Public inquiry into Hook Street development

First published in News by

Giving the go-ahead to a development next to Lydiard Park could open the floodgates to development in West Swindon claim locals.

A long-running battle to prevent the building of 175 homes on a site off Hook Street and adjacent to Lydiard Park is still going on, despite the council planning committee rejecting the plans.

A public inquiry is to be held in April following an appeal by Primegate Properties Ltd on behalf of Bovis Homes SW Ltd.

Residents, councillors and MP Robert Buckland have been left frustrated that this development could still go ahead despite continued opposition to the plans.

Lorraine Williams, a spokeswoman for the Lydiard Fields Action Group said: “There has been considerable concern both locally and among the wider Swindon community about this proposed development and the irreversible impact it will have on Lydiard Country Park.

“The strength of community opposition has led to the formation of Lydiard Fields Action Group which aims to campaign to protect this and other fields surrounding Lydiard Park from inappropriate and opportunistic developments.

“There is a real fear that should this appeal be won by the developer, it will open the floodgates to further building, quickly engulfing and urbanising the park.

“We intend to do all we can to ensure that the concerns of the community are heard and we hope to raise these at the forthcoming inquiry.”

Mr Buckland, MP for South Swindon, said: “I am disappointed they have chosen to appeal the decision. I campaigned hard against the proposed development and it is my aim to be called to speak at the inquiry and voice my concerns as well as those of the local residents against this development.”

The public inquiry will start at the Steam Museum on April 5 and will be there for three days before moving to the Civic Offices in Euclid Street on April 8.

An inspector appointed by the Secretary of State will attend to decide the appeal.

Members of the public may attend the inquiry and at the inspector’s discretion express their views.

The proposals were unanimously refused by the authority’s planning committee last month after more than 200 residents wrote to object.

“It has been a nuisance that this has dragged on so long, it is now entirely up to the inspector,” said Michael Bray, councillor for Freshbrook and Grange Park.

“We are very confident the appeal will fail but we are looking at it very carefully and looking to do our own transport surveys because the road is used as a rat run.”

Michael Dickinson, also a councillor for Freshbrook and Grange Park said: “I hope this is the opportunity to kill the plan off.

“I hope the inspector listens to the local residents, I don’t think you will find anybody who wants what is an absolutely appalling plan.”

Comments (6)

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10:31am Tue 22 Mar 11

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Don't really see any reasons why they should turn this plan down and then approve the other developments at Commonhead, Tadpole lane and South Marston. Can anyone explain what is different about this location?
Don't really see any reasons why they should turn this plan down and then approve the other developments at Commonhead, Tadpole lane and South Marston. Can anyone explain what is different about this location? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

11:49am Tue 22 Mar 11

bobthebulder says...

I cannot see why these NIMBYs have such an issue with building on this field. This development site is next door to Hillmead, Greendown Secondary School, Windmill Hill Business Park, and the urban park of Lydiard Park. So on three sides it is surrounded by urban life.

The developers have incorporatated into their plans a footpath / cyclepath which will enable people from Freshbrook Toothill, Hillmead, Grange Park to safely walk to Lydiard Park instead of using Hook Street. This same path will allow safe cycling and walking access to the Freshbrook Village Centre.

On checking the history of this land it use to be part of Windmill Leaze farm which was a local dairy farm. It was never in the past 50 years part of Lydiard Park.

I have also walked many times in Lydiard Park along the boundary to this filed and can inform you that you will not be able to see this development from Lydiard Park due to the trees which surround the park.

Swindon seem to forget that this was the site back in the 1970s where Wiltshire Council wanted to build a new secondary school for Swindon. Look up the Evening Advertiser archives and you will see that the Council at this time wanted to build on this land.

It appears to me that Swindon Councillors are effectively saying that Swindon is closed for business by turning down the planning applications at Coate, and this planning application.

Why listen to these NIMBYS they now live in houses on the land which previously adjoined this field. If they were listened to back in the 1970 / 80 s their houses would not have been built.

The NIMBYS also appear to have little knowledge of Hook Street , as the consistantly state that the road by this fileld is single tracked. In the 20 years I have been driving along Hook Street the road by this field is two carriageways wide.

One of the best things about building here is that the new road layout planned with this development will slow urban man and woman down as they go along this road between Swindon and the urban park of Lydiard Park.

