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East Swindon | November 24, 2017

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06/02/2007 – New Council Policy on Development, with example of St Paul’s!

Dale Heenan
  • On February 7, 2007

The Labour Government produced it’s own Planning Policy (PPG3) which changed the definition of garden’s under Planning law, it is now consider to be ‘previously developed land’. As a result it is incredibibly hard to refuse Planning permission. Conservative MP’s tried to change this law 3 times last year (2006), and each time it was thrown out by the government – it was a simple 1 line amendment !!

The definition of Infill development is : Development in a small gap in an otherwise built up frontage.

The definition of Backland development is : Development that takes place on previously developed land within settlements, usually to the rear of existing properties. It includes development of private gardens, parts of other premises such as parts of disused industrial buildings or parts of disused allotment sites.

The aim of this policy is to come up with a local solution that will channel the main problems that the Planning department and Planning Committee members encounter with Infill and Backland sites. It certainly doesn’t solve the root cause because that is a failure in government policy.

This policy has come about because of a Council motion written by Dale in November, and put forward by Cllr Dave Sammels (St Philips) and Cllr Colin Lovell (Moredon).

The document can be accessed here and it’s consultation period for local residents to comment is 6 weeks.

Please send your comments and ideas on this policy to

St Paul’s Bungalow

One example that is very relevant to Covingham is the situation around St Paul’s Bungalow. There have been plans for several years to demolish the bungalow and for a Housing Association to construct 20+ flats on the site. The governments Planning policy would allow such a development to occur despite any comments from local residents. All developments must reach government defined ‘density levels’, and they see such a scheme as acceptable.

This Infill policy will mean that while we cannot stop the development, the developer would need to take into account the ‘local character’ of the area. The local area is predominately 2 storey semi’s and terraced housing, not flats!

Unfortunately, it will still be possible for developers to appeal these decisions with the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, and the Government Inspector can still overrule the Council. But with this policy, we hope to have a robust defence against any such action and esnure only appropiate development occurs on the appropiate sites.


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