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Controversial plans for Ridgeway Farm development go on show
Buy this photo » Ian Francis and Mark Simpson discuss the proposed development
RESIDENTS have turned out to give their views on controversial plans to build 700 homes on Swindon’s doorstep.
Taylor Wimpey won on appeal for its Ridgeway Farm proposal for a 700-house mixed development on land that falls under Wiltshire Council jurisdiction, just north of Peatmoor.
The Secretary of State approved the buildings in the face of fierce opposition from residents in Purton and Swindon, on both sides of the local authorities’ fences.
They held a consultation yesterday to show plans of what they have in mind for the site before a detailed planning application is submitted.
Andy Cattermole, senior planner for Taylor Wimpey, was on hand with an army of advisers to talk residents with through the plans.
He said: “Following the permission granted by the Secretary of State we want to make sure we consult with the residents and keep them informed every step of the way. We are not going to shy away from the fact that these were controversial plans but it is about working together now.
“Wiltshire Council have a housing shortage and Taylor Wimpey have been interested in this land for some time.
“The dividing line between Wiltshire and Swindon is the Purton Road and through the section 106 money that was outlined in the plans, both Wiltshire and Swindon will benefit.”
John Bennett, of Lydiard Millicent, said his main concerns were the increase in traffic.
He said: “The development is going to happen we have accepted that and now it is about planning damage limitation.
“I have three concerns that I have been asking about and they are all to do with the traffic flow.”
Taylor Wimpey has said that there will be a contribution of £395,580 to highways.
That will be split between £345,580 towards congestion reduction on the Mead Way corridor and £50,000 towards amenity improvement in the vicinity of the site at the Western section of Purton Road to be retained, Swinley Drive, and the junction of Purton Road and Washpool.
Coun Nick Martin (Shaw, Con) has always opposed the plans and has said the council was being forced to plan for infrastructure changes for which it will gain no recompense as the site is on Wiltshire Council land.
He said: “It is a very sore subject. Swindon is providing all the amenities and Wiltshire Council will collect the council tax.
“All we seem to get is piggy-back applications and there is no interest or enthusiasm by developers to pay for the necessary roads.”