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600 Objections and one in favour of the Inlands Farm Hybrid application

As the deadline of the 31st January approached, objections to the planning application for a so called "Science Park" poured in. As well as 580 or so public comments, all except one against the proposal, below are extracts from the objecting comments given by the statutory consultees. All are in unison in their opposition to this development.

Politicians View

Two politicians have formally opposed the development. SSPG is seeking views from several that are sitting on the fence.

Robert Buckland QC, MP for South Swindon

"I am extremely  concerned to see that the application relates to a site that is not within the development boundaries as outlined in Swindon's Local Plan. I also note this this land is not proposed as suitable for development by the Council as part of its Review of its Plan." 
"This application is in direct conflict with policies EN2 and EN5.  I am very supportive of the success of companies such as Wasdell and the significant contribution they make to our local economy. I have worked with them and Cllr Gary Sumner to help identify more suitable sites in Swindon where they could expand.  I have long opposed applications that are not in accordance with Swindon’s Local Plan, however.   For these reasons, I feel compelled to raise objections on behalf of me and my constituents." View Full  Letter

Sarah Church, Propsective Parliamentry Candidate for South Swindon

"There is no place for a huge warehouse right on the edge of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This AONB is enjoyed not only by the people of Wanborough, but people from across Swindon and beyond. The green space around the town of Swindon is integral to the impact of the countryside on mental health and wellbeing, and is an important part of our local heritage. Furthermore, this is another enormous warehouse and distribution centre where plenty of other sites, and existing structures in Swindon, could provide the same or better space and access for a local business to expand. It seems the access to the freehold estate is a big driver here, and coupled with the category of planning application (B1c) there is a very high likelihood that house development will be part of Phase 2 of this application. The impact of the warehouse traffic will impact not only Wanborough, but also the New Eastern Villages development, especially if lorries are to use the single carriageway Southern Connector Road as planned. The noise and light pollution just metres from the village residential area will cause a great deal of distress to residents and will destroy the very small area of green belt and non-coalescence (as agreed to keep Wanborough separate from the New Eastern Villages development) that exists to keep Wanborough a separate village. There are new warehouse builds for hire (Symmetry Park/ Wichelstowe Employment Area), and brownfield sites for lease, available in Swindon and I would strongly urge this developer to move his distribution centre to an alternative site. There is no developed plan for a 'Science Park' in this application which is clearly for a distribution warehouse. The B1c application means that making a profit from housing in the future is in mind here and that the lack of any real plans for a credible science park back this up." View Full Letter

Gary Sumner, Ward Councillor for Ridgeway Villages

"I am objecting to this application as a resident of Wanborough and as the Ward,Councillor for Wanborough.
This is a significant proposal, outside of our adopted Local Plan and against National Planning Policy (relevant to AONB’s) and therefore SBC did not need to rush to see this published when it is ‘document heavy’ and content poor."

"The ‘Science Park’ or more precisely the industrial park would join Wanborough to the Urban area."

"Finally, I would state that at no time have the applicants considered the area in which they are siting the industrial development. The buildings are large and highly visible, harmful to the AONB and Upper Wanborough Conservation area."

Garys views are further expressed on his  Ridgeway Ward website 

Statutory Consultees Views

All Statutory Consultees raised objections, click image to download the full objection submission.

Masterplanning, Design & Conservation Team Planning Department SBC

"The proposed scheme would cause irreversible harm to the surrounding designated heritage assets and open countryside which forms an integral component of the setting of these assets." View Full Letter

Landscape and Leisure, Swindon Borough Council

"The application depicts a development of substantial scale, in a sensitive rural location, which would create an unacceptable urbanisation of existing countryside. This would be detrimental to the rural setting of Wanborough and the protected setting of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that abuts the site to the south, and the planned NEV. Both phases of the application, or either phase if considered individually, are markedly incongruous in this location, presenting harmful and overwhelmingly adverse visual impacts. The applicant has incorporated various techniques to minimise this impact, but visual mitigation can only achieve limited results as clearly shown by the submitted 3D views." View Full Letter

Covingham Parish Council

"Development of this site would load more vehicle movements onto the Southern Connector Road, Commonhead roundabout, the A419 and M4 Junction 15. Identified road improvements for M4 Junction 15, Commonhead roundabout and the Southern Connector Road would not take into account development of this site and would therefore need to be addressed before development could proceed, taking into account S106 pooling restrictions.View Full Letter

