Regeneration is key to local plan 2026

This Is Wiltshire: Union Square is being redeveloped Union Square is being redeveloped

THE town centre regeneration is at the heart of the draft local plan policies for the central area of Swindon.

The local plan 2026 will be the new overarching planning document, which will guide the decisions of the planning committee and officers, and sets out a number of general policies, as well as specific locations for residential and employment uses.

Across the borough, the document allocates space for 22,000 new homes and 77.5 hectares of new employment land, which the council says is necessary to maintain housing growth in line with economic and demographic forecasts, prevent unwanted development on greenfield land, and provide for business growth.

The policies for the central area, which includes New Town, Old Town and North Star, are supported by the draft Swindon Town Centre Masterplan, on which Forward Swindon has recently consulted the public.

The draft local plan earmarks the area for 1,000 additional homes, which would come through the massive Union Square regeneration as well as other sites possibly coming forward through demolition or rebuilding.

It also has provision for at least 90,000sqm of new office space, mostly at Union Square, a new 1,000-space car park to the north of the railway line, and a new bus interchange, which is also part of Union Square.

There is also a policy for a ‘green spine’ through public parks, which would be a primary north-south green route for pedestrians and cyclists linking Old Town, town centre and North Star.

The town centre will be the focus of Swindon’s specialist leisure facilities, with the Oasis revamp and the possible renovation of the Health Hydro.

The plan also makes provision for a university or university technical college at a location yet to be determined in the central area, as well as two new primary schools.

Coun Dale Heenan, cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, said: “For the town centre, the major aim is to continue the regeneration of the central area and to ensure that any growth in Swindon doesn’t undermine that.

“We have Union Square, we have Regent Circus already started.

“We will also be looking at the rebuilding of the Wyvern, and other plans in Commercial Road.

“We also have a draft council policy on homes in multiple occupation to restrict the numbers that can be created over the next 15 years.”

A key town centre policy puts priority on the town centre for new retail developments to prevent more large out-of-town centres, such as the Orbital or Greenbridge, being built, taking away town centre trade.

On Old Town, Coun Heenan said: “Within Old Town, we’re looking to support the Locarno and see that developed over the next few years and we look forward to the design brief going to the planning committee in the new year.

“The town centre and Old Town do have different uses for Swindon.

“And Old Town does have its focus on a higher quality end of the market.

“And we want to preserve that and enhance its heritage.”

Comments (24)

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9:56am Tue 23 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

Regeneration is key to local plan 2026?

Not really a "plan" though is it.

More a report of bending over backwards for more sprawl
Regeneration is key to local plan 2026? Not really a "plan" though is it. More a report of bending over backwards for more sprawl 1 2 Could B

10:13am Tue 23 Oct 12

Captain T says...

So far, Swindon's regeneration plan seems to consist of:

Flats
Car park
Hotel
Car Park
Hotel
Flats
Office space
Flats
Car park
Hotel
Hotel
Flats

Or is it just me...?
So far, Swindon's regeneration plan seems to consist of: Flats Car park Hotel Car Park Hotel Flats Office space Flats Car park Hotel Hotel Flats Or is it just me...? Captain T

11:06am Tue 23 Oct 12

Is that you Lovesey says...

Captain T wrote:
So far, Swindon's regeneration plan seems to consist of: Flats Car park Hotel Car Park Hotel Flats Office space Flats Car park Hotel Hotel Flats Or is it just me...?
you forgot stupid road layouts, ie, the Jury's Inn Farce....
[quote][p][bold]Captain T[/bold] wrote: So far, Swindon's regeneration plan seems to consist of: Flats Car park Hotel Car Park Hotel Flats Office space Flats Car park Hotel Hotel Flats Or is it just me...?[/p][/quote]you forgot stupid road layouts, ie, the Jury's Inn Farce.... Is that you Lovesey

11:33am Tue 23 Oct 12

TinkeyWinkey says...

Wonders if this town will "ever" be dragged out of the time-warp it is stuck in!!


Wander along The Parade - 3 empty shops next to one another that are an eyesore. Not a good impression when that's on the main route into the centre from the Train Station.


