Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Homey Game

This is a follow up to an earlier post about building near Lydiard Park in Swindon.

From Swindon Council

​Swindon Borough Council is disappointed with a Planning Inspector’s decision today to allow 73 houses to be built on land along Hook Street close to Lydiard Park. He overturned a decision by the council’s Planning Committee in March to refuse planning permission.

Having heard the views of local residents, and following a site visit where objectors were able to point out their concerns, the Inspector determined that the scheme would have only a negligible impact on the landscape character, the historic park, and its setting.

The application, submitted by Pegasus Planning, is significantly reduced in size from an earlier proposal which was refused at appeal, following a Public Inquiry in 2011. However, the earlier decision established certain principles in planning law which made it more difficult for the Council to stop the new application from going ahead.(1)

Cllr Dale Heenan, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Sustainability said "This decision is really disappointing, but not surprising."(2)

“I am pleased the Inspector agreed with residents and the Council that the last thing anyone wanted was for Lydiard Park to be taken out of the countryside and to become ‘an urban park’.(3)

“The application was refused by the Council with cross-party political support(4), but with Grange Park and a school directly next to Lydiard Park, a new development 300 metres further away was always going to be difficult to fight.(5)

1. And yet, the council decided to refuse the application, forcing it to go to appeal at considerable cost to the taxpayer.

2. More evidence that they shouldn't have opposed it.

3. I live near it. It's a park next to the 36th largest borough in the UK. I'm not knocking it, it's a nice park, but if you think it's the countryside, you probably think that Aunt Bessie makes your Yorkshire puds.

4. As you'd expect. It's going to be interesting to see where Ed is going to build all his houses when Labour councillors face losing their jobs when it happens.

5. Precisely.

Something that should be pointed out is that this process is more common than it should be. Councils often raise appeals despite the fact that they lose, because it's about sending out messages to all the local Homeys that they're going to watch over their house prices.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Re 3, "urban parks" are worth their weight in gold, people love them. The countryside is of relatively little value to "the people" (you can grow food on it and look at it out of a car or train window, is all).

The Stigler said...

Good point. When people talk about "going to the country" they generally mean a country park, or a large village/market town. The countryside that most people go to requires services, like car parks, established paths etc.

Bayard said...

3. The stupidity and ignorance of this remark takes my breath away. It's pure FBRI.