CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new scaled-down development near Lydiard Park went on display today.
Last year plans for 175 homes on land north of Hook Street, next to Grange Park, were thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate on appeal.
Pegasus Planning Group, on behalf of Persimmon Homes, is proposing to build 91 houses, 30 per cent of which is earmarked as affordable.
It marks a significant reduction in previous plans, with the consultants saying that they have listened to the inspectors’ criticism of the last plan and have adapted it accordingly.
Pegasus, the firm behind the successful Coate Water homes appeal, said that the plans no longer encroached over the ridge, which was a main argument of those opposed to the plan, and that it would not impose itself on Lydiard Park, with a landscaped edge of trees.
Glenn Godwin, planning consultant for Pegasus, said: “We have taken the points set out by the inspector and have worked on them.
“We had the report back and one of the reasons it was rejected was because of the site of the ridge and the development faced the park, so we have scaled it back and use the ridge as our line.
“There were over 200 objections before so we are not expecting everyone to be happy about this, but we are holding a consultation to answer peoples questions.
“That is why we have held it over two days as well to allow as many people to come as possible.”
Residents and councillors have said they are already preparing to fight the application, which also includes a purpose-built storm water run-off and new walking and cycling links.
Lydiard Fields Action Group convenor David Barnard described news of the proposal as extremely disappointing.
He said: “Despite the council’s and inspector’s refusal of last year’s application, it is disheartening to think that we have yet another battle on our hands so soon.”
Ward councillor Cindy Matthews said: “It’s concerning that it is the same firm that won the Coate Water appeal. “What I’m also worried about is that once they develop one half of the site they will just want to develop the rest.
“This land is outside the local plan and building on it should be out of the question.”
Pegasus will be hosting the second day of the public consultation tomorrow at Lydiard Park Academy between 4pm and 8pm.