THE company behind the plans for a very large distribution and research facility on the edge of Swindon has criticised the accuracy of material produced by opponents of the scheme.

Wasdell Group, a pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution business wants to build a new headquarters on land near the Commonhead Roundabout, between Swindon and Wanborough.

Residents have set up South Swindon Protection Group to oppose the scheme, but Wasdell say it is scaremongering about the impact of the development

A spokesman for the firm said: “Some of the material the South Swindon Protection Group has produced for residents is fictional and inaccurate. It bears no resemblance to the documents submitted with our planning application for the science park. This flow of misinformation means residents’ ability to reach an informed decision on the proposal is being compromised. This isn’t fair to residents and also compromises our own ability to properly assess and potentially address genuine concerns raised based on the real facts.

“For example, the group has created a mocked-up image with imaginary large buildings laid over a photograph of the current site, which bears no resemblance to our planning application, for use on its publicity material. The group’s mocked-up layout of the park gives the impression that most of the land will be populated by high buildings, when in fact only 14 per cent of the site will be built area. The rest will be given over to a green sustainable landscaping strategy with water features.

“The group has also produced a slide of this mock-up, adding imagined light and noise pollution at night. The reality is that the park will have downward lighting, and there will be no sound from, say, reversing vehicle alarms at night because such alerts will not be permitted then.

“Among other inaccuracies that we have heard are that the development will block the view of Wanborough’s church spire from the east side of Swindon. That is again simply not true.

“This is a development for Swindon as a whole. It will initially bring 600 new jobs at all skill levels to the Swindon economy, as well as creating new opportunities for the current 230 local suppliers to Wasdell.

The firm added: “We would encourage all Swindon residents to look at the planning application on Swindon Borough Council’s website and see for themselves how this science park is to be developed.”

SSPG said: “Wasdell has not provided any 3D visual images, which would be expected with a submission of this mass and scale. We have used their own planning information to develop our own.

"Wasdell are applying for full planning on a 103,000 sq m area sitting in farmland, on which they propose to build a 180m square tin shed, 14.5m high, abutting an area of outstanding natural beauty.

"One end of which is in fact over 16m in height as it is cut and filled into Pack Hill. The building takes up 33 per cent of the area. The floor space is 85 per cent racking which is 12m high, with support loading bays, rest facilities for drivers and a gatehouse.

"Not only did Wasdell not provide 3D models, they chose not to superimpose the warehouse on 10 of 14 verified views submitted with the application. One of which could confirm whether the church will be hidden."

The group claimed the development was an attempt to consolidate the firm’s storage and warehousing facilities and because of automation it would deliver few or no new jobs, new skills, or inward investment from any other businesses.

“Phase 2 which could include research facilities is, by their own admission, at least five years away and is purely speculative.”

Wasdell Group’s plans are available on Swindon Borough Council’s website using the reference S/OUT/18/1943