Barratt Developments get 20 years to finish building Wichelstowe

View of fields from Southleaze bridge
The fields of Southleaze which will one day be West and Middle Wichel, with Waitrose’ supermarket and flats at Okus in the background.
Swindon Borough Council have announced a deal with Barratt Developments to build the rest of Wichelstowe. The deal, which has still to be approved by the council’s cabinet and for which the contracts have yet to be signed, will be a 50-50 joint venture between Barratt and the council.

In some ways the deal is similar to the original one for the whole of Wichelstowe. That was a joint venture between Swindon Borough Council and Taylor Woodrow, later becoming Taylor Wimpey. The plan scheduled the whole of the Wichelstowe site to be developed over fifteen years between 2005 and 2019. But after the financial crash in 2008 the deal was renegotiated, with Taylor Wimpey taking sole responsibility for completing East Wichel and the rest of the site passing to the council. Now, ten years on from that original deal and with East Wichel still not complete, Barratt Developments are being given twenty years to complete the rest of the site. Barratt have already been involved in Wichelstowe using the Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes brands. They built on plots bought from Taylor Wimpey in East Wichel, between the canal and East Wichel Way.

The development of the rest of Wichelstowe should, in due course, result in facilities closer to East Wichel and save journeys to Old Town and Wroughton. But at a total of thirty years to complete the whole of the Wichelstowe development — twice as long as originally planned — progress is certainly not fast. In comparison, north Swindon is growing rapidly.