Friday, June 03, 2011

Jefferies Land Conservation Trust call for right to challenge plans for Coate

The Jefferies Land Conservation Trust is calling on Swindon Borough Council to throw out the planning proposals for Coate at their planning committee meeting on Tuesday 7 June on the grounds that the blueprint for planning the town’s future has not been agreed through the development plan process.
On top of the 52,000 petition that calls for no development at Coate the Trust has raised a new petition that has attracted nearly 3,000 signatures in response to the Core Strategy consultation that does not finish until 16 June. It states:
We, the undersigned, petition Swindon Borough Council to designate the open countryside between the A419, the Marlborough Road, the motorway and Broome Manor Lane as a high quality Landscape Character Area in order to protect the landscape setting of Coate Water Country Park, Dayhouse Copse Local Nature Reserve, the natural and archaeological history, as well as the literary importance of Jefferies Land and the views from the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Jean Saunders, honorary secretary of the Jefferies Land Conservation Trust said:
“If we are forced to give up more of Jefferies Land to development, we would like the opportunity to debate what scale and design of development might be acceptable under the emerging ‘Commonhead’ policy. A high landscape protection policy for the area won’t stop all development but we can insist on something special, linked to the function of the hospital, but of a traditional layout similar to Hodson village. Up until the university proposals came along, the landscape was protected in the town plan.”
Mrs Saunders added:   
“If Swindon Borough Council is really serious about involving communities in how they shape their town then it is vital that they take on board public criticism of the current planning application and the proposed policy in the Swindon Core Strategy. If planning permission is allowed next week, we will be denied the right to challenge the scale, location, design and layout of any development. This is undemocratic and unfair.”
Swindon Council’s Planning Committee meet in the Council Chamber at 6pm on Tuesday 7 June to decide the fate of Redrow Homes and Persimmon Homes planning application to build nearly 900 houses on countryside east of Day House Lane and a large industrial site to the west of the country lane.

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