The Secretary of State for Local Government has approved on appeal the Wroughton Planning Application for 103 dwellings on land east of Marlborough Road. This application was rejected by Swindon Borough Council’s Planning Committee last year after a strong campaign from the Wroughton community.

The main reason given for the Secretary of State’s approval of the application was that Swindon Council’s 5 year housing land supply was not credible and would deliver only half the number of homes the Council claims.

The Swindon Labour Group last year raised concerns about how the government’s planning system was forcing through the approval of unwanted, speculative development and that local Conservative Councillors were building up false hope for local residents over the potential success in stopping unwanted developments.

The Labour Group’s Shadow Lead for Strategic Planning, Jim Robbins, said:

“Sadly, the decision made by the Secretary of State does not come as a surprise to me. We have known through other planning applications approved by the Secretary of State that Swindon’s Local Plan isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

The Conservative Government has created a planning system that is chaotic. Nobody knows anymore what is off bounds when it comes to housing developments. I think it is incumbent on the government and Swindon’s two MPs to make clear to local people that local councils no longer have a role on whether housing developments will be permitted.

I don’t think the Conservatives locally have helped by giving residents false hope and promising to get this and other planning applications rejected. All Swindon has got out of that approach is a bill worth thousands of pounds in planning appeal fees. They need to be forcefully and vocally telling their MPs and their government that this planning system is unfair and they need to be asking the government for more measures to force developers to build on the land we’ve planned to have for houses.”


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