A KEY document outlining where development in Swindon will take place over the next decade has been given broad approval.

The Local Plan gives direction for major house-building projects, such as Tadpole Farm and the Eastern Villages, up until 2026.

Earlier this year, Planning Inspector Mike Fox headed a four-week long investigation into the document which will give the council much more of a say over building projects in the borough.

Last week, the council received a response from the inspector about the plans and while there are a number of changes required, no major alterations have been demanded.

Most importantly, the inspector has not required there to be more housing on top of the 22,000 houses already planned for.

Many of the changes relate to the wording of the document to ensure it is legally sound and council leaders are confident it will be formally adopted by early next year.

The changes required include having more plots for travellers.

Councillor Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Dorcan), the cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “We are pleased with the comments we have had back from the inspector.

“There are a number of changes but these are mostly to do with the wording. For example, the term central area must be used instead of town centre. That is the level we are talking about.

“There is support for our housing numbers so we will not be required to increase the amount.

“When Wiltshire Council submitted their plan they were required to add on an extra 7,000 homes but we will not need to do that here.”

Local Plans are a key way of sorting growth within a given area as it means developers cannot just apply to put housing anywhere.

“Without a Local Plan, house building can become like the Wild West as the council will have very little say,” said Coun Heenan.

“The plan looks at all aspects of development in Swindon. It is a growth-led plan rather than a housing-led plan.

“We are confident it will be fully approved and have pencilled it in to go before full council to be adopted in January.”

The changes are the subject of a consultation which will last until October 30. People can view the changes and documents, as well as respond to the consultation, by visiting www.swindon.gov.uk/swindonplan