NEW Masterplanning was appointed by Crest Nicholson in 2008 to prepare a concept plan and strategy leading to a planning application for a 200ha site on the northern edge of Swindon. The scheme had stalled and a new masterplan was considered necessary for the site.

Tadpole Farm is on the edge of Swindon, and is clearly defined by hills, ridges and floodplain. It has good access by public transport to Swindon town centre but is also on the edge of the Cotswolds. Our concept exploited this potential to create a sustainable ‘urban village’, delivering lower density family housing, meeting the social, economic and environmental objectives of the Council.

Our masterplan included a large green ‘common’ between the development and existing housing, allotments and retention of farm buildings, woodland walks and a traditional ‘High Street’ as part of the wider village concept and green infrastructure. We undertook specific market research for Crest to establish the range of house types, dwelling sizes and plot sizes which would differentiate Tadpole Farm from other urban extensions, relate to the desirable market towns around Swindon, and maximise sales values from the site. We also prepared detailed proving layouts to help Crest assess the financial viability of the proposals.

Representations were submitted to the Core Strategy which led to the site being identified as a preferred growth option. We led community engagement exercises as part of the pre-application discussions, presented to officers and members and prepared the Design & Access Statement and Design Code to inform the quality of future development.

The planning application for 1695 homes, 5ha of commercial space and a range of community facilities was approved in June 2012. We have recently completed the Design Codes and landscape strategy for Phase 1 which was granted planning approval in September 2013.

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