May 2020 - Issue 5

The New Eastern Villages (NEV) is one of the largest greenfield developments in the country, and we want to keep you updated as works progress.

This newsletter will drop into your inbox every month and will contain everything you need to know about the development and the accompanying roadworks.

New to the newsletter? Read previous editions

Meet the NEV team

There are 14 people in our dedicated New Eastern Villages team. They have been working on this project for a number of years and are experts in their respective fields.

In each newsletter edition we will introduce you to one of them.

Ed Snook

Senior Planner

Ed has worked at the Council for eight years and primarily acts as a case officer for planning applications for development in and around the NEV.

On a daily basis he works with developers, key stakeholders and local communities to ensure development is delivered in accordance with the plans for the area.

What's recently happened?

Closure of A419

Over the recent Bank Holiday weekend, a section of the A419 - from the White Hart roundabout to the Turnpike junction (by Abbey Stadium) - was closed.

The closure was necessary to allow a new slip road to be built from the White Hart roundabout onto the A419, a major part of the NEV road improvement scheme.

The A419 northbound carriageway was closed from 8pm on Saturday, 9 May to 6am Sunday, 10 May.

The road was then opened before being closed again from 8pm on Monday, 11 May to 6am on Tuesday, 12 May.

The work went ahead without any problems and was undertaken at night to reduce the impact.

The team strictly adhered to COVID-19 Government guidelines while carrying out this work.

Newt fence extended

As reported in February's edition of the newsletter, we've installed newt fencing on a plot of land just off the White Hart junction. These fences are intended to control the movement of great crested newts, which are legally protected in the UK.

This fencing has now been extended around the whole field and will allow us to properly protect and monitor the wildlife closely as work progresses.

Creation of new haul road

A new haul road has been created on a patch of land just north of Ermin Street and south of the railway line.

The haul road is specially designed for the transfer of heavy materials during the construction process and it will allow our contractors to transport materials around the site more easily.

The field will be restored to its original condition when the work is complete.

Construction of temporary car park

We have started to construct a temporary car park for the Ermin Street allotment holders.

The car park will allow allotment holders to park their cars safely while work is taking place at various locations around the site.

The car park is marked red on the map below.

Image: Google StreetView

Work on Nythe Rd and Piccadilly roundabout

We have started some minor roadworks in the area around the Nythe Road/Oxford Road junction, and Piccadilly roundabout (by The Messenger pub).

We won’t need to close any roads, we’ll just be working on the grass verges and footpaths.

It’s all part of the initial preparatory work ahead of the major road improvement schemes.

The work started on Monday, 11 May and will take a couple of weeks to complete.

In this picture, the teams can be seen working at Piccadilly roundabout.

Wood chippings donated

During these difficult times, kind gestures go a long way.

We would like to thank Osborne, the contractors currently working at White Hart, for donating several tons of wood chippings to a local care home.

Osborne's compound is located just off of the roundabout in a residential area close to Wemyss Lodge.

After removing some trees and foliage from the area, Osborne kindly gave the chippings to staff at the lodge to help them spruce up their garden.

The chippings were gratefully received, with Wemyss staff putting a special thank you on their website.

The team delivered the chippings safely while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

What's happening next?

White Hart roundabout

Over the next few weeks, work on the temporary car park will continue and an additional haul road will be created on land north of the railway line. Fencing will also be erected through the allotments.

Nythe Rd and Piccadilly roundabout

Over the next week, work on the verges and footpaths will be continuing at Nythe Road and Piccadilly roundabout. Work will not be taking place at weekends.

Planning updates

Foxbridge (North)

Housing developer Danescroft has submitted an outline planning application for 299 houses situated to the east of the A419 and to the west of Redlands Village.

This development, to be known as Foxbridge North, will have affordable housing for rent as well as homes for sale, subject to receiving approval.

Members of our Planning team are assessing the application which will be brought before the Planning Committee in due course.

Public Q&A

We expect you have a lot of questions about the NEV. If you submit them via the link below, we will answer three in the next issue.

These were the questions people put to us following last month's newsletter:

Q: How much of the NEV development will be affordable housing?

A: Approximately 8,000 homes are planned to be built as part of the NEV development. Policies in the Local Plan require 30% of the new homes to be affordable (20% in South Marston), subject to viability considerations.

Q: Is the current pandemic likely to have an impact on the timings of the highways schemes?

A: The team are currently assessing the impacts for all the transport schemes. Some activities have been delayed and the teams are reviewing the programmes and adjusting accordingly. Further updates will be given when the programmes have been confirmed.

Q: Why can’t you make the A420 a dual carriageway?

A: We are currently undertaking a feasibility study on this question. However, the current highways schemes identified are required to improve existing conditions and meet new demand from development at the NEV. Dualling of the A420 is beyond the scope of NEV schemes and would require alternative funding. Future opportunities for dualling are being assessed in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council who have responsibility for the A420 beyond the Swindon Borough boundary.

If you have any other queries or if there is anything else relating to the NEV that we can help with, don't hesitate to get in touch.

The emergency phone number for the White Hart roundabout scheme is: 07899 751807.

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Swindon Borough Council, Civic Offices, Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH

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