NATIONWIDE is hoping to resume work on a £50m housing development in the near future as talks continue with a potential new lead contractor for the scheme.

The building society is funding the Oakfield Project on Marlowe Avenue, which aims to be an impressive eco-friendly estate in which every property has an EPC rating of A.

The Swindon-based business appointed Mi-space as the main contractor for the 239-home estate in February 2020 and work was well underway when the scheme suffered a major setback.

All progress stalled as Midas Group Ltd, which owns Mi-space, suddenly collapsed into administration. This left the project's sub-contracted companies in the lurch and workers went unpaid for weeks.

But the end of this delay could be in sight as Nationwide has been negotiating with another contractor, Lovell, to understand how they could work together "to deliver the project to the vision we had in the first place", according to chief product and marketing officer Sara Bennison.

She added: “It was really frustrating at the beginning of the year when the lead contractor on the project went into administration.

“We are hopeful that we will be back on-site soon and the first families will be in – with any luck – by the end of the year.

“The really important this is we continue to deliver what we always sought to deliver, which is to prove we can build better communities with better standards and all-A EPC ratings.

"We have done an awful lot of work with the community in quite practical ways - cost of living help, Easter bunny hunts, building the tiny forest - lots of little things to show there is still life and vibrancy left on the site.

"We are still very committed to it and hope to be back very soon."

This Is Wiltshire:

The Oakfield Project will be one of the largest off-gas developments in the UK, with a wide variety of homes, from two to four-bedroom terraced houses to smaller apartments, and 30 per cent allocated for affordable housing.

The work in progress won an award last October for its design and ambition.

The Building for a Healthy Life award given out by Design for Homes comes as part of the Housing Design Awards 2021 and recognises housing schemes like Oakfield which have been built to create places that are better for people and nature.

Nationwide brought together experts such as Igloo Regeneration, Metworks and PRP, to build the homes.

This Is Wiltshire: