Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Real EstateUK

£400 million Swindon development receives full approval

Swindon development

The site will see 1,550 houses built around a village centre of shops, with a primary school and a secondary school

A £400 million development pivotal to Swindon’s massive New Eastern Villages expansion has moved a step closer.

Jeremy Francis of Capital Land Property Group received outline planning permission for Great Stall East a little over a year ago, then bought the 212 acres of fields and farmland for the site in December.

After working with Swindon Borough Council on a more in-depth version of the plans and meeting certain conditions for the road network and new schools, he is thrilled to have received full permission for the project in the end of the second phase of the planning.

Mr Francis said: This has been six years of work and had the added impediment of the Covid crisis, so to come through all that and get permission for this significant piece of real estate is a big relief.

It is a big challenge and the pandemic issues did not help, but working with SBC and understanding how they work, what their aspirations are and what you can agree to has been an interesting road and involved a lot of work to accommodate the requirements, but we managed it, he said.

It feels like the hardest part is done and now we get to move onto the delivery, which is a completely different process with different challenges, he said.

It involves changing your team and using different skillsets, working with partners to build the homes and utility companies to set up the infrastructure, and engineers and contractors to build the main roads, Mr Francis said.

The site will see 1,550 houses built around a village centre of shops, with a three-form primary school and a 10-form secondary school to the south.

Construction is expected to be sourced from employers around the Swindon area and begin, hopefully, in the second quarter of 2022, with the entire NEV scheme potentially taking up to 14 years to complete.

Mr Francis added: This was an important piece of the jigsaw. None of the other schemes could go forward without this approval. Swindon has a track record of managing the growing pains of expansion, plans were put in place years ago to upgrade key infrastructure, sewage and roads.

Because of Covid, there’s been a feeling that there will be a migration from bigger cities to Swindon because of what it has to offer, with an urban setting in the middle of the countryside. The Capital Land family has been in Swindon since the 1940s so we want to see the town grow in the right direction, he said.

Capital Land aims to create hundreds of jobs for the construction phase, though the team has noticed a labour shortage in the last few months.

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