Lydiard Park Heritage Trust and SBC Issue a Joint Press Statement
15 March 2018
Swindon Borough Council unilaterally abandons plans to transfer operational and management control of Lydiard Park to the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust
16 February 2018
After a 2.5 year outsourcing process Swindon Borough Council have unilaterally decided to abandon plans to transfer operational and management control of Lydiard Park to the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust and bring the process to an end. Their decision leaves Lydiard without an effective management team and at grave risk. Despite publically acknowledging they do not have the skills and experience to run such an important heritage asset, the Council has rejected the sustainable future offered by the charitable Trust. The legal advice the Council used to justify their decision to the Trust, results from their own inaccurate disclosures made to all bidders in 2015/6, and suggests that the process was fatally flawed from the outset.
Please go to the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust website by clicking here to get the full story
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Neighbouring Parish Councils
Shaw Village centre litter pick / garden tidy
Dates for 2018: 21 April, 19 May, 23 June, 8 September, 13 October
Shaw health walks every Monday 2pm
Meet at Lower Shaw Farm for a 2:15 start. The walk is for about 40 minutes.
Joint Statement for the protection of the ‘essential setting’ of Lydiard Park
25 January 2018
For many years speculative developers have attempted to gain planning permission for housing developments within the parks ‘essential setting’. The most recent attempt by Taylor Wimpey resulted in over 600 letters of objection from members of the public along with objections from community groups and statutory organisations. The outcry was so powerful that Taylor Wimpey withdrew their application just a few weeks before the scheduled target decision date.
Local authority officers must refer to policy and law in their decision making process for planning applications. Developers will invest proportionally greater resources in finding gaps in those policies and laws, which is why so many refused applications are won by developers at appeal.
We believe it is time, through local plans, tools available within the national planning policy framework, and by creating a conservation management plan, that the representative policies for Lydiard Park are strengthened. And, in so doing make it clear to any would-be developer that their chances of winning at appeal are very slender indeed, no matter how deep their pockets.
Furthermore, the designated essential setting identifies the minimum area required to protect the registered landscape. Our belief is that the area bordered by the M4 to the south, Hook to the west, Lydiard Millicent to the north and the existing urbanisation of Swindon to the east, should be protected from any further residential development or any other development which is unsympathetic to the character of the Historic Park, Garden, House and Church. Not only will that maintain the rural context of the grade II listed park for future generations, it will also serve to protect the small village identities of Hook and Lydiard Millicent.
Correspondence resulting from the above letter
Wiltshire Council emails and SRA responses (updated 9 Feb 2018) – click here
Swindon Council emails and SRA responses (updated 2 Feb 2018) – click here
Letter from Mr Renard and Mr Gilbert of SBC received 2 Feb 2018 – click here
SRA requests Parish Council action to improve the maintenance regime for Shaw village centre
24 January 2018
For many years we have worked hard to provide some degree of maintenance to the shrubs within the Shaw Village Centre and, at the same time, keep the area free from litter. We have struggled to get any support (in terms of actually helping) from the businesses that operate from the centre and have always hit a dead end when trying to understand the ownership split between SBC and the tenants maintenance contract. As a result it has been impossible to challenge the service level agreement set up between SBC and now West Swindon Parish Council and its grounds maintenance contractor.
With the help of Cllr Keith Williams, we now have a clear map detailing organisation responsibilities. Since Keith is also by chance the chair of the Parish’s planning and environment committee, we have written to him detailing the work and agreements that are, in our opinion, required to bring the village centre up to a decent standard.
The letter is available for download by clicking here.
We will post updates to this website as they occur.
Due diligence period for Lydiard Park Heritage Trust extended
23 November 2017
The talks between SBC and the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust over the future running of Lydiard Park have been ongoing since March of this year. Although discussions have gone well, further work needs to be undertaken on the condition survey of the building and the future of the conference facilities. The due diligence period has therefore been extended to February 2018 to allow an agreement to be reached that suits both parties.
The full story and press release is available on the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust website by clicking here
Why the Essential Setting of Lydiard Park must be protected from all developments
13 March 2017
Kevin Fisher, chair of the SRA writes “we have a responsibility to maintain the Heritage of Lydiard Park, which includes its rural character, for many generations to come. To do that, the rules for development within the Essential Setting need to be clear: all must be refused”.
To read the full story and background to this opinion either:
Bogus SRA emails
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3 March 2018: The application has been refused – click here for the Wiltshire Council refusal notice The application can be viewed on Wiltshire planning portal by clicking here SRA Continue Reading →