Cllr Nadine Watts and Cllr Jane Milner-Barry have listened to local residents and called for a public meeting to discuss the planning application for 62 homes on Ambrose field off Croft Road, Old Town.

The meeting is on Monday 11th September at Croft Sports Centre, in the upstairs room. The room is booked from 7:45pm for an 8pm start. Please feel free to go along and have your say.

The outstanding issues relate mainly to drainage and flooding, but there are also some more minor elements such as some additional highway details that need to be provided.

Taylor Wimpey have been invited to the public meeting, although initial indications are that they will not be attending. Taylor Wimpey are of the opinion it is “more meaningful” to meet on a one to one basis. Cllrs Nadine Watts and Jane Milner-Barry feel that a public meeting in the evening to address issues is the best way forward.

It has also come to light that Taylor Wimpey have been approaching residents in East Wichel, Lawns and Old Walcot seeking support for the development. This approach has angered residents and it is unusual that an organisation whose primary objective is to return profit to its share holders should engage in such actions.

The earliest this planning application will go to the planning committee is 10th October.

Cllr Nadine Watts said, “I am very concerned about the approach Taylor Wimpey are taking. A public meeting is much more open and transparent. This is not about nimbyism, it about protecting land that is not designated or suitable to build on. Swindon Borough Council put a lot of time and effort into developing a Local Plan which allocated land where the required number of houses could be built. But now it appears that developers can effectively build where they like. This principle can apply to developments across Swindon. The Croft/Ambrose land was meant to act as a rural buffer and was not included in the local plan to build houses on. It has not been demonstrated that the development will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere and there are outstanding issues with the surface water management strategy. Please come along and have your say at the public meeting on 11 September.”

The planning application reference number for this is S/OUT/17/0882 and you can view the application on the planning portal: http://pa1.swindon.gov.uk

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