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Enough already

Poor old Ian Jankinson, chairman of Blunsdon Council. They spent years working on a neighbourhood plan, but it seems any developer can buy a field in Blunsdon, put in an application and have it routinely approved against the threat of appeal for lack of existing housing supply.

I don’t know about you but I must be living in a parallel universe.

We are told the Eastern Villages scheme is the biggest urban development plan in the country. Wichelstowe seems to have ballooned from Croft Road all the way to Wootton Bassett Road. As I drive to the M4, I see Redrow building on and on and on down Day House Lane when I thought it was a few dwellings behind the Spotted Cow. Will the M4 stem the advance?

In North Swindon Tadpole extends inexorably and now this whole escarpment right along to the A419 is under development.

I’ve lost track of how much of the undeveloped side of Swindon Road in Wroughton is under approval. Every peripheral village in the borough has small scale developments going on. I’m unsure whether the Plessey sports ground is now fully built on or is still ongoing.

The Council are actively nominating all sorts of long established neighbourhood public open space for housing. There’s the Burmah site and even the pitch and putt course at Moredon will boast 60 new houses… and please don’t mention houses on the Abbey Stadium.

The problem of providing approval to any developer who buys a field, is that these speculative moves are unsupported by health facilities, schools, by decent urban highways or by comprehensive public transport. Meanwhile the farmer and developer quickly disappear into the sunset with the zillions in their offshore bank accounts and without a thought for present or future residents.

We have had our differences, but at least on this occasion Vera Tomlinson had the courage to speak up and draw attention to the persistent ‘rolling over’ of the borough planning committee.

If it is genuinely impossible ever to say no to any developer, then will we see Mr Barrett, Mr Taylor Wimpey or Mr Bloor next staking out a claim on Liddington Castle. You would get a terrific row of executive split levels up there and the view would be amazing!

John Stooke, Haydon End, Swindon

Impact of austerity

So as the government continues to destroy the UK and in doing so drags it down lower than anyone thought possible with what has become an embarrassing and farcical point in the Brexit talks, and in doing so, the recent visit by the United Nations rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, has gone unreported by 99% of the media and in doing so has let this government for now get off with the horrors of eight years of Tory austerity.

His report found that 1.5 million people are destitute meaning they don’t have money for basic essentials, 14 million people in the UK live in poverty. A 7% increase in child poverty by 2022 that will be 40% of the child population being affected.

MPs Buckland and Tomlinson should be ashamed of themselves at this report as they have supported the vile austerity measures; likewise the people who have written to the SA letters pages in support of austerity.

As the 19th century socialist pioneer Beatrice Webb said, on poverty, it is not due to weakness of the individual character but of social structure and economic mismanagement.

Mark Webb, Old Town, Swindon

Sign of the times

The signs at Mannington roundabout stated that work would take 10 weeks from 20 August 2018, that is, to the end of October. Work continues, but the “10 week” line has disappeared from the signs.

Derek Lowson, Moresby Close, Westlea

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