19/6/09 – EDA should be delayed by atleast 12 months
The Labour Government and Regional Assembly are telling Swindon to build 36,000 houses over the next 20 years and 12,000 of them should be the East of the A419. Following news that the East of England plans were overturned in a Court, the Regional Assembly have decided to place the South West version on hold.
Cllr Dale Heenan, In light of the Regional Assemblies action, and there obvious concerns about the recent decision by the Courts, I believe it is entirely sensible for the Council to delay plans for the Eastern Development Area for atleast the next 12 months.
Personally I think Swindon Borough Council should finalize and adopt our new Core Strategy before talking about the Eastern area. The Core Strategy is the document that will replace the Local Plan and contain the guidelines for potential development within Swindon.
Last week I publically asked at Cabinet whether the Leader of the Council, Rod Bluh and the Cabinet member for Planning and Transport, Peter Greenhalgh, would be willing to find out from Officers where the line in the sand is with the Eastern Development Area. They agreed and said yes they would look into investigating ways the Council could challenge and overturn the RSS.
With a potential change of government coming soon, the debate could be very different in 12 months time. A Conservative government has pledged to scrap the Regional Assemblies housing targets, while Labour wishes to force 36000 houses on Swindon. It should be for Swindon to decide what is appropiate and where homes should be built