Taylor Wimpey to meet with Lydiard Tregoze Parish Council
31 January 2017
As expected, Taylor Wimpey may have withdrawn their application to build within the essential setting of Lydiard Park and in full view of St Mary’s church, but they certainly have not gone away. In this document, it has been noted that Lydiard Tregoze Parish Council have been contacted by Taylor Wimpey with a request for a meeting. As the organisation that stood alone in their support for Taylor Wimpey, it is not a surprise that the developer has asked for a meeting.
Given that LTPC rarely takes minutes of any meetings (as was proved by the Freedom of Information requests made by the Lydiard Heritage Action Group), there is much concern about what will be discussed in the proposed meeting and what commitments LTPC will be making. As a public body, such information should be in the public domain.
LTPC recently made an application for a ‘Designation of Lydiard Tregoze Neighbourhood Area’ – On the 14th December, the action group wrote to LTPC offering to assist in the development of their neighbourhood plan, but were refused with the words “it was agreed that the Parish Council stays independent and requires no support from your group”.
With over 600 people writing to object and every relevant statutory body also objecting, we hope that LTPC do understand that any development in this area will continue to meet with massive opposition. Should they seek to include an allocation, for the development, in their Neighbourhood Plan, it will likely ensure the plan is never actually approved (which can only benefit the developer).
Lydiard Heritage Action Group Continues its work
2 December 2016
The LHAG of course is very pleased that Taylor Wimpey’s has made a strategic withdrawal of their application to build in full sight of St Mary’s Church and within the essential setting of Lydiard Park. However, we recognise that whilst this is a win for this important Heritage asset, it is not yet a victory. We will continue as an organisation for as long as necessary. More news from LHAG soon.
Taylor Wimpey Withdraw their application
16 November 2016
Their spokesperson said “We have decided to withdraw our planning application at Lydiard Tregoze in order to undertake further work on our proposals in response to local comments received. We will ensure the local community is kept informed about future plans via the project website”
Wiltshire Planners: the only option is to refuse Taylor Wimpey’s application
16 November 2016
Wiltshire’s planning officer is required to make a recommendation based on legal and policy arguments and not public opinion. Given the content of the objections from people and organisations he is legally required to consult with, we believe he has no choice but to recommend refusal.
The single most powerful reason for rejection is that of the significant harm and detrimental impact it will have on the heritage aspects of the Park. Indeed two recent high court decisions have ruled against the developer where issues of harm to important heritage assets have been identified. We believe that those decisions alone would ensure that even a planning Inspector would have legal and policy reasons to reject the application.
Massive opposition to Taylor Wimpey’s application to build within the essential setting of Lydiard Park
26 October 2016
Over 600 representation letters are now posted on Wiltshire’s planning portal, with all but three objecting to the application, representing a greater than 99.5% objection level. All the organisations and individuals below have registered detailed objections. Click on them to read their letter:
- the Friends of Lydiard Park
- the Shaw Residents Association
- Swindon Borough Council
- Historic England
- Campaign for Rural England
- the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust
- Wiltshire’s conservation officer
- the Lydiard Fields Action Group
- the Love Lydiard Trust
- Lydiard Millicent Parish Council
- Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue
- Attorney General and South Swindon MP Robert Buckland
- James Gray MP
- The Georgian Group
- The Gardens Trust
- Wiltshire Gardens Trust
- Wiltshire Drainage Engineer
In addition, Wiltshire’s own highways engineer has written to say “the proposals are therefore contrary to sustainable transport objectives” and “I am prepared to raise a highways objection”. Click here for his full report
To read more of the 600+ objections, click here
Lydiard Tregoz Parish Council stands alone in their support
With a simple ‘x in a box’ the Lydiard Tregoz Parish Council (LTPC) continue to support the application despite the unprecedented level of public outrage.
Through Freedom of Information requests, the Lydiard Heritage Action group (LHAG) has been trying to understand their rational for supporting an application that has so many strong arguments for refusal. This letter (click to download) was presented to the Council during their 25 October meeting using this (click to download) speech – all Councillors present refused to change their position. Click here to read a report about the meeting written by ‘the Lydiards’. Below are links to letters sent to LTPC and responses received:
- 18 August 2016 – Original Freedom of Information request from LHAG
- 26 August 2016 – FOI follow up letter from LHAG
- 17 September 2016 – Response from LTPC
- 26 September 2016 – Request for more information from LHAG
- 10 October 2016 – Letter from LHAG reminding LTPC of their obligations under the FOI act
- 2 November 2016 – Response from LTPC
- 2 November 2016 – Minutes of Feb 2016 LTPC meeting
- 14 December 2016 – Response and offer of support from LTPC
As a response to the documents received from LTPC, an email was sent to the Wiltshire case officer highlighting the manner in which Taylor Wimpey are influencing the LTPC neighbourhood plan. Click here to read the email.
