The last major obstacle to the building of nearly 500 houses in the Wichelstowe expansion has been cleared.

As well as the 496 houses to be built on three plots of The Orchards at the northern end of the major development on the western edge of Swindon, details of an 83-bed care home have also been given the go ahead.

The Wichelstowe LLP consortium – made up of Swindon Borough Council, Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes – was given outline planning permission for the development in 2015. Now council planners have signed off on four separate applications setting out details of the layout and appearance of the houses and the care home.

The houses will be built on three separate parcels of land – one of 182 homes in Wichel Fields, one of 188 and one with 106 houses, both to be built in The Orchards to the north west of the whole expansion site.

Wichelstowe project director Daniel Pavely said: “Despite the incredible challenges of the past year, it has been fantastic to see the life of this new community begin, with hundreds of people now living at Canalside. So we are delighted to have been granted permission to get on with the next phase of work here. 

“As well as building hundreds more much-needed new homes for Swindon, this next work will see exciting new ecological enhancements too – with new wildlife habitats and open green spaces being created.”

The 83-bed care homes will be built by Berkley Care and Freeman Retirement Living in the Wichelstowe centre, next to the Deanery Academy.

The design, which uses elements of Swindon architecture, creates three sides of an open square and the developers say it is being built in response to local need.

They said: “A care home is a complementary facility for older people’s housing enabling a continuing care provision across the sites. Market research over the past 18 months has shown that a proposition with a lower number of retirement units together with a care home is welcomed.

“There is a demand for a greater amount of care.”

The 106 houses on Parcel 6 of The Orchards will be arranged in two groups, with the application showing three storey town houses arranged in twos and fours.
Parcel 4 will see 188 houses arranged in one large estate to the south and east of Scott Way, one of the main routes through the north of Wichelstowe.

Houses will be arranged in four different ways, in detached two-storey homes, three-storey town houses, three storey demi-detached houses and  three-storey apartment blocks.

The development of 182 houses will be built in the centre of the site near the Waitrose supermarket.