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Planning sought for next phase of development at Wichelstowe

The next phase of Swindon’s landmark new housing development has taken a step closer today with the submission of the first in a series of new planning applications.

As the first residents at Canalside, Wichelstowe settle in for their first Christmas in their new homes, detailed applications outlining plans for 476 new homes at Wichel Fields, alongside the newly occupied first phase homes, and The Orchards to the north of the site, have now been submitted to the local planning authority.

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 parcels of the development will also include two new sections of primary streets extending the strategic road network through the site.

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 exiting 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.

Since the current Covid restrictions mean community events and exhibitions to showcase the plans have not been possible, the Wichelstowe project team has created a new video tour of the area covered in the latest series of planning applications which can be viewed below:

Wichelstowe project director Daniel Pavely said:

“It’s been wonderful to see so much progress at the new Wichelstowe development this year, and in particular to see people move into the stunning new homes along the water at Canalside. This next phase will not only deliver more much-needed homes for Swindon, but will see the ecological measures, wildlife habitats and open green space start to take shape, all of which have taken on an even greater significance for so many of us this year.”

Subject to planning permission, work on this next phase of the Wichelstowe development is expected to start towards the middle of 2021.