How you helped
Results of the New Eastern Villages consultation
Swindon Borough Council have released the results of the recent consultation. The total number of representations received relating to the New Eastern Villages Planning Obligations draft Supplementary Planning Document was 369. 330 of those responses relate to, or reference, restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal.
Many thanks to all who helped the Trust in this way.
Swindon Borough Council Consultation on New Eastern Villages
There is a wonderful opportunity for a significant stretch of canal to be part of the development of this proposed eastern expansion of Swindon. It will bring our goal of restoring the whole of the Wilts & Berks Canal closer, and will create a beautiful and tranquil setting on the edge of a new urban area, with recreational opportunities for all, and with increased biodiversity and habitat locations: a win win situation for people and wildlife.
Why is this consultation important to the Trust and important to you?
The section of the canal, routed in accordance with Swindon Borough Council’s wishes that it is located on the edge of the development, would link with the canal as built in Wichelstowe and would add a further 7 miles to our goal of restoring the canal between Semington and Abingdon.
The consultation document shows the line of the canal as a green canal corridor; this is a welcome and pleasing result arising from years of meetings and reports between the Trust, Swindon Borough Council and others.
However, the consultation document does not include the requirement for the proposed development to make provision for the funding of the building of the canal or its infrastructure.
Our aim is to see the construction of the canal in New Eastern Villages as an enforceable part of the infrastructure development, and that will mean that the canal must be built as part of any built development.
We need your help to achieve this aim: we need you to influence Swindon Borough Council to rectify this omission and to place the canal at the heart of the development.
How can you help?
You can help us by responding to the online consultation document.
The more responses Swindon Borough Council receive on this subject, the more likely they are to consider including funding for the canal within the development proposals as they go through the planning process.
Or by post to:
Planning Service, Swindon Borough Council, Freepost SCE5251
5th Floor, Wat Tyler House, Beckhampton Street, Swindon, SN1 2JG.
What do you need to say?
You need to use your own words but we would like to suggest the following bullet points that you might want to select from:
- It’s very good to see that the protected canal route has been included
- The construction of the canal must be included as part of the New Eastern Villages infrastructure
- The canal should be funded by the developers
- The canal offers opportunities for flood relief and land drainage
- The canal offers a wonderful opportunity to make a distinctive character for the New Eastern Villages
- Working canals in other location have created property uplift, and will do so here as well
- A built canal will create both recreational and leisure assets as well as improving people’s well-being
- A built canal will create wildlife habitat assets and increase biodiversity
Please do look online and respond to the consultation: the closing date is Wednesday 4th May, so there is not much time left. Talking to family and friends about this, and asking them to respond as well, would create an even larger impression.
Together we can achieve our goal of restoring the canal, and this is an important way that you can help.
Chief Executive Officer
Modified JS 31/05/16