THIS is the first glimpse of plans for a new 149-home development on Queens Drive.

Swindon Borough Council is leading the £30m redevelopment of former social housing block George Gay Gardens and the four T-shaped blocks south of Wolsely Avenue.

In its place, developers want to build six blocks ranging from two and three-storey terraced homes to four-storey apartment blocks.

Building work will be split over two phases, with homes on the site currently occupied by George Gay Gardens the first to be built. The whole development is expected to be complete by 2023.

In a design and access statement prepared by Quattro Design Architects and shared on the planning pages of the council’s website, developers said: “This area of Swindon has seen little regeneration since the 1960s, except for the flagship and successful scheme at Sussex Square that the borough council completed in recent years.

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“We therefore see this as an ample opportunity to provide a new and defined identity for this neighbourhood that we trust will act as a catalyst for regeneration within the area.”

Architects say the design of the buildings has been inspired by Swindon’s railway heritage. The blocks will be predominantly red brick. Almost 40 trees will be removed as part of the development. However, developers say more trees will be planted in their stead.

Across the site, architects expect to provide 191 parking spaces, including 10 electric vehicle charging spots.

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Contractors are currently working to demolish the old social housing block at George Gay Gardens

The bulk of the homes will be offered through he council’s Homebid system at an affordable rent. Of the 149 homes, 20 will be offered through Rent Co. A further 20 homes will be sold under a shared ownership scheme.

Welcoming the new scheme, Cathy Martyn, Swindon council’s cabinet member for housing and public safety, said last month: “Queens Drive is an important gateway into Swindon and this development is a further example of how we are investing in our local communities to benefit local residents.”

Demolition workers are currently on the George Gay Gardens site, using high-reach machines to take down the building. The work is expected to last a couple of weeks.