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First residents welcomed to Canalside

The first residents have now moved into Swindon’s landmark new Canalside housing development at Wichelstowe.

They were welcomed this week by the leader of Swindon Borough Council and fellow representatives of the joint venture behind the development. Set along the newly restored Wilts & Berks canal, the stunning range of contemporary houses and apartments are being built by five-star builders Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes.

Canalside is the first phase of the Wichelstowe development being built by Barratt & David Wilson Homes and will feature 208 much-needed new homes when complete next year. A new supermarket, secondary school and pub are already open on site offering a vibrant heart to the community from the outset.

One of the largest local authority joint venture agreements in the country, the partnership between Swindon Borough Council and Barratt Developments plc. will deliver 3,000 new homes at Wichelstowe over the next 20 years, along with new schools and community facilities. The 250-hectare site on the southern edge of Swindon includes extensive open spaces, nature conservation areas, playing pitches and allotments.

Couple Nina Thatcher, 25, and Joe Retter, 29, were among the first residents to complete on their new home and are all set to move into their three-bedroom David Wilson town house today (Thursday). The pair have been together for three and a half years and made the decision to save up for a deposit two years ago so they could purchase their first house together.

Nina said: “The house is everything we wanted; we are really pleased with it. It’s such a nice area and, being on the edge of Swindon, you get a real sense of being in the countryside too. For us it’s very convenient as well with both our workplaces only five minutes away.

“We used to drive through the Wichelstowe area before building started and we knew we wanted to live there, so when the homes were released for sale, we immediately reserved one – I think we were the first! My mum used to live in a David Wilson home in Wootton Bassett a couple of years back, so we knew they were a good builder and that’s also partly why we chose Wichelstowe.

“It’s been so exciting to see our home go up and our experience of David Wilson has been brilliant, the regular updates and communication have probably been the best bit of all. We are so looking forward to moving in and celebrating – it’s amazing!” 

A welcome pack for the first residents to move in will include all the information about their new home as well as a selection of gifts from nearby Waitrose and on-site pub-restaurant Hall & Woodhouse.

Swindon Borough Council Leader and joint venture board member, Councillor David Renard said:

“This is a truly momentous day and I am thrilled to see the first residents move into this stunning development in Swindon. We are in the grips of a housing crisis which requires innovation, dedication and a new approach to provide the homes our communities so desperately need. So it’s hugely heartening to see our partnership with Barratt Developments bear fruit – delivering not just homes, but really beautiful, contemporary homes alongside a thriving hub at the heart of the community.”

Ian Menham, Wichelstowe joint venture board member and Barratt Developments’ West regional director, added:

“We are delighted to see people move into Canalside at Wichelstowe today. This is a development that we are enormously proud of – not just because of the wide range of high quality homes on offer here, but because of the wider transformation of this site with the newly restored canal, plenty of wide open spaces, nature conservation areas, playing fields and allotments – all of which have never felt more important.”

Wichelstowe’s show homes and sales and marketing suite are now open by appointment and virtual tours are also available. A range of safety measures and new working procedures are in place including protective perspex screens, retractable barriers, strict social distancing and, where necessary, personal protective equipment (PPE), plus smart video- doorbell intercom systems to enable customers to engage with sales teams before entering offices. 

To find out more visit or call 0333 3558 490 (Barratt Homes) or 0333 3558 495 (David Wilson Homes).

L to R: Nina and Joe with Ian Menham, Wichelstowe joint venture board member and Barratt Developments’ West regional director; Julianna Sullivan, sales adviser; Swindon Borough Council Leader and joint venture board member, Cllr David Renard; James Dunne, managing director at Barratt David Wilson South West;