Please Planning Inspoectorate see the common sense and grant this site planning permission.
I cannot see why these NIMBYs have such an issue with building on this field. This development site is next door to Hillmead, Greendown Secondary School, Windmill Hill Business Park, and the urban park of Lydiard Park. So on three sides it is surrounded by urban life. The developers have incorporatated into their plans a footpath / cyclepath which will enable people from Freshbrook Toothill, Hillmead, Grange Park to safely walk to Lydiard Park instead of using Hook Street. This same path will allow safe cycling and walking access to the Freshbrook Village Centre. On checking the history of this land it use to be part of Windmill Leaze farm which was a local dairy farm. It was never in the past 50 years part of Lydiard Park. I have also walked many times in Lydiard Park along the boundary to this filed and can inform you that you will not be able to see this development from Lydiard Park due to the trees which surround the park. Swindon seem to forget that this was the site back in the 1970s where Wiltshire Council wanted to build a new secondary school for Swindon. Look up the Evening Advertiser archives and you will see that the Council at this time wanted to build on this land. It appears to me that Swindon Councillors are effectively saying that Swindon is closed for business by turning down the planning applications at Coate, and this planning application. Why listen to these NIMBYS they now live in houses on the land which previously adjoined this field. If they were listened to back in the 1970 / 80 s their houses would not have been built. The NIMBYS also appear to have little knowledge of Hook Street , as the consistantly state that the road by this fileld is single tracked. In the 20 years I have been driving along Hook Street the road by this field is two carriageways wide. One of the best things about building here is that the new road layout planned with this development will slow urban man and woman down as they go along this road between Swindon and the urban park of Lydiard Park. Please Planning Inspoectorate see the common sense and grant this site planning permission. bobthebulder
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Tue 22 Mar 11

I Too says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Don't really see any reasons why they should turn this plan down and then approve the other developments at Commonhead, Tadpole lane and South Marston. Can anyone explain what is different about this location?
I'm guessing, it's a combination of where particular councillors live/represent and 106 monies going to Witshire not SBC?

Seems a bit hypercritical to promote development over an AONB (Coate), but protest about sprawl added to sprawl
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: Don't really see any reasons why they should turn this plan down and then approve the other developments at Commonhead, Tadpole lane and South Marston. Can anyone explain what is different about this location?[/p][/quote]I'm guessing, it's a combination of where particular councillors live/represent and 106 monies going to Witshire not SBC? Seems a bit hypercritical to promote development over an AONB (Coate), but protest about sprawl added to sprawl I Too
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Tue 22 Mar 11

Mr Blackwell says...


Residents, councillors and MP Robert Buckland have been left frustrated that this development could still go ahead despite continued opposition to the plans.

This situation simply serves to highlight what most informed people already know about this planning decisions... they are NOT made by the local council, they are NOT made via petitions and even the local MPs can't do anything about them.
.
If the planning applications meet legal requirements, the developers know full well that the Planning Inspectorate will approve them.
.
The critical local aspects of such developments, for example, in this case, the fact that overdevelopment around the M4 J16 means it already ceases to function from around 4.30pm to 6pm on weekdays, are simply be ignored. As are the wishes and concerns of residents, councillors and MPs.
[quote] Residents, councillors and MP Robert Buckland have been left frustrated that this development could still go ahead despite continued opposition to the plans. [/quote] This situation simply serves to highlight what most informed people already know about this planning decisions... they are NOT made by the local council, they are NOT made via petitions and even the local MPs can't do anything about them. . If the planning applications meet legal requirements, the developers know full well that the Planning Inspectorate will approve them. . The critical local aspects of such developments, for example, in this case, the fact that overdevelopment around the M4 J16 means it already ceases to function from around 4.30pm to 6pm on weekdays, are simply be ignored. As are the wishes and concerns of residents, councillors and MPs. Mr Blackwell
  • Score: 0

1:01am Wed 23 Mar 11

I Too says...

Which still leaves the question of why they protest about this development, whilst promoting others of equal, if not greater sensitivity
Which still leaves the question of why they protest about this development, whilst promoting others of equal, if not greater sensitivity I Too
  • Score: 0

10:14am Wed 23 Mar 11

Grimwald says...

Isn't Councillor Peter Greenhalgh Lead Member for Planning as well as being Councillor for Freshbrook and Grange Park? So didn't he know about this interest way before anyone else? Surely this amounts to a conflict of interest?
Isn't Councillor Peter Greenhalgh Lead Member for Planning as well as being Councillor for Freshbrook and Grange Park? So didn't he know about this interest way before anyone else? Surely this amounts to a conflict of interest? Grimwald
  • Score: 0

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