Ridgeway Farm ~ object or not to object

A bit of a crazy time with Ridgeway Farm.

Since the two current applications were not “called in” so that they could be decided by councillors, they will now be decided by Wiltshire Council officers. This is fine for small applications such as household ones ~ not easy to get those wrong. But I would have thought that all big contentious applications with far-reaching consequences should automatically be brought before our elected councillors for scrutiny.

Especially, since a short while ago Thames Water put in an objection to the application. This is not surprising since Thames Water indicated in 2011, when the proposals were first mooted, that there would be insufficient capacity within the existing foul water sewerage network to accommodate design flows from the proposed development. Thames Water also confirmed that there would be: no additional capacity within the existing surface water network.

The Planning Inspector at the time of the appeal chose to dismiss these concerns.

Interestingly, Thames Water removed their recent objection just a few days ago … with no obvious or published reason. None of this builds trust and the least that can be done is for councillors to be deeply involved.

I do not advocate objecting for the sake of it, though whilst there are still unresolved issues we should be diligent and require our councillors to call in the Ridgeway Farm applications as they arise so they can be scrutinised in the public eye.

That is fair and that is just.

For more detail on some of the above issues, see the work of the Shaw Residents’ Association.


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