As of writing the rain is falling heavily in Feniton. It’s a time when residents anxiously look out of their windows to see if the flood waters are rising, and cast nervous glances towards the Wainhomes site known as Winchester Park. The same rain falls across ground on the site which Wainhomes was supposed to keep open as green spaces, but which is now home to rubbish abandoned by the builders. A case of Rising Dump, really.
The good news that your caring, sharing developer had its latest application for more houses on this site thrown out was greeted by many locals with a level of disappointment on par with learning that one has just won the Euromillions jackpot. The rejection of Wainhomes’ latest attempt to urbanise the village is a relief for those of who know that Feniton is simply not sustainable when it comes to yet more development. Our roads are narrow, particularly opposite the Wainhomes site – but according to Wainhomes there isn’t a traffic problem because their own survey revealed that the roads are perfectly capable of handling traffic up to the hundreds of new houses they wanted to build.
But hang on a minute. Their traffic survey was conducted on a wide road a mile away on the opposite side of the village, and not where the houses are actually built!
Having been shamed into installing attenuation tanks to mitigate flooding across the village, and reduce run off from the site, Feniton Parish Council has heard from a specialist engineer who has concluded that the attenuation tanks won’t work.
Not a problem! Wainhomes simply refuses to talk to anyone on the subject!
In the marketing business it’s acknowledged that when you are having trouble selling something there are very few things you can do to turn things around. One is to reduce the price to make something appear a ‘bargain’. Or you can hype something up – “last chance to buy!” – and hope to stimulate demand. Wainhomes appears to have gone for the latter option, judging by this advertisement in the 22 July edition of the Midweek Herald.
It’s an interesting advertisement in that this last property is “offered to local residents”. Except, as we know, all the evidence is that locals don’t want two-bedroomed units. They want houses with three or four bedrooms. The truth is that Wainhomes won’t care who buys this property as long as it sells, although references to ‘local residents’ may help convey the impression that they actually care what Fenitonians think. If they truly cared they might add meaning to the sale of this “luxury … coach house” by arranging for coaches to actually visit Feniton. That at least would improve the abysmal levels of public transport currently enjoyed by residents in this village ….