Wichelstowe changes will kickstart works

CHANGES to the Wichel-stowe housing development are set to go before Swindon Council’s planning committee next week.

The council is looking to bring in a number of alterations to the original plan to build 4,500 homes on land between Old Town and the M4.

Among the changes are increasing the number of houses which need to be built, from 1,100 to 2,500, before key infrastructure is built ,as well as halving the percentage of affordable homes developers would need to include to 15 per cent.

If the changes are approved it will make the scheme more economically viable for developers, and so speed up the building process. It is understood there are nine companies waiting to move forward on the project if the committee gives the approval on Tuesday night, which planning officers have recommended they do.

Work has started on about 800 of the homes, as well as a Waitrose Supermarket. The council owns about 75 per cent of the remaining land.

Coun Mike Bawden (Con, Chiseldon and Lawn) believes the changes will give life to the project once again and solve problems created by the economic downturn which led to a housing market crash.

He said: “When planning was granted in 2005 the Wichelstowe project was due to be the gold standard in housing developments. “However, we all know what happened in 2008 and we now live in a very different world. Developers are cautious now so this will make it a more attractive proposal.

“If accepted it will speed everything up and fix a problem which was not of the councils making but one we have had to deal with.”

One of the other changes put forward was to alter the Croft Road and Hay Lane Link road so it went through the housing development.

Objections have been raised that this, along with an increase in the number of houses, will lead to an increase in traffic through Old Town and Wroughton.

But the Highways Agency has approved the plans, believing the reduction in commercial space means there will be less traffic.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:46am Thu 6 Feb 14

Eastern Badger says...

If Wichelstowe doesn't work with 30% 'affordable housing' then surely having a 'Local Plan' that includes the 'New Eastern Villages' development having 30% affordable will NOT work and this is the admission that planning needs to go back to the drawing board? It also shows that any infrastructure promises made anywhere will be changed to suit later.
If Wichelstowe doesn't work with 30% 'affordable housing' then surely having a 'Local Plan' that includes the 'New Eastern Villages' development having 30% affordable will NOT work and this is the admission that planning needs to go back to the drawing board? It also shows that any infrastructure promises made anywhere will be changed to suit later. Eastern Badger
  • Score: 9

8:11am Thu 6 Feb 14

beach1e says...

its no wonder wichelstowe didn't work, despite it being in a good area, why would decent hardworking people want to pay a lot of money for a house that is right next door to a house where the residents cant be bothered to work and that's cost them nothing?
its no wonder wichelstowe didn't work, despite it being in a good area, why would decent hardworking people want to pay a lot of money for a house that is right next door to a house where the residents cant be bothered to work and that's cost them nothing? beach1e
  • Score: 15

8:32am Thu 6 Feb 14

ChannelX says...

As others have said, the ridiculous social experiment of mixing private homes with council housing / 'social' housing / 'affordable' housing has never worked and will never worked.

It was a stupid, ideologically driven idea that was naive in theory and a complete failure in practice.

As has been pointed out, why would anyone buy a £250k house virtually next door to someone who's obly being asked to pay £300 a month for a almost identical house? Or, worse still, has been artificially given the house for £140k?

NEVER. GOING. TO. WORK.

(And I'm not talking about the people in the social housing)
As others have said, the ridiculous social experiment of mixing private homes with council housing / 'social' housing / 'affordable' housing has never worked and will never worked. It was a stupid, ideologically driven idea that was naive in theory and a complete failure in practice. As has been pointed out, why would anyone buy a £250k house virtually next door to someone who's obly being asked to pay £300 a month for a almost identical house? Or, worse still, has been artificially given the house for £140k? NEVER. GOING. TO. WORK. (And I'm not talking about the people in the social housing) ChannelX
  • Score: 14

10:19am Thu 6 Feb 14

villageoldman says...

Totally agree with the above comments, also this failed project is land locked
. Air quality from the M4 . Would you want to bring children up living next to that , also the grid lock that is now planned. Madness.
Totally agree with the above comments, also this failed project is land locked . Air quality from the M4 . Would you want to bring children up living next to that , also the grid lock that is now planned. Madness. villageoldman
  • Score: 1

10:37am Thu 6 Feb 14

female resident says...

"He said: “When planning was granted in 2005 the Wichelstowe project was due to be the gold standard in housing developments. “However, we all know what happened in 2008 and we now live in a very different world. Developers are cautious now so this will make it a more attractive proposal. If accepted it will speed everything up and fix a problem which was not of the councils making but one we have had to deal with.”

