A FORMAL bid to build one of Swindon’s New Eastern Villages – part of a huge 8,000-home expansion – is imminent.

Developers Danescroft and David Wilson Homes have both requested an opinion from planners at Swindon Borough Council on whether they need to produce an environmental impact assessment for their plans.

Such a request is normally a precursor to a full application.

Danescroft wants to build 330 houses in the northern half of the land allocated to the new Foxbridge village, sandwiched between the A419 dual-carriageway and Wanborough Road, just south of where the roads cross.

David Wilson Homes hopes to build 370 houses in the southern half of the site.

Foxbridge will be one of nine new major developments which could see 8,000 houses built to the east of Swindon.

The plans submitted show the village will be bisected by the southern connector road, which will run from the Lotmead village to the Commonhead roundabout giving access south to residents.

Just off the road will be a village centre with shops, a pub and village hall as well as a primary school.

The developers say they hope to secure planning permission by the end of 2021 and work would be substantially complete on the new village – one of the smaller of the nine – by the end of 2024.

The major expansion is a key policy of the borough council. Its cabinet member for strategic development Gary Sumner is pleased progress is being made.

He said: “This is a positive step, only made possible by the £30m southern connector road, which forms the ‘high street’ of the new village of Foxbridge.

“The fully-funded road will connect this brand new village to Commonhead and the M4 and will provide sustainable vehicle, bus, cycle and pedestrian links to Swindon.

“The village has the archaeological remains of Durocornovium to the north and Foxbridge Farm to the south, as well as the protected route of the Wilts & Berks canal.

“This means that both halves of the village of Foxbridge will have green spaces integral to the development with views towards the Ridgeway and the AONB in the south.

“The development is on the southern edge of the planned development and, as such, will have a truly rural connection yet will have access to planned village and district centres and planned sports facilities at Lotmead.

“We welcome the first stage of the application process for this exciting new development.”