One small step for Swindon, one giant leap for housing delivery

Swindon Borough Council has joined the growing list of authorities that have looked to an in-house housing company to increase housing delivery. A 50:50 venture between the council and Barratt Developments PLC has taken a significant step forward, with the granting of detailed planning permission for a 3,000-home scheme that will deliver much needed homes over the next 20 years, at Wichelstowe.

According to Cllr Gary Sumner, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, the decision is vindication in the effectiveness of the public and private sector working in tandem. The development will support more than 1,000 jobs with the first residents able to move in next year.

The issue of just how to build the homes that Swindon needs over the coming decades is a hotly contested topic, and things could certainly change soon. The Conservatives are looking to maintain their slim hold on the council, while Labour are looking to take the reins and seize control.

In their manifesto, the Conservatives point to their partnership with Barratt David Wilson Homes, before pointing optimistically towards future developments to come. The party also aim to continue the Winter Housing project to get rough sleepers off the streets, a project that has received “national acclaim.”

Labour, on the other hand, promise to build 1,000 council houses within the next five years. Labour plan to use the aforementioned Swindon Housing company to build more private housing for rent, houses that will “set the standard for other private landlords.”

Though no one can be certain of anything in the election, one thing that is definite is that the issue of housing will dominate the agenda for local politics in Swindon for years to come.

Matthew Roberts - Account Executive