Call for road to be built before homes
PEOPLE must tell the planning inspector they want a relief road running through the eastern villages development to be built before any housing, or they face devastating circumstances.
This was the message pressed upon the audience at a public meeting in Wanborough Village Hall on Monday Wanborough Parish Council’s chair Gary Sumner.
He chaired a meeting, which included Coun Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham & Dorcan) and Brian Osbourn, the chairman of Covingham Parish Council and representatives from Bishopstone, Liddington and Bourton.
Residents from across the east of Swindon listened to presentations from Gary and Coun Heenan, the cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability and transport, on the recommended modifications to the Local Plan.
Gary pushed for as many comments as possible on the southern connector road to be returned to the planning inspector.
He said it would prove crucial in allaying the impact of construction traffic on existing village lanes.
“I was making sure that people are aware this is a very, very last chance to correct anything you feel is wrong in the Local Plan, off the back of the amendments,” he said.
“If the southern connector road is not built, Covingham Drive and Oxford Road are going to be gridlocked.
“The crucial thing is that everybody should comment and make sure these roads Coun Heenan has promised, are delivered, and before the housing, a bit like in Wichelstowe.
“If those are in place we have got no problem.
“I certainly think we got the message across. They seemed receptive. I’m pleased.
“I wasn’t really expecting more, because we are at the stage where they accept it’s going to happen and assume the detail is going to be down to the council.
“There was sufficient interest there to take the message out to other people.”
Gary’s prime concern about the Local Plan amendments was the apparent shrinking of the southern connector road, which he had hoped would run from Commonhead roundabout to the northern most part of the development area at Earlscourt.
He asked the audience to push for clarity from the inspector on the length of this road.
More than 50 people attended the meeting, along with Robert Buckland, the MP for South Swindon, who added his own thoughts on the development at stages throughout the evening.
He assured the audience, money set aside by the Government for the development of key infrastructure throughout Swindon, to be distributed through the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership was there and ready for use.