It’s been growing for years, but the new Wichelstowe development on the south east edge of Swindon is still somewhat empty in its heart - until now.

While there are two schools, a pub/restaurant and a supermarket already operating in the centre of the village – Swindon Borough Council, which is one of the partners in the huge scheme, has now submitted plans to fill in the centre of the development.

Proposals for Canalside West, adjacent to the Hall and Woodhouse pub, include a larger block of apartments alongside Peglars Way, a health centre, pharmacy, community centre and space for offices.

This will be complemented by a second block including four units which could be developed with retail or restaurant uses with 12 apartments above.

Canalside West would also include a public square which has been designed to accommodate markets or events.

On the other side of the canal between the waterway and the Waitrose supermarket Canalside East is proposed to include a block of 14 apartments alongside a gym with space for a café adjacent to the canal footbridge.

Councillor Kevin Small, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Canalside is the focal point for the Wichelstowe development and we want to create a vibrant place for the wider community with facilities to match.

“Waitrose, Hall and Woodhouse and the new schools were important foundations for the district centre, but these latest designs, if approved, will help bring the future development of Canalside to life.”

The Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board has provided feedback on the designs of the health centre.

Gordon Muvuti, director of place for Swindon for the board, said: “Planning for the future health needs of residents coming to live in Wichelstowe is an important priority for the ICB, and we are continuing to work with Swindon Borough Council, as well as local GP practices, as part of the early stages of this process.”

The Canalside East part of the development is more likely to be built first if the proposals get planning permission.

The developments on the west side are likely to take longer, but the plans have been submitted to meet the deadlines in the original permission for the entire Wichelstowe site and to make sure the uses of the land are legal.

More than 4,000 houses and flats will be eventually built in the village by Barratt Homes and David Wilson Home.