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Council 'disappointed' with Pickles' approval for 700 new homes

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Council 'disappointed' with Pickles' approval for 700 new homes

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development, Local Government

Eric Pickles Eric Pickles

Wiltshire Council is "disappointed" with Eric Pickles' decision to approve a 700-home development near Swindon.

The council blocked developer Taylor Wimpey's plans for the Ridgeway Farm site because of concerns about traffic increases in the area.

However, the building firm appealed on the grounds that the council did not make its decision in the legal time limit.

The application was sent to Mr Pickles, the communities secretary, who gave his approval.

North Wiltshire's MP, Tory James Gray, said that he deeply regretted the decision and had done all he could to try to stop it. He said: "The Planning Inspector's decision to allow up to 700 new houses on the Ridgeway Farm site near Purton is an unwelcome invasion of the countryside."

"There is no proven need for more housing in this area on this scale, and this new piece of Swindon urban sprawl further invades the vital green lung between Swindon and the villages of Purton and Lydiard Millicent. It also has consequences for traffic management and water and sewerage, particularly in Swindon."

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson added: “We are disappointed with the decision and we will consider if there are any implications from this decision for the future delivery of housing in Wiltshire.”

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said: “Taylor Wimpey is delighted that the Secretary of State has agreed with the Inspectors decision to grant planning permission for the Ridgeway Farm development. We look forward to working with the local authority developing this scheme, including the provision of a new primary school, affordable housing and highway improvements.”

Mr Pickles' had a legal challenge launched against him by Tewkesbury Borough Council earlier in the month after he gave approval for the building over 1,000 homes in the Bishop's Cleve area. The council felt that the decision was "inconsistent with the Localism Act".

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