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Metropolitan Workshop gets go-ahead for Nationwide’s housebuilding return

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Swindon Borough Council has given planning permission for a 239-home scheme in Swindon designed by Metropolitan Workshop which marks the return of Nationwide as a major homebuilder

The UK’s largest mutual building society is working with development partner Igloo Regeneration on the scheme at Oakfield Campus, Marlowe Avenue, which would deliver 30 per cent affordable housing.

The not-for-profit £50 million scheme, which was first announced in late 2017, is being billed as a ’meaningful and replicable local contribution to [help alleviate] the national housing shortage’.

Before it became a lender solely, the company that was later to become Nationwide was heavily involved in building Letchworth Garden City.

Nationwide said moneymaking was not the principal driving force behind the 5ha ‘neighbourhood’ project close to its headquarters in Swindon and that it wanted ’to develop quality homes at fair prices’. 

Joe Garner, Nationwide’s chief executive, said the scheme would ’deliver a long-lasting, high-quality development’, adding: ’As a building society we were founded to help improve housing, rather than maximising profit and shareholder return.

‘Helping create these new homes and a thriving community is a great example of how we are guided by our purpose of building society, nationwide.’

Metropolitan workshop oakfields swindon for nationwide

Metropolitan workshop oakfields swindon for nationwide

The design team includes PRP, landscape design and ecology consultancy LUC, Alan Baxter Associates, XC02, engineers Calford Seaden and planning consultancy Lichfields.

PRP partner Jenny Buterchi said: “Nationwide’s focus on intergenerational living is refreshing and demonstrates a real commitment to creating a community that provides for the needs of our society.

‘For this, we designed a range of typologies, all located carefully within the masterplan, to foster a true sense of neighbourliness and enable older people to not only age but also thrive within their community.’

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, added: ’This development ticks a lot of boxes for the council and builds on the excellent and award-winning design standards we have seen across a number of new developments in Swindon.’

Construction is expected to start by the end of the year, with the first phase of homes set to complete in spring 2021. 

Metropolitan workshop oakfields swindon for nationwide intergenerational housing

PRP’s oakfields swindon for nationwide intergenerational housing

PRP’s intergenerational housing elements

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Readers' comments (1)

  • 'Quality homes at fair prices' - laudable, but however good the quality of design I wonder how much care will be devoted to the quality of construction?
    The clouds are darkening over the mass housebuilding industry, and there'll be the mother of all storms if the government and industry don't improve quality control.

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