North Wessex Downs AONB

"The assessment carried out is not sufficient to warrant a major departure from the local plan and would not provide any overriding benefits to outweigh the harm caused by major development within the setting of the AONB. It undermines the purpose of Symmetry Park to meet the demand for employment and economic growth which could result in more speculative applications for development of greenfield sites. The development is contrary to policy SD2 of the Local plan and para 8 and 23 of the NPPF."View Full Letter

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

"The Trust objects to the planning application S/OUT/18/1943 and requests that it be refused. In summary, the proposed scheme does not provide an adequate alternative alignment for the Wilts & Berks Canal in accordance with Local Plan Policy EN11.View Full Letter

Bourton Parish Council

"Clearly SBC have allocated sufficient employment land within their Local Plan 2026, there is no evidence to support allocating further sites. This proposed development is contrary to planning policy SD2. "View Full Letter

South Swindon Parish Council

"Violates local development plan and the agreement of the area of non- coalescence and will also severely impact the rural character of the Ridgeway AONB".View Full Letter

Shrivenham Parish Council

"This is actually large factory in a rural setting and will be in open countryside.View Full Letter

Wanborough Parish Council

"SBC are currently carrying out a Local Plan Review to ensure sufficient deliverable housing and employment sites are available in the plan period. As part of this review SBC have carried out a SHELAA (Strategic Housing, Economic, Land Availability Assessment) consultation. As part of this assessment Inlands Farm was put forward for a possible employment site (s0034). SBC have  “Rejected” this site for a number of reasons . This confirms there is no evidence to support an employment site at this location."View Full Letter

South Marston Parish Council

"This application strays into NEV anti-coalescence areas. South Marston has these too and so as a matter of principal, these shouldn’t be strayed into."View Full Letter

Wiltshire Police

"Given the scale of the development I accept that the cycle/footpaths cannot be overlooked throughout. However this only enhances the need for them to be properly lit, clear and wide with only low level planting alongside.View Full Letter

Highways England

"Swindon Borough Council shall not grant planning permission for the Swindon Science Park development proposals (ref: S/OUT/18/1943) for a period of 3 months. Reason: To provide the applicant with sufficient time to address outstanding concerns regarding development traffic impact on the SRN. "View Full Letter

Campaign to Protect Rural England Wiltshire

"The importance in practical terms [designation of non-coalescence as an important buffer to the edge of the AONB] is equivalent to a Green Belt, and any new major physical infrastructure, particularly of the extent and nature proposed, would destroy this principle entirely."View Full Letter

Historic England

"Historic England has concerns regarding the application on heritage grounds. In our view, the application contains a number of errors and discrepancies that do not enable an informed planning decision to be made."View Full Letter

Natural England

"we note that the site includes a number of rural public rights of way.  Whilst the proposal may maintain their extent, their quality is likely to be degraded by being urbanised.  We advise that this is carefully considered so that the development does not lead to a net detriment to the green infrastructure resource of the area.View Full Letter

Lead Local Flood Authority

"Development shall not begin until a surface water drainage scheme for the site, in accordance with the approved drainage strategy ‘Flood Risk Assessment – Swindon Science Park, Inlands Farm; Issue 1; November 2018’, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority."View Full Letter

Thames Water

"No properties shall be occupied until confirmation has been provided that either:- all wastewater network upgrades required to accommodate the additional flows from the development have been completed; or- a housing and infrastructure phasing plan has been agreed with Thames Water to allow additional properties to be occupied.

Following initial investigations, Thames Water has identified an inability of the existing water network infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this development proposal."View Full Letter

Liddington Parish Council

"This planning application is very detailed, with 183 separate documents filed with SBC. The main reason for the size of the application is that it is controversial, and the applicant has to overcome numerous policy obstacles if it is to succeed. It is clear that the proposed development offends against numerous policies in the Local Plan and in the NPPF. Indeed the Applicant accepts that this is so. It seeks to show that there are “material considerations” why these policies should be overridden in this case. The view of this Parish Council, representing as it does the inhabitants of our Village (many of whom have objected individually) is that the application should be rejected. It would be a gross and irreversible intrusion into an area of high landscape value, without justification, and the scheme could be accommodated elsewhere.View Full Letter

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Action Group opposed to the development of land in the non coalescent area or joining the AONB in the South Swindon Area




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