Formal plans to build hundreds of houses on an old university campus have finally been lodged.

Nationwide Building Society, which has its headquarters in Swindon, has applied for permission thorough its development company Piper Javelin No 1 Ltd, to build 239 houses on the old Oakfield campus site in Walcot.

And the company says its plans are designed to create a 'cohesive community', especially of young and older people.

The site covers a pentagon bound to the south by Marlowe Avenue and to the north by allotments and fields.

The plans show houses arranged in short terraces running either east to west or north to south and this has been designed, in the words of the application, to create a series of public spaces allowing residents “opportunities for pause, change of speed, direction or a sense of arrival”.

Included in the plans are  several larger blocks of apartments which will hold flats specially designed for older people - but they will be “pepper-potted” amongst the family homes to try and encourage mixing of older and younger people”.

Stephen Uden, director of social investment, said: “Good communities combine young and old. There’s a lack of provision in Swindon and in fact everywhere of housing for older people.”

To the west  of the site will be the hub - a community centre - and a larger building housing the Oakfield project, a school which already operates on the site.

The application says: “The space to the north of the hub is designed as a mini-plaza, which can be used for group gatherings and is a key pedestrian interface.”

The site was used by Park Grammar School and then Oakfield School from the 1950s until the turn of the century, when it was then used by the University of Bath until 2008.

It has been levelled and vacant ever since the university left a decade ago.