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Outline Planning Consent was granted tonight at Planning Committee for a development of 370 homes and a 2 form of entry Primary School and Convenience Store at Redlands in Wanborough.


The area was allocated for housing within the Local Plan and despite much opposition from both residents and the Parish Council (and myself) I found myself making the proposal to Grant permission at tonight's meeting.

I have secured some important concessions as the development will have automatic traffic counters to detect traffic coming from the development via Wanborough and in the event that the extremely low suggestion of vehicle movements is exceeded, then traffic measures including a permanent 'no left turn' to Wanborough from Redlands may be implemented.

It was also agreed that I (as Ward Councillor) will work with the Head of Planning & the Cabinet Member for Housing (as well as my fellow Covingham Councillors) on the drainage strategy to deal with the watercourses between development blocks in an effort to stop flooding.

Finally and again with the Head of Planning & Cabinet Member the Heads of Terms for the Section 106 contributions will include implementation of traffic calming measures within our village to further deter rat running.

The Wanborough Road will be traffic calmed and narrowed and a footway/cycle path to Covingham will be created (the Wanborough section before first occupation on site. All of the finer details will be decided in the Reserved Matters application later and the development will NOT proceed until Thames Water can deliver both a water supply and take away sewage - both of which are at least 2-3 years away.

What cannot be stopped should be welcomed! If the place-making and design are good enough (and there is a lot of work to do to make this better) and if the impact on Wanborough village is diminished then in a few years time this will become a new community in itself.


Packed Village Hall in Wanborough for the January 2018 Parish Council meeting following their decision to object to a footpath which residents showed had been used for 120 years being made 'definitive'. This was despite a detailed dossier presented by village residents to the Parish Council they still failed to support the residents. The matter will now be passed to the Secretary of State for a decision.


“Ridgeway Ward Councillor News - February 2018" 


ROAD REPAIRS: I have had a campaign to report Highways issues in the past month. They are not all sorted out yet but acknowledged by SBC and ‘on the system’ hence yellow lines being painted around them. This is in response to things I have seen as well as some resident’s reports. These have included High Street, Wanborough (pavements & potholes), Rotten Row (potholes & road flooding – the latter is also a Thames Water ongoing leak – potholes now fixed), Pack Hill (overgrown or fallen trees & damaged bank – the latter SBC will not mend but will leave to grass over), fly tipping between Callas Hill & Hinton Parva, fly tipping on the Ridgeway Road from Liddington to Chiseldon, potholes in The Street, Liddington & more in Bishopstone. If you spot a serious defect, please let me know (ideally with a photo) by email.


SHELAA Housing & Employment sites: Swindon Borough Council requested that land owners / developers come forward with potential sites for housing and employment land – latest update is that those sites to be considered will be made public in June 2018.


PARKING – Wanborough: There have been many complaints about inconsiderate parking in the village. Whilst the police take the view that where there are no parking restrictions there is little they can do, if an accident occurs as a result of parking dangerously then they may act (there is still a ‘Highway Code’ apparently). Having lived here for some time now I am aware that families are growing whilst our parking doesn’t so some three bedroom homes may now have four cars. This is not planned and a fact of life that children stay at home longer – but we can consider others and parking at the end of The Beanlands and Magdalen Road is causing a concern. Similarly, Church Road, Ham Road (by the doctors) have all featured in complaints. If you still have to park in these places, then ideally a position that considers other road users would be appreciated.


SPRINGLINES MEADOW & STANLEY CLOSE FLOOD MITIGATION: Just an update that I have asked the legal department at SBC to take action against Taylor Wimpey for non-compliance to carry out the works as part of the planning consent.


NEW IMPROVED FOOTPATH – Hooper’s Field to the Doctors via Rotten Row, Magdalen Rd, past the school and via Stanley Close all the way along Stacey’s Lane to Church Road and the Doctors: On a positive note this looks like it is going ahead and affected residents have been informed. This is being done with funds secured as part of the Taylor Wimpey scheme and will involve some new surfacing and a clear route all the way. Funds (over £40k) were also secured for works which the school intend to do to the school Conservatory to make it a usable space.


PARISH COUNCIL: This month my email has been busy with complaints about a number of Parish issues beyond my control. If you have an issue with the actions or procedures followed by Parish Council, then you should contact their Clerk (always copying in the Chairman Colin Offer – do not assume that if you tell the Parish Council about an issue that they will tell me – please always copy me in if you want my input?



“Ridgeway Ward Councillor News - January 2018" 


I recently joined Liddington Parish Council’s Community Speed-watch Group and completed my training at police HQ in Devizes. I look forward to helping ensure that both residents and drivers passing through are mindful of the speed limits. More volunteers are always really helpful in sharing the load and the same applies to Wanborough.


I met with Thames Water to discuss water and sewage infrastructure for the New Eastern Villages (NEV) development and it was again disappointing to note that they still have modelling to do (for which they are awaiting contributions from the land-owners/developers) and once this is done they will commence plans. Again we are at least two years away from any new supplies and a massive amount of work would have to be undertaken to supply the Southern parts of the NEV November such as Redlands.


I am working with the delivery team at Swindon Borough Council on the £10m project to improve Junction 15 (M4) and whilst I am keen to see it happen I also want to make sure that Badbury and Liddington residents don’t see increased ‘rat running’ when cars queue on the Marlborough Road and decide to cut through Badbury. I have a plan to see this stopped whilst the work is carried out (later in 2018/2019).


SHELAA Housing & Employment sites: Swindon Borough Council requested that land owners / developers come forward with potential sites for housing and employment land – this was due to come to Parishes in November however the site assessments were not done and I asked SBC that the consultation be delayed until they are fully assessed – there I no point worrying residents with what ‘might’ happen near to their home or village when it may not even be a remote possibility.


Southern Connector Road: An indicative ‘preferred route’ is now published and SBC are looking for comments. This should be a positive benefit for residents as it will form a ‘bypass’ for traffic from the new 8-10,000 home development – HOWEVER – the road is currently planned as a single carriageway which I think is a mistake and it should be built as a dual carriageway. If the road does not have the capacity required then traffic will still ‘rat run’ through our villages. Please support me on this and send comments by email to – in West Swindon they regret daily that Thamesdown Drive just stops! 


RESIDENTS ISSUES: If residents have any village or Ward related issues please come to me directly – there is not a great opportunity to interact at Parish meetings and I’m always happy to take a call or your email and I will do my very best to help.


“Superfast Broadband is available in Wanborough & Liddington. Register at - speeds of min 24mbps guaranteed where service is provided and an artificial cap on speeds to 30mbps is being removed in February (speak to your re-seller if already connected to action this)!


Packed Village Hall in Liddington 4th October 2017 - a really positive meeting organised by the Parish Council - some lovely, constructive and well organised engagement where we discussed topics including Community Speedwatch, dog fouling, Neighbourhood Plans, highways 


“Proud to be appointed as Chairman of Children's Health, Social Care & Education' Overview & Scrutiny Committee 2017-18


I was delighted with the appointment which covers a subject close to my interests. For parents with issues involving any of these subjects I am here to help as your Ward Councillor. Gary Sumner 


“Pumphouse Lane - Badbury”


Residents contacted me as the drainage pipes had been broken, the narrow banks of teh lane were overgrown and the wrong types of vehicles were using it!


“Problem Solved - Pumphouse Lane in Badbury"


Following months of work we have had the lane widened thanks to the farmer who owns one side of the bank. Swindon Borough Council have installed new drainage pipes, new warning markers and new signage at the lane entrance. 



Gary Sumner

Ridgeway Ward



Tel: 01793 790814


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