There have been a number of emails between LHAG and LTPC and, in the spirit of openness (given this is about Freedom of Information), they have all been pasted into one document (click here to download) – they appear in chronological order with the most recent first.
Lydiard Heritage Action Group Formed
21 August 2016
In the light of the ongoing threats to Lydiard Park from developers, the Lydiard Heritage Action Group (LHAG) has been formed. Chaired by Kevin Fisher of the SRA, it includes representatives of the Friends of Lydiard Park, the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust, Lydiard Millicent residents, residents of the Prinnels and residents of West Swindon.
The organisation has produced a leaflet as part of its campaign to ensure the application by Taylor Wimpey to build a housing estate within the essential setting of Lydiard Park and in full view of St Mary’s Church, is rejected.
- Click here to download a .pdf version of the leaflet
- Click here to download a .jpg version – once opened, right click and select ‘save picture as’. This version is good for Facebook postings
Reasons to Object to the Taylor Wimpey application
- Lydiard Park is a significant asset. This development would occur within ‘the essential setting’ of the Park and will destroy the historic, rural environment
- Lydiard Park is a special place. It is not just another green space under threat – it is our Heritage, a ‘country park’ not an ‘urban park.’ We must fight hard to keep it that way
- The application is outside the Local Plans for both Swindon and Wiltshire Councils; plans that have been agreed by the people
- The Local Plans cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds to compile and state that no further houses should be built to the west of Swindon
- This is a ‘Trojan Horse’ application. If approved, many more fields around Lydiard Park and all the open space between West Swindon and Lydiard Millicent will fall to developers
- Online (recommended): Click here and enter your objection
- Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, ensure your email includes the reference ‘16/06978/FUL’ and your name and address
- By post to: Mathew Pearson, Wiltshire Council, Monkton Park, Chippenham, SN15 1ER. Ensure you’re letter includes the reference ‘16/06978/FUL’ and your name and address
Other Ways to Help
- Click here and sign the online petition
- Email / phone / talk to everyone you know asking them to send in an objection
- Post and share via Facebook and Twitter
- Please give or email the leaflet to as many people as you can
Taylor Wimpey submit Lydiard Park housing plans
21 July 2016
Taylor Wimpey have announced they have submitted plans for 48 homes in direct view of St Mary’s church at Lydiard Park. Click here for the Swindon Advertiser story.
We continue to oppose this application on the grounds of its impact on the Heritage of Lydiard park, flooding implications, the fact that the land they propose to ‘gift’ could never be developed anyway and the fact that the location is not in either Swindon nor Wiltshire’s local plans. Furthermore, since the proposed site is in Wiltshire and not Swindon, we argue that Swindon is building 95 new homes for every one square kilometre and Wiltshire are building just 9.2 homes per square kilometre – we feel it is just unreasonable for Wiltshire to allow further development on our borders. Click here for a full presentation of these arguments.
Petition Against Taylor Wimpey’s Moves on Lydiard Park
20 September 2015
A petition has been launched against the proposal by Taylor Wimpey to build on Lydiard Park – please sign it! Click here to launch the petition.
Taylor Wimpey – Lydiard Park: Residents and elected officials united in opposition
3 September 2015
A packed Lydiard Millicent school hall heard James Gray (North Wiltshire MP), Robert Buckland (South Swindon MP), numerous Swindon and Wiltshire councillors, the Friends of Lydiard Park, the SRA and many residents express their strong opposition to the heritage wrecking proposals from Taylor Wimpey. The presentation given by the SRA can be found by clicking here.
The meeting was held on the same day that SBC’s new 2030 ‘Vision’ for the town hit the press – it is a ‘vision’ that is said to have ‘culture’ at its core – failing to protect Lydiard Park from maverick development applications either now or at any time in the future would be a major nail in the coffin for this so called ‘vision’.
Taylor Wimpey – Lydiard Park: Public Meeting Arranged in Support of Campaign to Stop the Proposal
26 August 2015
The meeting will be held at Lydiard Millicent Primary school (SN5 3LR) at 6pm on Wednesday 2 September. Both Robert Buckland (MP for South Swindon) and James Gray (MP for North Wiltshire) will be in attendance voicing their opposition.
If you are also of the opinion that this development should not take place, please come along and show your support. More details can be found here on the Link magazine website.
Taylor Wimpey Lydiard Park – Speak up and Help Protect our Heritage
5 August 2015
Full details of why the SRA believes this proposal should not go ahead are available below. Others opposed to this development include; South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, Wiltshire MP James Gray, the ‘Friends of Lydiard and both Swindon and Wiltshire local councillors.
Councillor Tim Swinyard has taken a leadership role in efforts to ensure the application (when it is made) is rejected by Wiltshire planning. He is organising a meeting of interested parties to coordinate our efforts. More details available here. If you share our strong views against this development, please send Tim an email stating your opposition and, in that email, please let him know if you would like to be part of the meeting he is organising.
Taylor Wimpey Lydiard Park – Developer Seems to Agree with SRA View!!
14 July 2015
Sadly no, they have not walked away from their proposals. However, they do seem to be agreeing with the SRA on the point of them being disingenuous about their ‘gifting’ of land.
In December 2014 part of the SRA position statement read: “the said land is either within the boundaries of the listed park as designated by English Heritage, would coalesce Lydiard Millicent to Swindon (a scenario that would be strongly opposed by Wiltshire County Council ) or is designated as a flood plain by the environment agency. For these reasons, the probability of getting planning permission on it is extremely low and, as such, we feel the gesture by Taylor Wimpey is simply a cynical ploy to try and win over public opinion”
In this document issued by Taylor Wimpey, the response bottom right following a question related to ‘opening the door’ to further development reads: “to develop the further additional parcels of land would create coalescence with Lydiard Millicent, where the majority of the land is within the designated Historic Park and Garden and is restricted from development. Therefore, this will not ‘open the door’ for the adjacent fields to be developed”.
No mention of ‘gifting’ the land, but a clear acknowledgement from Taylor Wimpey that the 48 houses they wish to build is the maximum they could ever build and that the ‘gifting’ of 89% of their land is a cynical disingenuous ploy to win over public opinion.
However, their website still says: “As a demonstration of our commitment to bringing forward a scheme that integrates with and respects the local area, we are proposing to develop just three hectares of our land (constituting only 11% of our total land ownership), with surrounding fields being handed to the local community to act as a substantial green buffer between the residential area and the listed house, associated listed structures and parkland.”
Taylor Wimpey Lydiard Park – feedback form on line
5 June 2015
Taylor Wimpey have posted a feedback form. Whatever your views, please take the time to complete their form. The SRA is strongly apposed to the development because Lydiard Park is of national significance and welcomes visitors from across the country and abroad and a new housing estate should simply not be built within its essential setting. The proposed site is also not within the local plans of either Wiltshire or Swindon. These local plans already account for the building of about 55,000 homes up to 2025. To allow these additional houses to be built would make a mockery of the local plan process.
It should also be noted that Taylor Wimpey’s ‘offer’ to gift most of their land to the community is a red herring designed to get residents on their side. All of the land they plan to ‘gift’ is either within the boundaries of English Heritage or on a flood plain – they know they will never get planning permission for that land.
Taylor Wimpey Lydiard Park – New consultation set for 3rd June
21 May 2015
An update was loaded to Taylor Wimpey’s ‘news and updates’ on 21 May. There had been no new news on their website, Twitter feed or Facebook since April 1st when they announced they are working on new plans – and that ended a FOUR month silence period from Taylor Wimpey. Interestingly their website still makes the misleading quote about English Heritage boundaries and talks about it being an ‘exemplar consultation’. The facts are that there were no updates on social media for four months and then silence for a further seven weeks after the April 1 update, and then when an update is made, it gives less than two weeks warning about a consultation .
The update reads:
We have further refined our proposals taking on board feedback received during our first consultation on the early plans for the scheme. We will be holding a public exhibition in order to present our progressed plans and to hear your thoughts. The details of the public exhibition are:
Date: 3rd June 2015
Time: 2pm – 7.30pm
Venue: Lydiard House Conference Centre, Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon, SN5 3PA
If you can’t attend this event, we will be providing all information displayed at the exhibition on this website and our social media channels. If you have any questions, please get in touch using the email or contact forms on this website and our Twitter and Facebook pages, or call 0800 298 7040.
Taylor Wimpey Lydiard Park – New Proposals to be Presented
15 April 2014
After four months of no updates, the Taylor Wimpey website was updated on April 1st to say:
“Following public consultation carried out in 2014 on initial plans, we’re continuing to develop our proposals based on feedback received”.
However, the misleading quote about English Heritage boundaries remains on their website….
Taylor Wimpey Lydiard Park status as of: 15 March 2015
The Taylor Wimpey twitter feed has not been updated since 5 December and their Facebook page was last updated on the 3 December – their web site is in a similar state. However, they still state an application will be submitted in February.
Their web site still states “Following a review of the registered parklands boundaries by English Heritage in 2013, the site that we are proposing to develop now falls outside of this designation” – Not even this misleading statement has been modified, since the land in question never fell within English Heritage boundaries. Taylor Wimpey have been informed of this through many sources and mediums.
Interestingly their web site states “In order to make this an exemplar consultation, for the first time, we have created development-specific social media channels” ….
Join us In Opposition to the Taylor Wimpey Lydiard Park Planning Proposal
3 December 2014
The SRA have joined with the Friends of Lydiard Park and the Lydiard Fields Action group in our opposition to the proposed development by Taylor Wimpey to the north of Lydiard Park. A photo shoot will take place on Saturday 6th December. In attendance will be MP’s Robert Buckland and James Gray. We will meet near the underpass on Hay lane – near the Brookhouse Farm pub at 9am. Please come along and demonstrate to Taylor Wimpey the strength of feeling against their proposals.
SRA Detailed Position with Respect to Taylor Wimpey’s Lydiard Park Development proposal
3 December 2014
As a relatively new town, Swindon does not have the breadth of heritage that cities such as Bath and Oxford can boast. For this reason, the protection of all aspects of our heritage must be a high priority. Lydiard Park is one of the most important heritage sites in Swindon and must be protected from any development.
Taylor Wimpey claim they would ‘gift’ 89% of the land they own to the community. The reality is that the said land is either within the boundaries of the Listed park as designated by English Heritage, would coalesce Lydiard Millicent to Swindon (a scenario that would be strongly opposed by Wiltshire County Council ) or is designated as a flood plain by the environment agency. For these reasons, the probability of getting planning permission on it is extremely low and, as such, we feel the gesture by Taylor Wimpey is simply a cynical ploy to try and win over public opinion.
Part of the land owned by Taylor Wimpey is designated as a flood plain. We believe to build in an area where flooding has proven to be a significant risk and right up to the line demonstrates the apparent disregard this developer has for the quality of life of people in the area.
Between the two local plans of Swindon and Wiltshire a total of over 60,000 homes are planned to be built in the period up to 2025. The site proposed by Taylor Wimpey is not within those plans. The SRA believes to approve the application would undermine the credibility of said plans and further alienate the general public from the planning process. Taylor Wimpey claim they have the right to build on land outside the local plan based on the argument that ‘local authorities’ are not building houses fast enough. We find this argument rather cynical given that Taylor Wimpey won on appeal the 700 homes at Ridgeway Farm based on a commitment to the planning inquiry that they could deliver all 700 homes within five years. After winning the appeal partially on these grounds, they have failed to meet that commitment and will take about ten years to complete the development.
We ask Taylor Wimpey to show respect for Swindon’s heritage, its communities and local plan and withdraw their application. Failing that we call on both Swindon and Wiltshire councils to stand firm against this maverick opportunistic application and reject it at least on the grounds outlined above.
Taylor Wimpey Lydiard Park Public Exhibition 19 November
16 November 2014
Taylor Wimpey announced, via Twitter on the 12 November, that they will be holding a public exhibition at Lydiard House conference centre from 2pm to 7pm on the 19th November (1 week notice). Local residents have also been informed via post of a preview session on the same date at 10am for 1.5 hours.
SRA Position with Respect to Taylor Wimpey’s Lydiard Park Development proposal
13 November 2014
The SRA is opposed to any development on the land in question, not only because of the negative impact it will have on Lydiard Park itself, but also simply because the proposal is outside of both Wiltshire County Council and Swindon Borough Council local plans. To approve it would undermine the credibility of said plans and further alienate the general public from the planning process. We call on both councils to stand firm against all such maverick opportunistic applications and reject the application on these grounds.
Taylor Wimpey Proposal to Build 50 Homes on Fields next to Lydiard Park
9 November 2014
Click here for more information from Taylor Wimpey’s web site. Their timeline is proposed as follows:
- October: Public consultation starts
- November: Public exhibition
- January: planning application submission