Swindon AdvertiserVictory for people power as 300 villagers object to plans (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Victory for people power as 300 villagers object to plans

Swindon Advertiser: More than 300 residents objected to plans for 103 homes to be built to the east of Marlborough Road in Wroughton More than 300 residents objected to plans for 103 homes to be built to the east of Marlborough Road in Wroughton

WROUGHTON residents have won the first battle against a major new housing development on the outskirts of their village.

At a planning committee meeting on Tuesday, members voted to reject the plans for 103 homes, to be built by developers Hannick Homes to the east of Marlborough Road, by 13 to 2.

More than 300 objections to the plans had been lodged during the consultation period, revolving around traffic congestion, the protection of greenfield land, and the fact the plans fell outside the settlement boundaries in the emerging local plan.

Councillors speaking at the meeting claimed the traffic issues encountered by the plan were inherent.

Coun Wayne Crabbe (Con, Wroughton and Wichelstowe), said: “The road issues contained within this site are unsolvable.

“We have got a housing allocation of 150 houses to be built by 2026, and without any difficulty I have sat down and identified at least six sites, most brownfield, which could contribute to that quota. This site would fill several years of housing supply in one fell swoop.”

Coun Brian Ford (Con, Wroughton and Wichelstowe), said: “Five or six years ago there was a movement by the residents to try to make this road a one way traffic light system, because the road down that hill is just too narrow. This is an accident waiting to happen.

“We have had an increase in housing over the last 25 years of about 25 to 30 per cent. Where are the extra facilities for these new houses going to come from? This will put a huge strain on the existing services and facilities we already have.”

Steve Harcourt, a member working on the neighbourhood local plan for Wroughton, said: “The Wroughton community understands the need for some housing growth.

“We also want to have our say in what size and form that should take, and to that end we are undertaking a neighbourhood plan.

“Developments to the east of the village are particularly disliked. This application is premature before the neighbourhood plan is complete.”

Resident John McEwan was given the opportunity to address the committee.

“Over 300 objections helps to demonstrate that many people in Wroughton are concerned,” he said.

“We are not against development per se. But these proposals are inappropriate, ill-considered and unsustainable.

“We are alarmed that the proposed access is at the road’s narrowest point. It is one of two main roads in and out of the village and frequently used by the emergency services. The road is simply too narrow to accommodate two large vehicles.”

Coun Vera Tomlinson (Con, St Andrews), threw her weight behind the residents.

“I always believe people who live in an area know that area best and what is best for it,” she said. “This application should not only be rejected, it should be thrown out completely.”

Resident David Martyn, speaking after the meeting, said: “There have been a number of robust reasons put together by residents in support of refusal. We are very pleased with the outcome. Now we have to wait and see if the developer will appeal, but nevertheless this is a significant landmark in our progress.”

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