THE first few show homes at the Tadpole Gardens development were officially opened yesterday morning.

Formerly known as Tadpole Farm, the houses represent the start of a project which will eventually see 1,700 homes built in North Swindon.

The public was given the chance to have a look last weekend, and despite only a few being built several hundred people flocked to see them.

“The fact so many people have turned up shows there is a lot of interest and the response from people so far has been positive,” said Stephen Stone, the chief executive of developers Crest Nicholson.

“It is always nice to reach this stage of any project but I have to say this has been one of the easiest we have dealt with.

“I think one of the main reasons for that is that local councillors, parish councillors and officers have been involved and had an input from the start.

“When it is finished this will be a superb addition to Swindon.”

The development is being built in the style of a garden village, meaning each house will have a front and back garden.

Crest says it will boast several community assets, although it could not guarantee a pub at this stage.

The upkeep of the area would be funded by residents of the village.

Stephen said: “Previous developments in Swindon have often focused on high density housing, which is not what we are doing here.

“The houses will be spaced apart and there will be lots of open space.

“We cannot guarantee a pub at this stage because that will be dependent on the market.

“We are working hard to bring one but if not there will definitely be a community asset of another kind in its place.”

Among those at the launch were local councillors, who gave their approval to the houses built so far.

They remained hopeful a pub would be delivered, something which has not yet happened in Redhouse despite land being set aside.

Councillor Vera Tomlinson (Con, St Andrews) said: “The houses are absolutely tremendous.

“We have been to every Crest meeting held.

“We have fought a lot of battles about layout, brick colours and gardens and Crest have bent over backwards to make this a development Swindon can be proud of.

“In Redhouse the breweries did not think a pub was a good idea but I think that is different here.”