My Christmas shopping this year will be done in Reading or Bristol.
Wonders if this town will "ever" be dragged out of the time-warp it is stuck in!! Wander along The Parade - 3 empty shops next to one another that are an eyesore. Not a good impression when that's on the main route into the centre from the Train Station. My Christmas shopping this year will be done in Reading or Bristol. TinkeyWinkey

12:35pm Tue 23 Oct 12

MrBstard says...

Can't polish a turd.

I for one try and keep out of the town centre, it's a right crap hole. I can count the number of times I've been there this year on one hand!
Can't polish a turd. I for one try and keep out of the town centre, it's a right crap hole. I can count the number of times I've been there this year on one hand! MrBstard

12:36pm Tue 23 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

Captain T wrote:
So far, Swindon's regeneration plan seems to consist of:

Flats
Car park
Hotel
Car Park
Hotel
Flats
Office space
Flats
Car park
Hotel
Hotel
Flats

Or is it just me...?
You forgot giant patios
[quote][p][bold]Captain T[/bold] wrote: So far, Swindon's regeneration plan seems to consist of: Flats Car park Hotel Car Park Hotel Flats Office space Flats Car park Hotel Hotel Flats Or is it just me...?[/p][/quote]You forgot giant patios 1 2 Could B

1:32pm Tue 23 Oct 12

Summerof69 says...

"The policies for the central area, which includes New Town, Old Town and North Star, are supported by the draft Swindon Town Centre Masterplan, on which Forward Swindon has recently consulted the public."

Is this the consultation that takes form of the public emailing questions to the administrators (swindonmasterplan@a
m-up.com) on 2nd October and no receiving even an acknowledgement in response ??
"The policies for the central area, which includes New Town, Old Town and North Star, are supported by the draft Swindon Town Centre Masterplan, on which Forward Swindon has recently consulted the public." Is this the consultation that takes form of the public emailing questions to the administrators (swindonmasterplan@a m-up.com) on 2nd October and no receiving even an acknowledgement in response ?? Summerof69

1:52pm Tue 23 Oct 12

Oldtownmum says...

The shops in the town centre are terrible. I know they've tried with the new Top Shop buildings but there need to be more high end stores to encourage a different class of shopper. At the moment it's mainly people shuffling around in track suits shopping in discount stores so I never go in. I'd rather shop on line or go to Bristol.
The shops in the town centre are terrible. I know they've tried with the new Top Shop buildings but there need to be more high end stores to encourage a different class of shopper. At the moment it's mainly people shuffling around in track suits shopping in discount stores so I never go in. I'd rather shop on line or go to Bristol. Oldtownmum

1:59pm Tue 23 Oct 12

house on the hill says...

""MrBstard says...
12:35pm Tue 23 Oct 12

Can't polish a turd."""

No but you can try rolling it in glitter which seems to be the main part of the plan!

There doesnt seem to be any plan to build the ifrastucture needed to all the grand ideas, so they will never happen. There is no way a University will be agreed here while it is such a mess.
""MrBstard says... 12:35pm Tue 23 Oct 12 Can't polish a turd.""" No but you can try rolling it in glitter which seems to be the main part of the plan! There doesnt seem to be any plan to build the ifrastucture needed to all the grand ideas, so they will never happen. There is no way a University will be agreed here while it is such a mess. house on the hill

2:12pm Tue 23 Oct 12

I 2 Could B says...

1 2 Could B wrote:
Regeneration is key to local plan 2026? Not really a "plan" though is it. More a report of bending over backwards for more sprawl
How can more 'sprawl' be created within a finite town centre space that was previously full utilised for construction?

Be honest, you've not even read the plans, have you? Just trotting out your usual supply of non-sensical and irrelevant cliches.
[quote][p][bold]1 2 Could B[/bold] wrote: Regeneration is key to local plan 2026? Not really a "plan" though is it. More a report of bending over backwards for more sprawl[/p][/quote]How can more 'sprawl' be created within a finite town centre space that was previously full utilised for construction? [p] Be honest, you've not even read the plans, have you? Just trotting out your usual supply of non-sensical and irrelevant cliches. I 2 Could B

2:15pm Tue 23 Oct 12

Captain T says...

The thing is, I desperately want to see Swindon regenerated - it has the potential if someone just had the gumption to say right, the Parade (as an example) needs to be totally demolished, Debenhams to go with it, and attach that whole area to Union Square and create a huge modern mall a la Cabot Circus. Instead, there are little pockets of regeneration which have so many developers involved, the buildings become a mish mash of sizes, design and layout and will only give Swindon what Regent Street has - a plethora of odd looking and out of place buildings.

