Serious omissions From Swindon’s Local Plan

SCAN are currently working alongside other local people and groups, including Extinction Rebellion and parish councils, to address changes to / omissions from the Local Plan. At a time when we need to be addressing environmental issues, facilitating vital changes, the Local Plan includes less environmental stipulation; for example, a section on sustainable development has been removed.

This letter to the Swindon Advertiser from Jane Milner-Barry, councillor for Old Town and East Wichel, explains further:

‘Local Plan Review:

Swindon residents who care about cutting carbon emissions have until 23 September to help shape a crucial document that will determine the development of our town for years to come.

A revised draft of Swindon’s Local Plan is now out for public consultation. This hugely important document will decide how many houses get built and where they go. It will also decide whether Swindon gets on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

The Government says our planning system should deliver “sustainable development,” which means “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. And it says Local Authorities have a vital role to play in achieving “radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”.

But on that score, Swindon’s draft Local Plan is not good enough. An entire section on Sustainable Construction has been deleted. New Government guidance on how Local Authorities can make developers build more energy efficient buildings has been ignored. The section on Transport—critical for cutting emissions—has been reduced from nine pages to one.

If you think we should be building energy-efficient homes and investing in low-carbon infrastructure, please make sure you have your say on the Local Plan…’

You can read and comment on the Local Plan documents here. Click on “Local Plan Review Emerging Strategies” and then on “Read and Comment on Document”. The policies which will shape development are in “Development Management Policies”. “Supporting Documents” includes a number of important documents including a Climate Change Topic Paper. The documents are also available at Swindon’s main libraries and at the Council Offices in Euclid Street.

SCAN welcomes your ideas about the Local Plan and the policies you would like it to contain. Please contact us via email or via our Facebook page or group to do so.