On Tuesday 12th June the Borough Council gave outline permission for this development to go ahead.
Local Labour members argued that, in its current form, the proposals were premature and unsustainable and that and decision on the scheme should have been deferred until the local communities had been fully consulted.
Our major concerns were and remain:
- No meaningful consultation had taken place with the local communities over their objections, and no solutions were offered
- There will be a 20% increase in the volume of traffic, yet no major improvements to the roads of North Swindon is planned
- No promise of building a new primary school before 2020, and no secondary school is planned
- There are no guarantees against further flooding because of the development
- Only £60k has been set aside to cope with increased traffic volume on Oakhurst Way – whereas, a much smaller development in Old Town attracted £600k
Consultation. Residents made their views known, but they have not been involved with the so called ‘solutions’ to problems raised. The developers and the Council may have satisfied themselves that problems were solved – but residents haven’t been told.
Traffic. The development seeks to add 1,700 to the 10,000 dwellings in the Northern Sector. Together with the planned commercial sector this will increase traffic volumes by up to 20%. A long term, sustainable traffic network needs to be established before the development goes ahead.
Schools. The lack of school places in North Swindon is already a crisis. This development will add to the problem. We must build a new primary school as soon as possible and this must be 3 form entry, not 2 form as currently planned. Greater provision for the increase in secondary pupils must also be found
Flooding. Labour believes that legal binding guarantees with the developer to prevent flooding need to be in place before the development goes ahead.
Oakhurst Way. If Oakhurst Way is to be altered to accommodate more traffic this will surely cost more than £60k. A very small road on the site of the new Croft school is having £600k spent on it! Remember that this is £600k from the money the Council took from the Northern Sector developer contributions which is not being spend in the Northern Sector.
Planning permission was granted subject to a Section 106 Agreement being negotiated by 13th September 2012. If you have ideas on mitigation works that should be carried out please get in touch on grant4gt@btinternet com
Councillor Jim Grant
Labour Group Leader