Wiltshire

Swindon Honda site 'should not be used for new homes'

Honda Swindon plant Image copyright PA

The Honda car plant in Swindon should not be used for housing when the company pulls out in 2021, a councillor has said.

Swindon Borough Council wants to use the land at South Marston to provide jobs for local workers.

It said there was "sufficient housing" elsewhere and it does not want to use the site for homes.

Council bosses will have to discuss proposals with Honda as the land will remain the firm's property.

Councillor Gary Sumner, cabinet member for strategic planning, said: "We do want the land to be used to bring jobs for the people of Swindon.

"We have sufficient housing coming forward elsewhere and wouldn't want to use the site for that."

A council spokesman said the "lawful use of the site is general industrial uses and will remain as such on closure of the plant, until such time as an alternative use is permitted".

In the current local plan the land is considered a key employment site "and the policy is that use should be preserved", the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The authority is proposing to designate the land as a "core employment site" and other uses will not be supported "unless there is an exceptional justification".

It fears if the council does not adopt a policy on the site, it could weaken its position when it comes to making decisions of applications in the future.

The proposals will be debated next Tuesday at a council planning meeting.

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