Wiltshire

Government says rejected Wroughton homes must be built

View towards west Swindon from Wroughton Image copyright Geograph/ Brian Robert Marshall
Image caption View towards west Swindon from Wroughton

The government has overturned a decision by Swindon Borough Council to reject plans for more than 100 new homes near Swindon.

The council refused permission for the development east of Marlborough Road, Wroughton, but the developer appealed.

The local government secretary ruled in their favour after an appeal hearing, saying not enough homes are being built in the area.

The local authority said it may contest the decision.

The application by Hannick Homes was rejected by planners following a hard-fought campaign by the Wroughton community.

But now the secretary of state has granted approval saying that Swindon Council's five-year housing land supply is not credible and would deliver only half the number of homes the council claims.

Swindon's Labour group said the town's local plan, which sets out development until 2026, "isn't worth the paper it's written on".

'Chaotic system'

Shadow lead for strategic planning, Jim Robbins said: "The Conservative government has created a planning system that is chaotic.

"Nobody knows anymore what is off bounds when it comes to housing developments.

"I think it is incumbent on the government and Swindon's two MPs to make clear to local people that local councils no longer have a role on whether housing developments will be permitted."

Toby Elliott, Conservative cabinet member for planning, said he "wholeheartedly disagreed with the decision".

"This application is unsustainable, contrary to the adopted Local Plan, contrary to the adopted Neighbourhood Plan and with major access issues.

"We are reviewing our options, including potentially taking legal action.

"Swindon is a pro-planning and pro-development town; we want and need houses to be built.

"But that means being built in the right places. "

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