A NEW application to build a warehousing, manufacturing and research and development facility in east Swindon with good access to the A419 and M4 has led campaigners to suggest there’s a ready-made tenant already in town.

The developers behind the Symmetry Park development on the A420 Oxford Road, near the White Hart roundabout have already built one warehouse, now leased to Iceland.

They have permission to build two bigger buildings on the same site, and as the Adver reported this week, have now lodged detailed plans.

The plans are similar in design and intended use to those already put in by Swindon-based pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor Wasdell group.

The company wants to move from Blagrove to a purpose-built headquarters on green land near junction 15, between Wanborough and the dual carriageway.

It wants to build a new light manufacturing and warehousing building for its own use. And the second phase of its application is to build facilities for research and development in the hope of attracting high technology companies to its science park complex.

The application is bitterly opposed by many villagers from Wanborough which has set up the South Swindon Protection Group to oppose the plans

The group says there are far more suitable brown field sites that could accommodate the needs for the company’s expansion better than the fields at the edge of the North Wiltshire Downs AONB.

John Warr, a founder and chairman of the group said “We always thought Symmetry Park was one of several possible brownfield sites that were suitable for Wasdell, and this application confirms that Symmetry Park meets their exacting needs by offering multi use; a manufacturing facility, research and development facilities and warehousing under one roof.

This is something Wasdell claimed was not available in Swindon.”

The second phase of development at Symmetry Park is significantly larger than the plans put forward by Wasdell - the two facilities on the A420 combined cover 91,000 square metres, while Wasdell’s first phase would be 33,500 square metres and its second phase 48,000 square metres.

Wasdell Group has declined to comment on the matter.

The company which employs about 650 people in Swindon says its plans will attract another 600 jobs to Swindon and allow the town to compete with Oxford, Reading, Bath and Bristol for high tech companies.