152 homes go ahead on Headlands site
5:30am Wednesday 28th May 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
AFTER almost three years of negotiation a deal to build houses on the site of the former Headlands School campus, in Upper Stratton, has finally been agreed.
An application to gain outline planning permission was first put forward in 2011 but it was only earlier this month, after the details regarding section 106 money was agreed, that everything could be finalised.
The land has now been earmarked for 152 homes, as well as a sports pitch and play facilities, although the exact design of the development has yet to be decided, so it could be some time before work begins.
Headlands School became surplus to requirements following the opening of Swindon Academy.
The council owns the land and there were objections at the time of the application from residents.
Last year a move was made to offload the land following an upturn in the property market and it is believed housing developer Bellway has now bought the site.
In 2013 Colliers International was asked to find a buyer and the section 106 money any developer would need to provide was reduced to make the land more attractive.
Speaking last year, Chris Dawson from Colliers International, said: “This is an attractive site and, along with the council, we feel that the timing is right to offer it to the market. “Given the significant recovery in the property market and the substantial reductions of section 106 contributions, we are anticipating strong interest in this key residential development site in the heart of Swindon.”
Outline planning permission means the development can be built but the reserved matters, which refers to the look of the development, will also need to go to the planning department.
A council spokesman said: “The outline planning permission was granted by the elected members of the planning committee back in July 2011, subject to the council agreeing with the developer the amounts that they would pay towards infrastructure, known as Section 106 payments.
“These negotiations have now been concluded and the planning permission has now been formally approved.”
A key part of the agreement is the football pitch, which will be used for junior football. Part of the planning permission at the Headlands site stipulates that the pitch must not only be built before houses are occupied but that a community agreement must also have been drawn up.
This will detail such things as the cost to play on the pitch and the hours it will available.
No one from Bellway was available to comment as the Advertiser went to press.