DPDS Consulting Group have submitted an outline planning application for a residential development on land at Abbey Farm, Lady Lane, Blunsdon St Andrew, Swindon. The proposal is for up to 350 new homes with provision for a two form entry Primary School and recreation area along with public open spaces and a small convenience store. The proposal was the subject of a community consultation last July and follows subsequent amendments to the proposal. The application has been prepared and submitted on behalf of the landowners.
DPDS Group Managing Director, Les Durrant, commented that “The planning application follows discussions with Swindon Borough Council and a public exhibition during July 2013, which has helped us in refining and improving our application proposals. Consultation with Swindon Borough Council has confirmed the need and aspiration for a site to build an additional Primary School to serve North Swindon. Although the Abbey Farm scheme is not of sufficient population in itself to warrant provision of a school, the modified application proposals include a suitable site that is being made available to serve both the proposed Abbey Farm development and surrounding communities”.
Les Durrant continued that “Abbey Farm is being brought forward as a smaller scale urban extension which we believe can be developed into a residential neighbourhood of outstanding quality. As well as the provision of land suitable for a Primary School, our development proposals for Abbey Farm would create 350 well designed, attractive homes that are laid out to create a distinctive, high quality residential neighbourhood with a ‘garden suburb’ character. A small, centrally located local shop will provide convenience shopping for new residents.”
Les Durrant, further commented that. “We are conscious that our proposals must be sensitive to the local community, hence our application scheme has been subject to extensive engineering and environmental investigations and has been carefully designed to ensure it maintains and enhances the high quality character of the nearby areas. During the consultation process we received a lot of support from local residents for the more traditional, high quality type of housing development that the scheme is based on. We were also asked to consider introducing a school site as part of the package and this has now been included.”
The Abbey Farm proposals will open up public access to a network of new local open spaces and parkland on St Andrew’s Ridge that will be linked by formal and recreational footpaths, to benefit existing and future residents. The development would feature high quality landscaping and create green edges to the proposed development to ensure that it can integrate positively with surrounding neighbourhoods and the wider landscape. The application also provides for up to 30% of the new housing to be affordable homes.
Les Durrant continued that “extensive environmental impact assessment studies have been undertaken for the site over a long period of time and the outcomes of these investigations are reported in the Planning Application and reflected in the layout and features of our sustainable development proposals. Engineering and transport impact investigations have also confirmed that Abbey Farm is suitable for development and would result in minor detrimental impact on local traffic conditions or drainage networks. The proposals are accompanied by local improvements to the highway network and public transport system.”