South Swindon MP Robert Buckland says he shares the concerns of nearby residents involved in the battle to prevent 175 homes being built on land next to Lydiard Park.
Mr Buckland voiced his concerns during the third day of the planning inquiry held at the Steam museum yesterday in a bid to prevent the building of houses on a site off Hook Street and next to Lydiard Park.
The plans were rejected by Swindon Council’s planning committee, but following an appeal by Primegate Properties Ltd on behalf of Bovis Homes SW Ltd, a public inquiry began on Tuesday.
To date, the inquiry which has been overseen by planning inspector Geoffrey Hill who was appointed by the Secretary of State, has heard statements from Anthony Crean, representing Swindon Council, and Patrick Clarkson, representing the developers.
Residents have also made their feelings known on the plans.
Mr Buckland said: “Lydiard Park is an important venue for residents in the borough and beyond, this has wider ramifications for the local community.
“I know we have heard from residents within close proximity to the application and they have put forward a number of important points but as the South Swindon MP I speak for a wider community, and it is that community that values Lydiard Park very highly indeed and wants to see its rural character maintained.
“If these plans are to be permitted, the rural character of Hook Street would change dramatically, it would no longer be a rural lane and the entrance to Lydiard Park would dramatically change, and not for the better.”
Mr Buckland expressed ‘deep concerns’ that the development would put extra pressure on the already congested roads leading to junction 16 of the M4, especially during rush hour.
“Already, the road system is under great pressure, meaning rush hour is quite something to be seen,” he said.
“The flow of traffic down Whitehill Way often builds up all the way to Mead Way.
“Junction 16 itself is at capacity and struggling to cope with the existing flow of traffic. It is my concern that this will add to the current burden on the local road network.”
Mr Buckland said that although the provision of local services for residents in the area were ‘unclear’, it was likely that they would be served by the Freshbrook centre.
“This will also add to the congestion and traffic flow in the area,” he said.
Today will be the final day of the meeting, which was originally planned to be held at the council offices but this has now been changed to be held at the Steam museum once again.
The meeting starts at 10am and is expected to run until 4pm.