New Eastern Villages receives major boost thanks to Government funding for new link road

Funding is now in place for a key link road, which will form an important part of Swindon’s New Eastern Villages (NEV).

Published: Thursday, 17th September 2020

SCR map

The new road, which will be known as the Southern Connector Road (SCR), will join up the NEV development with Commonhead roundabout, near the Great Western Hospital.

Funding for the two-way single carriageway has now been finalised after Homes England confirmed funding of £19m from its Housing Infrastructure Fund towards the £31m scheme.

A further £11.6m has been allocated from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Department for Transport (DfT). The scheme will not require any additional borrowing from the Council.

A planning application and accompanying Environmental Impact Assessment was approved by the Council’s Planning Committee in December last year.

So far, 370 homes and a primary school have received outline planning permission in the NEV, while a further 6,430 homes, a secondary school and five primary schools have gained a resolution to grant permission from the Council’s Planning Committee.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “Ensuring we have the right infrastructure in place before the New Eastern Villages development is built is crucial and I am delighted we have final sign-off on the significant funding from Homes England for this really important link road.

“The SCR will have a dedicated cycle route running alongside and this will create a sustainable connection to the wider cycle networks within Swindon.

“We are investing £72.5m into the road network around the NEV and most of that funding has been secured from the Government which is a great vote of confidence not just in the Council, but also in Swindon’s future.”

To prevent rat-running, the proposed SCR junction with Wanborough Road will be designed to prevent southbound traffic on the SCR turning left towards Wanborough. It will also prevent traffic from Wanborough turning right onto the SCR. The need for traffic calming in surrounding villages will continue to be assessed as development proposals come forward.

The road will be designed to avoid known areas of high archaeological interest. Measures will also be put in place to safeguard wildlife, particularly endangered species. As part of the road crosses a flood zone, drainage is an important element of the design. The Environment Agency is a key partner in helping to develop flood mitigation measures.

Work to build the SCR is due to start in Spring 2021 and is due to be completed in Summer 2022.

Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: “We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure.

“Our multimillion-pound funding will resolve much needed improvements to the local road network around Swindon, whilst unlocking critical housing sites and allowing the Council to deliver its vision for new homes.”

The Housing Infrastructure Fund is administered and monitored by the Government’s housing agency, Homes England. The programme is helping to deliver up to 300,000 new homes across England by providing local authorities with grant funding for new infrastructure, to unlock homes in areas of greatest housing demand.

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