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Press Release - 13 April 2005

Planning for Swindon Gateway Site is sought

A press release has been issued by a PR company on behalf of the partnership planning to develop the Gateway site in Swindon. It reads as follows:

Outline planning applications have been submitted today, 12 April by the Swindon Gateway Partnership (University of Bath in Swindon, Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust, Persimmon Homes and Redrow Homes) for 1,800 new homes, a business park, an extension to the Country Park, a local centre, a primary school, playing fields, hospital extension land and a university campus for up to 8,000 students.

Paul Davis, Strategic Land Director for Persimmon Homes explained: "We felt it was important to submit the planning application at this time to ensure a fully informed debate can take place on the proposals for this site at the Local Plan Inquiry. We very much hope that people will see the benefits that this proposed development represents and will welcome the mix of uses proposed for this Gateway site."

Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice Chancellor, University of Bath in Swindon explained: "We have done extensive research into the different sites available in Swindon and the Gateway site remains the only site where we can deliver the sort of University that Swindon needs and deserves. This application represents an exciting opportunity to ensure a close working relationship with the Great Western Hospital and facilitate joint research, teaching and continued professional development."

Lyn Hill-Tout, Chief Executive, Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust said: "This is an important development for the future health care of the area. The proposals provide land for the hospital to expand in the future and the proximity of the university campus will provide an important new dynamic. There are likely to be important synergies between academics and healthcare professionals which will boost healthcare developments for the area."

Paul Chester, planning director for Redrow Homes said: "These proposals will help fill the short fall of housing need identified by the Adopted Wiltshire Structure Plan 2011. It also includes 30% provision of affordable housing in the form of key worker accommodation to serve the needs of workers at both the hospital and new university campus along with more locally identified housing needs in this part of Swindon."

The master plan has been sensitively designed to respect the natural environment and constraints of the Coate Water Country Park whilst creating a high quality sustainable development. Buildings have been carefully sited to ensure that they graduate upwards in height as they move away from the Country Park and provide space around the buildings and views between.

A 100 metre deep buffer zone has also been provided around the north eastern side/boundary of the southern lake of Coate Water Country Park to protect its habitat from intrusion by the new built form. The area to the south of Coate Water will remain undeveloped, being primarily used for playing fields and nature conservation areas.

These proposals, which have been subjected to a full environmental impact assessment, have been brought forward to promote a comprehensive planned sustainable urban extension for Swindon in line with Government policy and the emerging policies and proposals of both the Swindon Borough Local Plan Review 2011 and the Wiltshire and Swindon Structure Plan 2016.

The Swindon Local Plan Inquiry consideration of the Swindon Gateway proposals is due to start on 19 April 2005 and is scheduled to last for three days. No decision on the Gateway application is expected until after the outcome of this public inquiry is known, probably in the autumn of this year.

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