..... will Waitrose be enough to attract people to an additional 1400 non Gold Standard houses crammed on a flood plain? Not a great way to "fix a problem".
"He said: “When planning was granted in 2005 the Wichelstowe project was due to be the gold standard in housing developments. “However, we all know what happened in 2008 and we now live in a very different world. Developers are cautious now so this will make it a more attractive proposal. If accepted it will speed everything up and fix a problem which was not of the councils making but one we have had to deal with.” ..... will Waitrose be enough to attract people to an additional 1400 non Gold Standard houses crammed on a flood plain? Not a great way to "fix a problem". female resident
  • Score: -1

1:18pm Thu 6 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

Probably a mixture of things, social housing next door, quite a way out of town, near the M4 with noise and pollution, no proper infrastucture and they seem pretty expensive for what they are, so all in all not a good idea.
Probably a mixture of things, social housing next door, quite a way out of town, near the M4 with noise and pollution, no proper infrastucture and they seem pretty expensive for what they are, so all in all not a good idea. house on the hill
  • Score: 2

6:08pm Thu 6 Feb 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

These changes should be laughed out of the meeting.

Another example of the developers changing the goalposts after they have initial planning so they can generate more profit without responsibility.

Having driven around Wichelstowe recently, it is clear no lessons were learned from the RedHouse farce and the same mistakes are being made.
These changes should be laughed out of the meeting. Another example of the developers changing the goalposts after they have initial planning so they can generate more profit without responsibility. Having driven around Wichelstowe recently, it is clear no lessons were learned from the RedHouse farce and the same mistakes are being made. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 2

7:58pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Captain T says...

I'm currently looking to purchase my first house and Wichelstowe was one of the areas I initially liked. However having driven around it and seen teenagers loitering on the corners and seen rubbish piled out the front of a few houses, it really put me off. I had no idea a lot of it was allocated for social housing and knowing that, I'm not interested in the place at all. It's such a shame because the houses are actually very pretty and so different from the identical buildings a la Redhouse etc. But as people here have said, why would people like me try to obtain a mortgage when people next door could potentially be doing it on the social. It sounds snobby I know but it's how the vast majority of people feel.
I'm currently looking to purchase my first house and Wichelstowe was one of the areas I initially liked. However having driven around it and seen teenagers loitering on the corners and seen rubbish piled out the front of a few houses, it really put me off. I had no idea a lot of it was allocated for social housing and knowing that, I'm not interested in the place at all. It's such a shame because the houses are actually very pretty and so different from the identical buildings a la Redhouse etc. But as people here have said, why would people like me try to obtain a mortgage when people next door could potentially be doing it on the social. It sounds snobby I know but it's how the vast majority of people feel. Captain T
  • Score: 4

2:23pm Fri 7 Feb 14

WiltsBerks says...

Oh here we go again with another tsunami of negativity pouring from the mouths of the ill-informed. For the record, I live in Wichelstowe, and I am very happy there, and it saddens to me read such incorrect rubbish in a public forum like this. Ignoring the distinct air of superiority wafting from some of the posters, I'd like to redress the balance here and explain why Wichelstowe is a fantastic place. I like Wichelstowe for many reasons, but I particularly like the design code of the houses which are all unique and different. The location provides easy access to old town and growing retail developments like John Lewis, Next at Home, Waitrose, The M&S Food Hall etc etc. Additionally, the open spaces and lakes are a tremendous asset and a valuable wildlife haven and are absolutely beautiful in Summer. The canal is an exciting part of the area too and has a very real possibility of being connected to the rest of the canal infrastructure in the near to middle future. Furthermore, the community forged here is stronger than anywhere else I have live in Swindon, people will genuinely help one another and regular community events are held such as the Summer fete, youth groups, and a growing number of us are involved in the canal trust, maintaining the waterway because we are incredibly proud of where we live. Yes there are a number of houses for 'affordable housing' but no more than any other development, as mandated by government targets. And besides, forget the snobbery, affordable housing is split between what we once dubbed Council tenants and part-buy, part-rent, to help people get on the housing ladder. So, to those of you who insist on spouting your badly informed opinions about the place, I say I cannot think of a better place to be in Swindon.
Oh here we go again with another tsunami of negativity pouring from the mouths of the ill-informed. For the record, I live in Wichelstowe, and I am very happy there, and it saddens to me read such incorrect rubbish in a public forum like this. Ignoring the distinct air of superiority wafting from some of the posters, I'd like to redress the balance here and explain why Wichelstowe is a fantastic place. I like Wichelstowe for many reasons, but I particularly like the design code of the houses which are all unique and different. The location provides easy access to old town and growing retail developments like John Lewis, Next at Home, Waitrose, The M&S Food Hall etc etc. Additionally, the open spaces and lakes are a tremendous asset and a valuable wildlife haven and are absolutely beautiful in Summer. The canal is an exciting part of the area too and has a very real possibility of being connected to the rest of the canal infrastructure in the near to middle future. Furthermore, the community forged here is stronger than anywhere else I have live in Swindon, people will genuinely help one another and regular community events are held such as the Summer fete, youth groups, and a growing number of us are involved in the canal trust, maintaining the waterway because we are incredibly proud of where we live. Yes there are a number of houses for 'affordable housing' but no more than any other development, as mandated by government targets. And besides, forget the snobbery, affordable housing is split between what we once dubbed Council tenants and part-buy, part-rent, to help people get on the housing ladder. So, to those of you who insist on spouting your badly informed opinions about the place, I say I cannot think of a better place to be in Swindon. WiltsBerks
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree