High hopes for jobs at The Hub
5:30am Tuesday 4th March 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
MORE than 2,000 jobs could be created if a new district centre is built in East Swindon.
An application has been submitted for the plan.
The centre, which would be located across the road from Gablecross Police Station, could see an area of commercial properties built, including two huge warehouses if successful.
Known as The Hub, it would comprise the first section of what could be a new Eastern District Centre, similar to the Orbital in North Swindon.
The plan for the Eastern Villages, which is due to be examined by the planning inspectorate as part of the Local Plan next month, designates the land to the west of the application for commercial space.
It will be anchored by a large supermarket with further shops in the surrounding area.
It is expected that a new and larger Sainsbury’s store will be built next to the current site on the A420, with other shops taking the current space occupied by the supermarket.
It is not yet known which businesses will take the warehouse space being proposed, but it is hoped they will attract an international employer.
Coun Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Dorcan), above, the cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “As the application is new, we will have to look at it properly to make sure it is of high quality and will attract international companies to Swindon.
“We have always said that the Eastern Villages will be a jobs led growth development with the housing following, and this demonstrates that.
“This is the jobs part of the district centre and 2,000 jobs will clearly be a huge benefit to the town.”
As well as warehouses, the application, which has been put forward by the RPS Group, will also include some office space as well as new landscaping.
Towards the end of last year, members of South Marston Parish Council received a presentation from the company regarding the development.
Barry Thunder, of South Marston Parish Council, above, said while there are a few concerns regarding the roads and infrastructure, overall he feels it will be a positive development for the area.
He said: “We have concerns about the impact the traffic will have on the junction, especially being so close to the traffic lights at the police station. The area is also a problem for flooding but we will take a look at the application.
“It is early days but from what we heard at the presentation there will be few reasons to object to it. Anything which brings in so many jobs has got to be good, especially if it’s designed like the B&Q warehouse, so the impact on the skyline is minimal.
“With all the houses due to be built in South Marston it could provide employment for these people.”
For further details on the application, or to comment on the proposals, visit the council’s planning portal at www.swindon.gov.uk and quote reference S/OUT/14/0253.
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