17/03/09 – Development on St Paul’s Vicarage site – Update
Cllr Dale Heenan “The Bunglow next to St Paul’s Church has been an ongoing issue for local residents for several years, Phil, Glenn and I have always promised to campaign against plans to demolish the site and build 32 houses. This is clearly unacceptable to everyone, especially local residents.
When I took over as Chairman of the Planning Commmittee 2 years ago, I was very pleased that one of our first actions was to introduce a Planning policy that took the character of a local neighbourhood into account. This policy has proven it’s worth several times over across Swindon, and continues to protect the St Paul’s site.
While talk of 32 properties being built have gone quiet since the last Planning Application was rejected, none of us have rested on our laurels. Swindon Borough Council esimated many years ago that the site has capacity for a maximum of 23 properties. We believe this figue is still too high and, as local Councillors, we are very pleased to say that Council Officers have agreed to review density of the site.
This means that the possible figure of 23 houses will be eliminated. We cannot stop development on the site, but a new assessment will lead to a much lower and realistic density – our hope is 5 or less.
The Site Allocations Development Plan is several months away, but it will form part of the evidence for the Core Strategy and will eventually replace the Local Plan.”