A COMPANY is investing £48m in Swindon to bring much-needed new homes to the area in the midst of the current recession and housing crisis.

Sovereign Housing Group will plough the money into a new development, which will see 400 new homes built.

The group predicts the investment will take significant pressure off Swindon Council’s housing register, which has a waiting list of more than 7,600 people.

“With more than 200 repossessions in Swindon during the last quarter, the pressure on housing waiting lists is steadily increasing,” said development director Phil Stephens.

“These new homes will help to alleviate this added pressure by providing much needed homes for those who are currently on Swindon Council’s Housing Register.”

Mr Stephens said the new homes would be important to first-time buyers looking to get on the property ladder.

“This is also a fantastic opportunity for first time buyers from all walks of life to get their foot on the property ladder through our part buy part rent scheme,” he said.

“The scheme allows the purchaser to buy a percentage of the property while paying a discounted rent on the remainder, and they can gradually purchase the rest of the property when they can afford it.”

As part of the investment programme SHG has invested £33m at East Wichel on the Front Garden.

This project will deliver 230 new affordable homes in three phases over the next few years.

SHG has also committed £9m at Balmoral Park, The Oaks and Madison Walk, in Priory Vale, to buy 59 new homes from private developer Bovis Homes.

These homes will now be made available for affordable housing.

The company also says there has been significant investment in developing affordable housing at Burleigh Close, in Priory Vale, and Brendon Walk and Radstock Avenue, in Dorcan.

A total of £5.6m has been invested in developing the properties.

Coun David Renard, the cabinet member for health, housing and adult social care, said: “We welcome any investment in Swindon, especially during these difficult financial times.

“It just goes to show companies are still willing to invest here.

“It could help reduce the council’s waiting list, which would be very positive – so it is very good news to anyone on the list.”