The go-ahead for the creation of a high-quality heart to the Wichelstowe development in Swindon, which will include schools, a pub/restaurant, and 350 new homes including a development for older people, is to be considered by Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet next week.
If approved, the council would lead the project to deliver the Wichelstowe District Centre, which will occupy the canalside site around the existing Waitrose store.
The proposal has been brought forward to take advantage of significant interest from pub and restaurant operators, retailers and the providers of housing for older people. The Diocese of Bristol has also been successful in gaining funding for the delivery of a secondary school with a planned opening date of September 2018.
The formation of a joint venture company with Barratt Developments to build over 3,000 homes at Wichelstowe, announced last year, is unaffected by the proposal. Discussions between the Council and Barratt to develop the plans for the remainder of the site are ongoing.
At its meeting, the Cabinet is also being asked to approve a budget of up to £750,000 for design and project team costs for the District Centre.
Cllr Toby Elliott, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet member for Strategic Planning said: “Our ambitions to make Wichelstowe a really great place to live are clearly signalled in this plan, which if approved will see an extremely attractive centre created for the development. It will set the right tone for the rest of the site.
“We’ve had so much positive interest from businesses wanting to occupy the District Centre that it makes sense for the Council to get on with it. The fact that we are proposing to take these steps, while at the same time progressing our discussions with Barratt around the wider development, shows the Council’s desire to build on the success of Waitrose and unlock the full potential of the site.”
The Cabinet meeting to consider the proposal is on Wednesday 7 September at the Civic Offices in Euclid Street, Swindon, starting at 6.30pm.