Swindon local plan
Swindon Borough Council has now published its draft revised Local Plan to 2036.
Last year SBC issued a Climate Change Topic Paper, in which a section was entitled Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption in the review of the Swindon Borough Local Plan 2026.
Headings were entitled
a. Protect and enhance all biodiversity and geological features and avoid losses,
b. Use and manage water resources in a sustainable manner,
c. Minimise our impacts on climate change – through reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
d. Reduce our vulnerability to future climate change effects.
With the proposed delivery of 8,000 houses over the next 20 years at the New Eastern Villages (another name for an urban extension) which will be built to a large degree on flat, low lying, water retentive land (which is really a flood plain as it contains Flood Risk Zones 2 and 3) with one area known as The Marsh, questions are being raised by the Environment Agency about the efficacity of the proposals being put forward by developers. Not only is there an issue about controlling surface water but also the fact that Swindon is in a high water stressed area. So what about water conservation and capture?
Is there sufficiently radical thinking in the Policies of the Plan to be able to require, rather than merely recommend and manage, Construction Techniques and Travel Patterns. Can the huge growth in the area’s population, at the New Eastern Villages, Wroughton, Blunsdon, Highworth and other smaller sites, be delivered without major negative environmental impact given the speed of climate change.
Are the selected growth areas going to meet the needs of economic requirement without environmental impact?
Although the period for comment has ended, you can read the Draft Local Plan by clicking here.