The campaign to bring a controversial science park to Swindon has taken another step forward as developers working on the project have revealed insight into what the park could look like.
The pharmaceutical company behind ambitious plans for a science park in Swindon have today released images to the public to offer insight into how the site could develop over the next 15 years.
The Wasdell Group is currently based on its Swindon site at Blagrove, where 650 staff are employed. The proposals to develop a new 40-hectare site at Inland's Farm, Wanborough, offer the creation of 600 more jobs by 2021 - when the first stage of development is due to be complete.
By 2025, if the plans are accepted, the developers are predicting that Swindon Science Park will create up to 3,045 jobs and believe the site will attract highly skilled employees from Swindon and further afield.
Martin Tedham, MD of the Wasdell Group, said: “The vision behind the Swindon Science Park is to create a high-tech hub for the knowledge economy, with Wasdell as the anchor company.
“Swindon doesn’t yet have anything like this. The demand is there, but you have to create the right offer, so that the innovative next-generation companies, who are the wealth creators and employers of the future, want to come to live and work here.
"Swindon Science Park will be a game-changer for attracting these high-tech employers.”
As well as employment opportunities, the proposals envisage extensive tree planting and water features, and paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
Plans for the park are still being strongly opposed by a local campaign group, South Swindon Protection Group. In a recent demonstration more than 200 local residents formed a human chain to highlight the size of the farm and what impacts it will have on the natural environment.
In a statement online a spokesperson for the group, John Warr, said: "This was the first of many planned demonstrations by the recently formed South Swindon Protection Group who oppose the planned development adjoining Pack Hill and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
"Over 600 objections to the proposed industrial development at Inlands Farm, Lower Wanborough, have been lodged on Swindon Borough Council's Planning site with only one single “for” the proposal."
If the proposals were to be rejected and The Wasdell Group believe the refusal to be unreasonable, the pharmaceutical company can appeal to the Secretary of State.
Cllr Dale Heenan is said to also oppose the plans for Swindon Science Park. Cllr Heenan has been contacted by Swindon Link for comment.