenan, Swindon Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, said: “The proposed development is along Kingsdown Lane east of the A419, and not Blunsdon.
“Every councillor of every political party voted for this latest version in October, and we all understand resident concerns which is why explicit written measures were added.”
He said this included putting a green buffer to keep Blunsdon separate and insisting the developers enforced measures to stop rat-running.
Find Blunsdon Action Group on Facebook or Twitter. For more on the Local Plan, visit www.swindon.gov.uk/localplan