If you are going to regenerate an area, it needs to be on a grand scale and ok, it might be 10 years or so before normality is restored but it's the price you pay for bringing the place into the 21st century.

The other thing I can not wrap my head around is this obsession with car parks. The Brunel West is undergoing a huge facelift on the inside, we have one being built on the old police station site and now another one proposed north of the railway line. Car parking is all well and good (and in Swindon's case - expensive) but you have to give people reason to fill those car parks. Right now, I don't see people from Oxford, Reading or Bristol travelling into Swindon to visit Debenhams or Primark. I know it will probably never happen, more so given the one at Mannington, but we could do with ditching the House of Fraser outlet store and replacing it (somewhere) with a whacking great John Lewis. If you could get a name like that into town, it might pull in a few more. Sadly Canal Walk currently lends itself to HoF Outlet, McDonalds, Brighthouse, YMCA and Cheque Cashing place. Hardly the most stunning impression when you first walk into the centre.

Come on Swindon - pull your finger out and have the guts to flatten the town centre and start from scratch.
The thing is, I desperately want to see Swindon regenerated - it has the potential if someone just had the gumption to say right, the Parade (as an example) needs to be totally demolished, Debenhams to go with it, and attach that whole area to Union Square and create a huge modern mall a la Cabot Circus. Instead, there are little pockets of regeneration which have so many developers involved, the buildings become a mish mash of sizes, design and layout and will only give Swindon what Regent Street has - a plethora of odd looking and out of place buildings. If you are going to regenerate an area, it needs to be on a grand scale and ok, it might be 10 years or so before normality is restored but it's the price you pay for bringing the place into the 21st century. The other thing I can not wrap my head around is this obsession with car parks. The Brunel West is undergoing a huge facelift on the inside, we have one being built on the old police station site and now another one proposed north of the railway line. Car parking is all well and good (and in Swindon's case - expensive) but you have to give people reason to fill those car parks. Right now, I don't see people from Oxford, Reading or Bristol travelling into Swindon to visit Debenhams or Primark. I know it will probably never happen, more so given the one at Mannington, but we could do with ditching the House of Fraser outlet store and replacing it (somewhere) with a whacking great John Lewis. If you could get a name like that into town, it might pull in a few more. Sadly Canal Walk currently lends itself to HoF Outlet, McDonalds, Brighthouse, YMCA and Cheque Cashing place. Hardly the most stunning impression when you first walk into the centre. Come on Swindon - pull your finger out and have the guts to flatten the town centre and start from scratch. Captain T

2:23pm Tue 23 Oct 12

umpcah says...

MrBstard wrote:
Can't polish a turd.

I for one try and keep out of the town centre, it's a right crap hole. I can count the number of times I've been there this year on one hand!
Why go there at all ?
[quote][p][bold]MrBstard[/bold] wrote: Can't polish a turd. I for one try and keep out of the town centre, it's a right crap hole. I can count the number of times I've been there this year on one hand![/p][/quote]Why go there at all ? umpcah

2:28pm Tue 23 Oct 12

I 2 Could B says...

@Captain T: could not agree more with your post. Sadly, I fear the 'regeneration' of Swindon will be hugely out of date before it's even completed. They're seemingly taking several years to merely tinker around the edges of what really needs to be done.
@Captain T: could not agree more with your post. Sadly, I fear the 'regeneration' of Swindon will be hugely out of date before it's even completed. They're seemingly taking several years to merely tinker around the edges of what really needs to be done. I 2 Could B

4:10pm Tue 23 Oct 12

StillPav says...

Regeneration is all well and good, but it has to be on a rolling basis. For example, when the new crop of bars and restaurants open on the old college site, this will have a significant impact on the pubs and bars around Fleet Street. Does the council have plans in place for the regeneration of Fleet Street or is it going to be left to rot for five to ten years (like the old college site did) before anything gets underway in that area of town?
Regeneration is all well and good, but it has to be on a rolling basis. For example, when the new crop of bars and restaurants open on the old college site, this will have a significant impact on the pubs and bars around Fleet Street. Does the council have plans in place for the regeneration of Fleet Street or is it going to be left to rot for five to ten years (like the old college site did) before anything gets underway in that area of town? StillPav

4:22pm Tue 23 Oct 12

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Might as well just knock the lot down and build houses on it.

