A LOCAL councillor has said a controversial housing proposal in North Swindon is worth consideration as it may bring a number of benefits to the area.

Last month, DPDS Consulting Group put in a planning application to build 350 homes on the Abbey Farm site, just north of Tadpole Lane and Lady Lane.

As well as the houses, there are also plans to build a primary school, a recreation area and a shop.

Initially the company held its own public consultation in June to display the plans which originally did not contain provision for a school.

Blunsdon Parish Council has already spoken out against the proposal which it say falls outside land agreed for development under the Local Plan. It believes DPDS is attempting to get in its application before the Local Plan is adopted and it will not be able to get permission.

The local ward councillors expressed concern about the development at the time but Coun Vera Tomlinson (Con, Blunsdon and St Andrews) has now said it is important the plans are given full consideration.

She said: “Initially we were angry that the plans had been put forward without telling the ward councillors but seemingly everyone else.

“I think the new plans are interesting and, while I can’t at this stage give a definite answer either way as I am on the planning committee, we need to give them a proper look.

“We are in need of primary school places in North Swindon so the school provision could be a big help.”

However, Vera said it was vital that if the proposal was to get the go ahead, be it from the council’s planning department and planning committee, it is important that it is done properly.

“We need to make sure we look at the detail closely to see if the lessons have been learned from other developments,” she said.

“In Redhouse we have had some terrible experiences with parking for example so I would be keen to make sure they would not be repeated.

“If it went ahead that would mean three big developments in the area with Abbey Stadium and Tadpole Farm so the most important thing is we reduce the impact on them.

“What I will fight against is to make sure no traffic uses Salz-gitter Drive.”

No-one was available from DPDS yesterday to speak to the Adver.