Local protest group, the South Swindon Protection Group, noted that the two applications to develop industrial land in Lower Wanborough have together caused 1750 responses from Swindon residents, over 80% of which were objecting to the proposal. The Group has repeatedly called for the revised application for a proposed land development in Lower Wanborough to be thrown out by SBC’s Planning Committee.
John Warr, the Group’s Chair, said:
“This is an unprecedented level of objection to a development application in the Swindon area. The initial, deeply flawed application received over 600 objections from residents, followed by over 800 to its equally flawed revised version.
The South Swindon Protection Group is extremely disappointed that this application for an industrial development has even been resubmitted, as there are over twenty significant technical planning flaws contained within it. We fully expect the number of objections from national and local consultees to expose the many shortcomings in this deeply flawed and ill-conceived application.
Both the economic benefits claimed and the technical planning aspects of the submission are demonstrably spurious, and the Group remains confident the Planning Group will reject it, finally putting paid to the uncertainty and time-wasting this proposal has caused.”
Having delayed the planning deadline by a year, Wasdell Properties have re-submitted over 150 documents to support a revised hybrid application, consisting of a full planning application for a huge Warehouse and Distribution centre and an outline application for a Second Warehouse and a set of buildings which it claims will form a Science Park.
Wasdells have confirmed they are not even guaranteeing taking occupancy of the finished development, further feeding the conclusion this is merely a planning Trojan horse, concealing its true objective: a cynical, speculative investment ploy. The applicants have doubtless watched events unfold at Badbury Park and Symmetry Park, where there was scant interest in the industrial land which soon turned into residential development land.
The future economic environment in Swindon has changed radically since this application was first submitted, with 50% of Cheney Manor having been demolished, and the vacated Honda site to be made available for industrial and commercial land, and the likely economic picture in the wake of the global pandemic.
With this in mind, the likelihood of any such development bringing “hundreds of new jobs” to Swindon is misguided at best, and misleading at worst.
Residents have been given an extension until mid-August to formerly lodge an objection on the application to the local Planning Committee.
John Warr commented:
“The SSPG fully supports local entrepreneurs who are encouraged to bring genuine business to the Swindon area. But this application, in the shape of both deeply flawed versions, has drawn unequivocal objections from local and national consultees, agencies and vested interests. It is the wrong plan for the wrong place and the wrong time.”
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