19 July 2019

Creating a new community in Swindon

  • We’ve received planning permission for 239 new homes for sale or rent

  • A not for profit development designed with local people who live, work, learn and play close to site

  • Plans encourage greater sense of community and neighbourliness, not just house building

  • Meaningful and replicable local contribution to national housing shortage

We've received planning permission to create a new development on the site formerly known as Oakfield Campus, in Swindon. We'll deliver 239 new homes for sale or rent, including 30% affordable housing, in a multi-million pound not for profit regeneration project.

While the homes have been designed to exacting build quality standards to ensure they meet the needs of diverse households, the development focuses on creating a multi-generational and supportive community, not just houses. As well as maintaining substantial green spaces, we will also provide new facilities to benefit the wider local community, including improved links to local amenities, a park with children’s play area, and community meeting space.

Since announcing its intentions, at the end of 2017, we have been in regular dialogue with neighbouring residents, businesses and existing community groups to ensure the proposal submitted best met local needs, as well as employing its first Community Organiser to work with residents on any issues they felt may benefit from his assistance – and this process will continue throughout the build. The development seeks to inspire and encourage a greater sense of neighbourliness, and a community that cares for and supports each other, as well as the communal areas they share – and we're encouraging other responsible organisations to explore what they could do to replicate the approach.

Joe Garner, Nationwide’s Chief Executive, comments: “We’re delighted to receive approval to deliver a long-lasting, high quality development in collaboration with local residents and Swindon Borough Council. As a building society we were founded to help improve housing, rather than maximising profit and shareholder return. Helping create these new homes and a thriving community is a great example of how we are guided by our purpose of building society, nationwide.”

The 239 homes will be comprised mainly of terraced houses or maisonettes, with a small block of apartments, including community space. All homes will have at least one parking space and either a private garden or access to shared gardens, for those preferring a more communal option. There will be a mixture of two, three and four bed homes for sale or rent, as well as 71 affordable one, two and three bed apartments and houses. We've partnered with specialist development manager, Igloo Regeneration, and a dedicated design team to deliver contemporary designs, using traditional quality materials, creating bespoke homes with light and space through higher ceilings, larger windows and terraces, and a focus on energy efficiency.

Building is expected to start by the end of the year, with the first phase of homes available from Spring 2021. The development involves an investment in the region of £50 million over a number of years, though it aims to break even through sales and rentals, with any profits being reinvested in other community projects. The Oakfield initiative is a key part of our five-year social investment programme aimed at ensuring everyone has ‘a place fit to call home’, after members voted housing as the top issue concerning them.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “This development ticks a lot of boxes for the Council and builds on the excellent, and award-winning, design standards we have seen across a number of new developments in Swindon. It is exactly the reason why we chose Nationwide as our partner to deliver local homes on the Oakfield site.

“The design of the homes is absolutely exceptional. However, it’s not just about the high quality of design and development, but also the improvements and benefits it will bring to the existing community.”

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