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Date added: 10 October 2008

Coffin Controversy 

Story update: 15 October 2008 09:08am
Coffin Close plan denied permission
"A victory for common sense" is how one campaigner described the decision to deny permission for a controversial development in Highworth last night.
A scheme put forward to build a 63-bed nursing home and 14 dwellings on the site know as Coffin Close in Westrop was fiercely debated at a full Council planning meeting - with a 12-1 committee majority decision eventually throwing out the plan.
That after fifteen local residents presented evidence of existing traffic problems in the area and the dangers associated with the proposed entrance to the site.
"Despite the Council planners recommending the scheme, the planning commitee listened to us and supported our opposition," said campaigner David Brady.
"Highworth councillor John Short deserves huge recognition for fighting our case. We put forward our arguments and the overwelming decision vindicates our campaign to stop it."
A 130 signature petition and support from Swindon Borough Council Adult Social Care, who opposed the building of the care home on grounds of need, also helped swell opinion in favour of those voicing concerns.
"It just wouldn't be safe for people in the area if it goes ahead. Simple as that," added Terry Wickes who also attended the meeting.
It is believed that the developers, Highwood Developments, may appeal the decision.
In 2006, permission was first denied due to residents objections when plans proposed access via Brookfield Close to the rear of the site. 
Local residents urge councillors to bury Highworth development
10 October 2008
Coffin Close Highworth Swindon
Controversial plan:
Coffin Close in Westrop, Highworth
A planning application in Highworth will be fiercely opposed at the Council offices next week.
Permission on a proposed development of a 63-bedroom care home and 14 houses on land known as Coffin Close in Westrop will be debated at a meeting of the Swindon Borough Council planning committee on Tuesday 14 October.
And local residents against the idea are geared up to fight the plan, citing it as 'wholly inappropriate and a traffic danger'.
"It's a total over development," said Westrop homeowner, David Brady, who has been opposed to the plans since they were first put forward over a year ago.
"The proposed access is totally inadequate for a development of this size. The road is far too narrow. It was never designed for this.
"Children use this road to walk to school in the mornings and afternoons and many walk in the road because the pavement just isn't wide enough.
"Dust carts, delivery lorries, recycling lorries already cause a massive problem. Not to mention the idea of ambulances and emergency services accessing a care home.
Westrop Highworth
Proposed access:
Plan below - already recommended
by SBC Highways Dept.
and current Westrop road (above and bottom photo) which residents describe as 'already a problem for cars and large vehicles'
Westrop Coffin Close Entrance
Westrop Highworth
"Parked cars are a massive hazard here and a 63 bed care home plus 14 houses with provision for just 36 extra spaces will make the parking situation a nightmare - and incredibly dangerous.
"If they grant permission for this, it's an accident waiting to happen in my opinion."
Supporting opposition to the plan is Swindon councillor David Renard, Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Care.
"Adult Social Care don't want this care home. We don't need it," he told us.
"The basis for building it isn't for need it's for profit. And on that basis Adult Social Care have written to the planning department voicing our opposition."
The application is being put forward by Nigel Meek of Highwood Residential, who are acting on behalf of the land owners Developing Land Ltd.
A previous plan to allow access to the rear of Coffin Close via Brookfield close was successfully opposed by residents last year.
The house standing on the land was formerly the home of Mrs Pat Wise, of the Wise baking family.
Westrop More Pictures
Westrop Gallery - 10/10/2008
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Westrop Gallery
Coffin Close plans - more details
Janet's Puppy School
Chelworth Windows and Conservatories, Swindon, Wiltshire