Major £30m affordable homes project to go before Planning Committee

Proposals to build 149 affordable homes on land at Queens Drive could be given the go ahead next week.

Published: Monday, 5th August 2019
Queens drive1

Swindon Borough Council’s Planning Committee will meet on Tuesday, 13 August to discuss the construction of 100 new flats and 49 new houses at the former George Gay Gardens site.

The regeneration at Queens Drive is one of the Council’s major house building projects and will help the authority achieve its pledge to build new affordable homes and to develop brownfield sites.

A consultation on the proposed design was held in January 2018 and, overall, members of the local community were supportive of the plans.

Earlier this year, properties alongside Queens Drive at George Gay Gardens were demolished to make way for the new build. The adjacent accommodation blocks to the south of Wolsely Avenue will also form part of the development.

If planning consent is given next week, work on the first phase of development is expected to start early next year and could be completed by mid-2021. Construction of the second phase will start once the first phase is finished and the whole development is likely to be complete by early 2023.

As well as increasing the number of affordable homes in Swindon, the development will create a gateway into the town, with the site located along a major road into the town centre.

The new buildings have been designed to reflect Swindon’s unique heritage and efforts have been made to incorporate the town’s railway history into the designs. The grid formation of the apartments, for example, is based on the widths of the former engine sheds used to house, repair and maintain trains.

Councillor Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “I am delighted to be able to bring these exciting proposals for the regeneration of George Gay Gardens to the Planning Committee.

“This development shows that we are giving top priority to making sure that quality, affordable housing is available in Swindon.”

The Queens Drive regeneration project is estimated to cost £30.5m and will be funded from a grant from Homes England, Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing, future rents and income generated from the development.

It is the Council’s latest affordable housing scheme following two similar developments in Penhill and one in Cranmore Avenue, Park South which have recently been completed.

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