RESIDENTS are ecstatic after the final nail was put in the coffin for plans to build nearly 200 homes near Lydiard Park.
An appeal was submitted against Swindon Council’s decision to reject plans to build more than 175 new homes in Hook Street on the country park’s doorstep.
The proposals, by Primegate Properties (Hooknorth) Ltd, were unanimously refused by the council’s planning committee in October after more than 200 residents wrote to object.
The company appealed and a public inquiry was held last month.
The proposal has now been killed off after a Government-appointed planning inspector dismissed the appeal stating the development would not be acceptable.
Geoffrey Hill, the inspector appointed by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said in his report: “Development of the appeal site would not be acceptable.
“At the local scale and under current circumstances it would undesirably spread urban development into the rural hinterland of Swindon and it would also harm the setting of the registered park and garden.
“Accordingly, the appeal should be dismissed.
The community came together to fight against the proposals from day one and are delighted with the result.
David Barnard, organiser of the Lydiard Fields Action Group (LFAG), said: “It’s great news.
“I think when the community does rally together and identifies a common cause it is a very powerful force and we should do that more often.
“If you just sit back and don’t get involved things happen that you don’t want and suddenly you could have a supermarket behind you.”
Grange Park resident Barrie Brocks, a vocal campaigner since the initial application, said: “I’m chuffed – it was just common sense.
“It just goes to show the effort of the council and the residents of LFAG.”
South Swindon MP, Robert Buckland, attended the inquiry and fought hard alongside residents to keep the development away from one of the town’s biggest assets.
“I am absolutely delighted,” he said.
“I would like to pay tribute to all the residents and councillors who all worked tirelessly and really got behind this campaign. It just shows what a community can do when it gets together and rolls its sleeves up.
“This wasn’t just a local issue it was an all Swindon issue, Lydiard is a jewel in the crown for Swindon which can still be enjoyed by everyone thanks to this decision.
“I hope this will bring an end to speculative applications in the area.”
“It’s a shame we have had to go to such a great extent to defend what we know in our own minds.”
Coun Peter Greenhalgh (Con, Freshbrook and Grange Park) and cabinet member for planning, said: “I think Swindon was able to demonstrate the proposed site was not within our local development local plan boundaries.”