Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inquiry into development at Coate Water opens

The Swindon Advertiser reports that the appeal against Swindon Council’s refusal of permission for 890 houses and a business estate on land near Coate Water began at the Steam museum in the town today:
Jean Saunders, 65, of Longcot, hopes to speak at the inquiry as secretary of the Jefferies Land Conservation Trust, which has suggested alternative plans to protect the site as an educational nature reserve. 
“We’re going to be bringing to the table a whole host of other concerns we raised,” she said. “Obviously there’s this issue of precedent – if planning permission is granted for this, it will just set a precedent for infill between the development and Coate Water itself. 
“We’re going to be arguing strongly a case for protecting Richard Jefferies’ literary landscape. 
“The third matter is protecting certain spaces that are within the area. 
“There’s a nature reserve that’s right smack bang in the middle, Day House Copse – an extremely valuable habitat.”
"Jefferies Land" refers to the Victorian writer Richard Jefferies, about whom I wrote a Masters dissertation in the 1990s. You can read more about Jefferies and Coate in a guest post that Rebecca Welshman wrote for this blog back in August.

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