Since the 2009 closure of Windmill Primary School, pictured centre, when it combined with Freshbrook Primary School to become Millbrook Primary, the site on Uxbridge Road has remained empty pending any interest for its future use from the community, or Free Schools.
No expressions of interest were made, but the former school building has been subject to extensive vandalism, including an arson attack in February 2011. As a consequence, the remains building had to be demolished to make the site safe (below)
Following an initiative by the government to promote self-build housing, this site was identified as suitable for a project. In February 2012, Swindon Council decided to put forward proposals to explore this, assess its viability and seek public opinion.
It is currently proposed that the whole site is developed for detached self-build houses, offering 28 services plots of various sizes with space for allotments. Due to legal restrictions around the designation of part of the school field as play space, only part of the site can be developed in the near future. The proposal applies only to the northern half of 1.7 acres, comprising 15 plots, access road and allotments.
The scheme will be undertaken in partnership with BuildStore Financial Services Ltd who are based nearby and will provide marketing, finance and project management services.
Some site investigation work has already been carried out to establish the feasibility of the proposals, and a site plan has been prepared.
Residents were consulted at the Link Centre on 6 December and will a planning application is to be submitted early in the New Year.
If the scheme is approved, it is anticipated that the plots will be marketed to any interested self-builders (not developers) from Spring 2013.