Swindon AdvertiserHomes a key issue (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Homes a key issue

HOUSING developments are the main issues for the three councillors to be elected in the new Blunsdon St Andrew ward.

The ward, comprised of some parts of the existing Blunsdon and Abbey Meads wards, covers Redhouse, Blunsdon St Andrew, St Andrew’s Ridge, Ash Brake and Tadpole Farm.

Stuart Boyd, chairman of Blunsdon Parish Council, said the main issue was developer Crest Nicholson’s plans to build a 1,700-home development at Tadpole Farm.

Swindon Council has so far received more than 500 letters or emails of objection compared to nine letters of support, and the parish councils of Haydon Wick and Blunsdon have also objected, with the latter submitting a 175-name petition.

Mr Boyd said the road infrastructure was not suitable to serve the number of vehicles that would be generated, causing congestion on the junction between Oakhurst Way and Thamesdown Drive, and between Ermin Street in Blunsdon and the B4019 outside The Cold Harbour pub.

Mr Boyd said: “I think the electors will be looking at whoever is elected to continue the opposition.

“I think perhaps you could enlarge upon that and say if it went ahead, they should be looking for improvements in the infrastructure to lessen the impact of the development.”

Mr Boyd said residents also want the new councillors to tackle problems in Redhouse, including unadopted roads and parking problems.

The Adver reported this month that Redhouse residents felt let down by developer Crest Nicholson, which promised them a square bustling with shops, offices, restaurants, bistros, pub and church.

But, 10 years on, they say they have been left with a litter-strewn centre, a lack of community facilities and no church, pub or restaurant anywhere in sight.

CREST Nicholson has defended it proposals for Tadpole Farm.

John Terry, managing director Crest Strategic Projects, said the council’s Core Strategy identified the sustainability of the site.

“To mitigate the development impact on local infrastructure, we have worked with the council to develop a comprehensive traffic-calming scheme,” he said. “This is intended to slow traffic on Tadpole Lane and deter rat-running traffic travelling to/from the A419.

“We’re confident that the access strategy coupled with this very robust travel plan and the increased bus service provision will ensure there is no worsening of traffic congestion.”

In relation to Redhouse, Tim Beale, MD of Crest Nicholson South West, said: “Crest Nicholson has delivered a number of units for commercial development at the Redhouse Village Centre.

“However, as with many areas of the country, the economic climate has caused a significant reduction in the demand for commercial space. With this in mind, we are in negotiations with Swindon Council to discuss other viable options.”

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