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Residents still in the dark on development
8:30am Monday 3rd September 2012 in News
RESIDENTS in Wroughton are disappointed that they are still waiting for updates from Swindon Council on the impact that the Wichelstowe development will have on their village, three months after a public meeting was held.
The meeting was called for residents to discuss changes to plans for Wichelstowe, which they said would have a detrimental impact on their village.
More than 150 people living near the 4,500-home development between Wroughton and Old Town attended the meeting on May 24 and their main concerns centred around the proposed realignment of the Croft Road to Hay Lane Link to save £3m.
Residents also criticised the decision to build a tunnel under the M4 and said the changes made the road less attractive to motorists and were likely to lead to increased traffic in Wharf Road and Mill Lane and more accidents as a result. But they say they are stilll waiting to hear an update from Swindon Council.
A spokesperson for the People of Wroughton Campaign Team said: “Following the public meeting on May 24, there have been no updates from Swindon Council on their agreed action points.
“We are still waiting to hear about revised costing for a bridge which would keep most traffic accessing and passing through Wichelstowe north of the M4. The council had also agreed to do new traffic surveys to inform their proposal.
“As a village, our concerns remain that our rural buffer around Wharf Road should be protected from any increased traffic flows and further development.
“We are now waiting to see what happens next. We will need our community to come together again to protect our village from increased traffic/safety risks and maintain our separate identity and rural character.”
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “We held a series of consultation sessions between March and May to present the next phase of the Wichelstowe development.
“A number of residents raised questions, while ward councillors also raised some concerns. Although most of the questions were addressed at the time, or in writing on the Wichelstowe and South Locality websites, ward councillors and council officers took the remaining points away to consider. However, no commitment was made to undertake new traffic surveys.
“A feasibility study looking at alternative access options to Wichelstowe such as a bridge or tunnel is being considered, but is likely to take some time to complete. We are therefore not in a position to present any potential costs.
“Further discussions with Wroughton residents will take place before any design code application is made.”
The group’s campaign has received support from South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, councillors, Vision4Wroughton and Wroughton Parish Council and more than 1,500 people have signed their petition – 20 per cent of the village.
There is still time to sign the petition, with copes available in the Ellendune Community Centre, Berry’s butchers and both village pharmacies. For more information visit the Facebook page ‘People of Wroughton’.