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Planning granted for next phase

Planning permission has been granted today for the first elements of the next phase of Swindon’s landmark new housing development rapidly taking shape at Wichelstowe.

More than 80 homes in the first phase, Canalside, are now occupied and more than three quarters of the new apartments now nearing completion along the canal have already been snapped up.

The latest planning approvals include the overall design, style and character of the next phase of the development as well as detailed planning permission for 182 homes at Wichel Fields, just East of the newly occupied homes at Canalside.

Construction is planned to get underway this summer on 478  new homes at both Wichel Fields and the Orchards located at the north end of Wichelstowe.

One of the largest local authority joint venture agreements in the country, the Wichelstowe development is being built by Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and will deliver 3,000 new homes over the next 20 years, along with new schools and community facilities. The 250-hectare site on the southern edge of Swindon will include extensive open spaces, nature conservation areas, playing pitches and allotments.

As well as the new homes, which will range from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom family homes, the next phase of the development will also include two new sections of primary streets extending the strategic road network through the site. This will include a new roundabout on Mill Lane, to give access to the new homes to the East and connect the new area with the wider Wichelstowe development and surrounding road network.

New ecological measures will include hundreds of new trees, new ponds, wildflower grassland to attract a range of pollinators along with broader wildlife habitat creation and protection, such as the creation of sheltered areas for hibernating animals.

The existing footpath network will be improved and extended through the woodland and nature conservation areas and include the first section of a central boardwalk, helping to ensure the natural, open green space is fully accessible for everyone to enjoy. The Orchards area will be planted with a range of species including apple, cherry and walnut trees alongside a new allotment area.

Over 200 new bird boxes will be built in and around the new homes, which will be highly sustainable and energy efficient in line with Barratt Developments’ industry-leading commitment to becoming a net zero carbon housebuilder. The plans also include new drainage infrastructure for the site such as ponds and swales that will eventually feed into the newly restored Wilts & Berks canal, which runs through the development.

Wichelstowe project director Daniel Pavely said:

“Despite the incredible challenges of the past year, it has been fantastic to see the life of this new community begin, with hundreds of people now living at Canalside. So we are delighted to have been granted permission to get on with the next phase of work here. As well as building hundreds more much-needed new homes for Swindon, this next work will see exciting new ecological enhancements too – with new wildlife habitats and open green spaces being created.”

Louise Ware, sales director for David Wilson Homes South West commented: 

The community at Wichelstowe is really taking shape now and it’s been wonderful to see people moving into Canalside and using the community and leisure facilities on site. With so many of the first homes now sold we’re looking forward to getting underway on building the next homes, which will have a complementary but distinct character of their own.”

Andrea Pilgrim, sales director for Barratt Homes in Wiltshire added:

“Many of the people who’ve moved into the Canalside homes at Wichelstowe have commented on the strong sense of community already developing here, so it’s wonderful that we can now get underway with building more homes for first-time buyers, growing families and people looking to downsize with a range of fantastic facilities on the doorstep and within easy reach of Swindon town centre and the wider region.”