Fairford lakeside eco build a flood worry for residents
LAKESIDE developers of a new eco-friendly second home village and leisure complex in Fairford were grilled at a public presentation evening.
It has been two and a half years since Cygnet was given the go-ahead to build 77 pavilions, 63 apartments and a leisure complex at Lakes 103, 103a, 104 and land at Milestone House.
Now, developer Mark Savage is hopeful that final planning details will be submitted to Cotswold District Council in the next two months, so the build can get underway.
At last week’s public drop-in session at Fairford Community Centre, main concerns raised by residents were over the development’s impact on flooding and sewage. The area is a flood plain and was reportedly submerged in water over the Christmas period.
A Fairford resident, who did not want to be named, said: “They’re spending a huge amount of public money to stop flooding, but at the other end of Fairford they’re allowing a major housing development on the site where water normally runs.”
Retired doctor Stewart Benzie added: “The sewage system hasn’t been updated since before 2007. If they put these houses into the same pumping system which wasn’t adequate then, there’s going to be a higher risk of sewage flooding.”
But Cygnet’s planning consultant, David Neame, said sewage arrangements had been approved by Thames Water and flooding would not be a problem unless water levels exceeded that of the 2007 floods in the town.
“We have to work to that 2007 event for floor levels. It’s never reached that level either before or since,” he said.
Some residents welcomed the plans.
Local businessman Neil Dowler said: “I’ve lived in Fairford all my life and in the last 30 years I’ve seen it die a death. This, along with the other new developments, will give Fairford and local business a much-needed boost.”
Critics have said plans for a public leisure complex, with an increased 25metre swimming pool, will never see the light of day. A planning loophole means it does not need to be built until 130 out of 140 properties have been built.
But Mr Savage said the pool would go ahead.
“We’re making it available to local users, not just from Fairford but also the other surrounding villages. We have agreed to that,” he said.
The development’s “family” of Cotswold stone and red cedar two to six-bed properties have been created by architect Richard Hawkes, who specialises in designing “exceptional buildings” and has featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.
Mr Hawkes said that unlike nearby lakeside developments, the buildings and terraces had been designed to make the most of the available sunlight – for pleasure and for storing natural energy.