Posted by Greg Callard, Senior Associate
Is the property landscape of Swindon changing?
Over the last month or so we have seen a number of positive stories released pertaining to development in Swindon; but what consequences will they have for the market and the town?
The latest development, announced at the end of November, concerned the UK’s largest building society, Nationwide, whose base is in Swindon. The organisation has approved plans to enter into a partnership with Swindon Borough Council, with the aim of redeveloping the Oakfield campus site in the town. Their mission is to develop up to 200 new homes, which will consist of early stage freehold and leasehold properties, and include affordable houses.
The figure being quoted at the outset is an investment of around £50 million, to be endowed by Nationwide for the project.
Consultation is underway to discuss the make-up of the development, which seeks to integrate residential, green spaces and other facilities, to essentially provide a facelift to this area of Swindon.
This follows hot on the heels of the news, published at the start of November, which confirms the submission of the planning application for the Oasis site development in Swindon.
The plans are to develop the site into a hub of retail and leisure activity for the town, which will play a massive role in the regeneration of the area. Subject to planning and timescale, the £270m project could commence in 2018.
Plans for the site include the largest skiing complex in the UK with a two slope ski centre, a 13 screen cinema and bowling venue to be surrounded by a number of retail outlets, and restaurants. The plans also comprise a 100 to 150 room hotel.
Progress is also being made at the new Carriage Works, where the disused railway sheds, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, are being transformed, under phase 1, into a managed workspace designed to allow small and growing businesses to innovate.
The Council also has a desire to build a new Museum and Art Gallery, and a bid for lottery heritage funding was submitted on the 30th of November. I have seen the designs and models for the building, and they are truly impressive I was also excited to learn of the wealth of art that Swindon currently owns. This voluminous collection certainly deserves to be housed in such a development as the one envisaged by the town
As we will hopefully see, when these projects take shape, they will mark an ignition of change in Swindon’s landscape. Those involved in these developments believe that this will be the case, and I fully support their vision for the town, and I hope that other residents of Swindon will do so as well.
And I haven’t even mentioned the reduction in train travel time from Swindon to London which is expected to be decreased to a mere 45 minutes from December 2018 onwards.
Considering investing in property or developing a site in Swindon? With the excellent knowledge of the local market, our Commercial Property team is ideally positioned to advise you. Get in touch with Greg Callard:
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