A CONTROVERSIAL housing development which was approved only on appeal may hit a bump in the road.

SEPA Ltd’s plan to build 18 flats on the cleared site of a former electricity substation in Langton Park was approved by a government-appointed planning inspector after Swindon Borough Council’s planning committee refused it.

But the only accessible route to the site south of Wroughton might be closed to the company.

The reasons for refusal included the impact of the building on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and also worries about access.

The only public route to the site is via Priors Hill from Wroughton – a narrow, unlit single-track road which has a restriction against heavy goods vehicles.

The best route is along Comet Way, which is in private hands.

And the man who owns it, Steve Coen, is unhappy with the inspector’s decision and says he will not allow construction traffic to use it.

Mr Coen, who runs Swindon Karting Arena at Wroughton Airfield, also owns Comet Way from the junction with the aerodrome as far as Alexandra Park.

He said: “This isn’t sour grapes. When I bought the airfield site from the MOD I was told I was also responsible for the maintenance of the road, which I didn’t really want, so I bought it.”

Mr Coen said he was put out by the planning inspector’s decision that access wasn’t an issue.

He said: “I will now have to go to the expense of putting legal restrictions on the road to stop the construction traffic from using it.

"Unfortunately you have to be out there and show that people are using the road, but I can do that. I don’t mind normal traffic using the road, but heavy vehicles could damage it.

“Lorries bringing materials to build the flats can’t come up Priors Hill, there’s a restriction on it. If I stop the traffic using my road, then I don’t know what the developers are going to do."

Mr Coen is also concerned that a planning proposal that he has lodged with the council seems to be hitting problems that were dismissed by the planning inspector.

His plan to construct 10 small industrial units for sole traders on the airfield is going through the planning process but officers have raised concerns about the AONB and access. Mr Coen said he’s going back to the planners in the light of the appeal decision for the Langton Park flats.

The planning agent for SEPA was contacted for comment and said nobody from the construction company was available.

The client for the development is affordable housing provider Stonewater, which said it could not comment as it did not own the site.