A depressing story from the Swindon Advertiser:
A Roman villa, a landing strip for pre-World War One biplanes, a Bronze Age barrow, half-a-dozen Neolithic stone circles, the birthplace of an acclaimed poet and an old Victorian brick yard.
The countryside in and around Coate Water has all of these and more but conservationists who have lost a 30-year battle to keep developers at bay are urging people to enjoy the area before it changes forever.
A two-day celebration of the old hamlet of Coate and its adjoining rural landscape on the eastern edge of Swindon takes place this weekend.
It has been organised by the Swindon Civic Voice which is urging people to get out in the open air and “soak it all up” before work on a 900-home development begins.I am biased about Coate, because I wrote my Masters dissertation about Richard Jefferies. He is the writer the Advertiser has in mind, but he was not a poet. He was a nature essayist and novelist who played an important part in the development of British science fiction and children's literature.
But, biased as I am, I am astounded that the land around Coate is being developed. Swindon has grown at an extraordinary rate, and settlements of this size need their green spaces. It should have been preserved and cherished.
Its development, along with my experience more locally, suggests that developers can currently build pretty much where they choose.
Anyway, Swindon Civic Voice has produced this poster above to advertise this weekend's event.