Wiltshire

Swindon's Hook Street homes plan refusal overruled

Plans for 73 new homes in Swindon have been given the go ahead by inspectors.

Planning permission had been refused for the development near Lydiard Park in March, but this was overturned on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

The approved application has been reduced in size from an earlier plan for 175 homes, which was refused at appeal following a 2011 public inquiry.

However, inspectors said the new scheme would have "negligible impact" on the park and approved it.

'Urban park'

Councillor Dale Heenan, from Swindon Borough Council, said the inspector's decision is "really disappointing, but not surprising".

"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," he said.

"I will be raising this application as an example of why Swindon needs its Local Plan approved by the Planning Inspectorate as soon as possible.

"[Once approved] the council will find it easier to prevent development in areas where it doesn't want it."

Opponents of the plan said Lydiard Park was Swindon's "little bit of countryside" and claimed the houses would potentially damage the park.

They were also concerned about the impact of the extra storm water the development would cause.

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