First published on Thursday 31 January 2002:

Homes and Gardens.

THIS is the future of the Front Garden through the eyes of developers.

                Bryant Homes has released a map of the areas it wants to build on.

                The land between the M4 and the town now officially named the Southern Development Area has been dismissed as unsuitable by campaigners because of its susceptibility to flooding. 

                But the developer says it will place 3,000 homes in areas that are safe from flooding.

                It says it has agreed the extent of the floodplain with the Environment Agency and that new homes will be safe during times of flood.

                The map produced by the company is being distributed to thousands of homes in the town as part of a consultation exercise.

                It will be followed by a series of public exhibitions in which people will be able to put their questions and concerns to developers.

                The map shows the potential site for a new Swindon Town stadium, near junction 16 of the M4 at Blagrove. It also provides space at Blagrove for a park and ride, an alternative site to one recently turned down at Spittleborough Fields near Wootton Bassett.

                It provides provision for the restoration of the Wilts and Berks Canal, together with a new Old Town Southern Relief Road running alongside the M4 on the southern edge of the Front Garden.

                And it says there will be a new district centre, with schools, shops, a health centre and places of worship.

                The company has still to make a planning application to build a housing estate on the green fields and farms, despite the path being cleared for it to do so by the High Court.

                It now says it wants to involve the community as much as possible in a major public consultation exercise before drawing up a master plan for the controversial scheme.

                Project manager Nick Sedgwick said: "We want to involve the community in the process of drawing up this master plan and will give everyone an opportunity to express their opinions and influence the future development at this very early stage."

Editorial note:  This works in everyones favour. As Swindon is on the summit, then the canal will aid in their flood protection.


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