A major survey of residents and businesses over the next three months will help Swindon Borough Council plan where new shops, restaurants, industrial sites and offices need to be located over the next 20 years.
One thousand residents will be contacted by telephone between January and March by market research company NEMS to find out where households buy goods and services, either within Swindon or elsewhere, and about their leisure habits such as where they go to eat out, or visit entertainment such as cinemas.
Residents will be selected at random, and the survey will take no longer than 15 minutes.
Businesses across the Borough will be contacted separately to find out their plans for the future and how the council could help them meet their aims. Business organisations and networking groups will be asked to give views on behalf of their member organisations.
The findings of the work will be used to develop Swindon’s next Local Plan, which will guide development across the Borough until 2036. Swindon has recently had its Local Plan to 2026 approved by the Planning Inspectorate, but was advised that it needed to plan in the longer term for accommodating future growth to best meet the future needs of residents and businesses.
Cllr Toby Elliott, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Strategic Planning said: “This is an important piece of work and I urge all residents who are called to take part if they can. It will take fifteen minutes or so but it’s important we understand fully people’s current habits, and what influences them.
“Equally, it is vital that we know what businesses need and are planning to do, and how they see their business growing. Developing a plan for this has to take account of all sorts of factors including transport links and other infrastructure. Making sure that Swindon grows without growing pains is vital to make sure the businesses that are already here continue to want to stay here, and we make it attractive to those who are yet to come.”