THOUSANDS of new homes will be coming to Swindon as part of a long-term strategy for the town.

During Thursday’s full Swindon Borough Council meeting members agreed to adopt the Swindon Borough Local Plan 2026 which sets out the town’s planning framework.

The strategy has come together after several years of cross-party work. One of the key elements of it will see 26,000 new homes being built in Swindon over the next 11 years.

The plan, a principal development document for the borough, identifies how much building work will take place and where. It was able to be adopted by the council after receiving approval by the Planning Inspectorate.

Coun Dale Heenan, (Con, Covingham and Dorcan), the cabinet member for strategic planning, sustainability and transport, said: “I feel it is important that members recognise that this is probably one of the most important votes that they will ever make in this chamber. It is all about where homes, offices and schools will go. We will see evidence of this on the ground starting to take shape in the coming months.

“This is the end of a two-year process which will see how Swindon will be shaped up to 2026.

“A lot of good will come out of this and I would very much like to thank officers for all their efforts.”

Councillors were pleased to see that members put party politics to one side as they worked to put the plan together.

Coun Stan Pajak, (Lib Dem leader, Eastcott), said: “This is one of those rare occurrences where all the parties are in agreement and there is unanimous support. The plan recognises the need to develop new homes and create new jobs in Swindon.”

But Coun Jim Grant (Lab leader, Rodbourne Cheney) was disappointed by some of the plans details.

He said: “We are supportive of the local plan but we are disappointed with some of the omissions from the consultation. We are particularly disappointed by the inclusion of having 30 per cent of affordable housing rather than 40 per cent.”

Coun Grant said that his party would also campaign going forward for the creation of more executive housing.

Inspector Mike Fox said that he was impressed by Swindon’s strategy particularly with regards to the economic benefits it might bring.

He said: “The plan’s provision for the economy, the provision of employment land, the town centre, retail and office development, the visitor economy and other economic sectors is positively prepared, justified, deliverable and in accordance with national policy.”

To see the Swindon Borough Local Plan 2026 documents visit