For a start this council seems to want to build houses (or more likely flats) on everything regardless of suitability, and secondly the high street is a dying breed, long since on borrowed time.

Bit early to be talking about it but my Christmas shopping will be done online, where I can do it from the comfort of my armchair, with a cup of tea. I won't have to battle through crowds of smelly and irritable people and any delivery charges are more than offset by the lack of parking charges. The only thing I don't understand is why more people don't already shop this way!
Might as well just knock the lot down and build houses on it. For a start this council seems to want to build houses (or more likely flats) on everything regardless of suitability, and secondly the high street is a dying breed, long since on borrowed time. Bit early to be talking about it but my Christmas shopping will be done online, where I can do it from the comfort of my armchair, with a cup of tea. I won't have to battle through crowds of smelly and irritable people and any delivery charges are more than offset by the lack of parking charges. The only thing I don't understand is why more people don't already shop this way! The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man

4:50pm Tue 23 Oct 12

twasadawf says...

Let's save the pessimism for better time's or just get on with turd polishing?
Let's save the pessimism for better time's or just get on with turd polishing? twasadawf

7:47pm Tue 23 Oct 12

Oliver Dummassie says...

Agreed.
At least it is tidy now
I think it is going well
Agreed. At least it is tidy now I think it is going well Oliver Dummassie

10:44am Wed 24 Oct 12

I 2 Could B says...

Oliver Dummassie wrote:
Agreed. At least it is tidy now I think it is going well
Thanks for that input, Jase.
[quote][p][bold]Oliver Dummassie[/bold] wrote: Agreed. At least it is tidy now I think it is going well[/p][/quote]Thanks for that input, Jase. I 2 Could B

12:27pm Wed 24 Oct 12

RichardR1 says...

I had to laugh at the story just released (not allowed to comment).

That InSwindon has been told to stop their market in Havelock because street traders are banned.

Given that all these so called management groups, and Swindon Council sit on a host of committees how come this wan't picked up before InSwindon were granted planning permission.

Joined up Swindon:):):)
I had to laugh at the story just released (not allowed to comment). That InSwindon has been told to stop their market in Havelock because street traders are banned. Given that all these so called management groups, and Swindon Council sit on a host of committees how come this wan't picked up before InSwindon were granted planning permission. Joined up Swindon:):):) RichardR1

12:40pm Wed 24 Oct 12

StillPav says...

Absolutely RichardR1.

Clearly InSwindon did not tick the correct box on form RF-24-a1 (revision 4.2), page 72, paragraph 4, question 2 option 3a - when setting up their market.
Absolutely RichardR1. Clearly InSwindon did not tick the correct box on form RF-24-a1 (revision 4.2), page 72, paragraph 4, question 2 option 3a - when setting up their market. StillPav

8:09pm Wed 24 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

RichardR1 wrote:
I had to laugh at the story just released (not allowed to comment).

That InSwindon has been told to stop their market in Havelock because street traders are banned.

Given that all these so called management groups, and Swindon Council sit on a host of committees how come this wan't picked up before InSwindon were granted planning permission.

Joined up Swindon:):):)
You do realise that your best friend's spouse is one of those people don't you?
[quote][p][bold]RichardR1[/bold] wrote: I had to laugh at the story just released (not allowed to comment). That InSwindon has been told to stop their market in Havelock because street traders are banned. Given that all these so called management groups, and Swindon Council sit on a host of committees how come this wan't picked up before InSwindon were granted planning permission. Joined up Swindon:):):)[/p][/quote]You do realise that your best friend's spouse is one of those people don't you? 1 2 Could B

9:12am Thu 25 Oct 12

RichardR1 says...

1 2 Could B?I Too nice to see you keeping up your nonsensical comments.
1 2 Could B?I Too nice to see you keeping up your nonsensical comments. RichardR1

12:42pm Thu 25 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

Ditto
Ditto 1 2 Could B

3:27pm Thu 25 Oct 12

Emroc says...

I could not agree more with the comment made by Captain T.
I could not agree more with the comment made by Captain T. Emroc

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