writes Aled Thomas

A SMALLHOLDING in Blunsdon could be the latest patch of green space lost to homes.

Bellway Homes has applied to Swindon Borough Council for permission to build 55 houses on fields behind Turnpike Road, just south of the Cold Harbour junction.

The company says the site is well placed “benefitting from jobs services and facilities in the town as well as those facilities in Blunsdon”. While the company has applied for outline permission – meaning it will have to get agreement on the appearance and layout of the houses – it has revealed the homes would be arranged in a loose H shape. And the owner of the smallholding Maureen Barton said she and Bellway had tried to ensure the development had a little impact as possible on her neighbours.

She said: “The open green space is right behind the houses on the road and extends as far back as possible to give them as much space as possible.

“Bellway has written to all the neighbours to told them what’s going on and I’ve spoken to them as well.”

Mrs Barton grew up in Blunsdon and her property was originally her fathers.

She said: “I moved back here 20 years ago and it was pretty derelict. I run the smallholding at the minute, but I’m getting older and it doesn’t look after itself.

"If there isn’t someone to look after the land, then it just becomes run down. And there is a need for housing in Swindon.”

Bellway’s proposals include 30 per cent of the houses –16 – to be let at an affordable rent. The company references other developments and housing allocations in the area, including 1,650 houses nearby in Kingsdown. It says that development is likely to bring with it a new village centre, with a primary school and more amenities which will be available to people living in Turnpike Road, and that improved cycle and pedestrian routes from the road into Kingsdown will be created. But the growth in the area, and the specific proposals by Bellway don’t please everyone.

Terry Saunders who lives in Turnpike Road said: “There’s so much development now that it’s really changing the nature of the place. It used to be a little place in the country outside Swindon, and now it’s just being swallowed up.”

Originally published in the Swindon Advertiser

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