Wichelstowe, Swindon

KEY FACTS

Wichelstowe, Swindon

Wichelstowe is approximately 300-hectares of agricultural land, divided into East Wichel, Middle Wichel and West Wichel, designated for sustainable mixed-use residential and commercial development and becoming known locally as Swindon's 'front garden'.

At the start of this development, PBA carried out earthworks for Swindon Borough Council to establish the existing ground conditions and the risk of any contamination from previous site uses to inform the reuse of materials, and a canal investigation to establish the water retention capacity of the existing soils to be used in the restoration of the canal. A phased approach to development allowed construction to take place on engineered platforms as others were being completed.

In 2011, we were appointed as transport, highways and engineering consultant to continue working with Swindon Borough Council for the remaining phases of the development. The development is a mixed urban extension to the south west of the town up to the M4, includes 4,300 dwellings, 100,000 sqm of commercial development, four education facilities, a 1,000 space park-and-ride site, a new superstore and district centre and a major package of infrastructure works including M4 Junction 16 improvements, a jack box under the M4, a new southern relief road and a networks of canals within the site.

We've helped our client re-think the high cost infrastructure issues and “sweat the assets” in the short to long term, while always considering the whole development’s needs as the build progressed. We updated the drainage strategy to consider the new SUDS guidelines. We were able to remove or delay the need for major highways infrastructure by re-phasing high trip generating and economically non-viable land uses to later phases, as well redefining key items and maximising their benefit such as the relief road which is to be realigned into the development with significant cost savings.

These cost savings, combined with the re-masterplanning for the next phases, allowed the remaining 3,500 units to be brought forward in a financially viable programme.

The success of these works unlocked the development phasing and allowed PBA to progress the detailed design for the M4 Junction 16 improvements scheme.

In 2016, PBA worked on the District Centre Design Code to allow the core community facilities to be advanced including supporting more residential by 2018.