Abbey Farm


Linden Homes, Thames Valley / Redrow Homes, Western

Key facts:

  • 350 new homes
  • Strategic urban extension
  • Sensitive development in the green belt

Planning services relating to the submission and approval of a Reserved Matter Application in respect of 350 residential dwellings, provision of further development consisting of a future school, small convenience store, formal and informal public open space, including two equipped areas of play.

History of site

The Abbey Farm site is located on the northern periphery of Swindon, on green belt land, with the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the north and the A419 road running close to the east. The site comprises agricultural land, with dissecting public rights of way running through and leading to a neighbouring settlement.

The project

Redrow Homes and Linden Homes jointly submitted a  reserved matters planning application with equal land split and infrastructure works. The Noble Consultancy were invited by both parties to prepare a proofing layout for the development.

Design process

The project involved the detailed review of the approved outline master plan to develop a detailed conceptual plan which included 350 units including 105 affordable housing units based on the site. Drawing influence from the constraints and opportunities within the site, details of which were approved at outline stage, sketch layouts were prepared for both clients. At this stage The Noble Consultancy identified that the outline consent for 350 units could also accommodate a large proportion of the 5 bed houses which improved its commercial viability for the clients.

Particular attention was also made on the design to enhance the affordable housing within the development to give the appearance of tenure blind, elevating the dwellings to give the same massing and appearance as the larger detached private dwellings. Public consultations were held allowing members of the public to view and comment on the proposed plans. Feedback from these events were incorporated before continuing with detailed designs and the formal submission of the Reserved Matter Application.

The Application was prepared by members of the design team, working closely with external parties such as the civil engineers and landscape architects. The Noble Consultancy worked closed with both clients, incorporating both sets of distinctive house types into the design and plans, ensuring that the project was adequately resourced which enabled all interested parties to react to comments and change in a timely manner whilst working in close coordination with external consultants.

Upon approval by both developers the detailed plans were submitted by The Noble Consultancy for pre application comments to Swindon Borough Council. Due to the high-quality designs proposed on the development the Application was well received by the local authority. They were very receptive to the proposed overall plan as it provided high quality product with a mix of housing compliant with local policy guidance.

Project challenges

Preparing and submitting a single reserved matters planning application on behalf of two separate housebuilders required careful coordination to ensure the aspirations of both clients and the local planning authority were met.

An area of the development heavily discussed was how the principal road provided a safe access to the proposed school whilst achieving good permeability throughout the development and to the open space beyond. Swindon Borough Council Highways had rigid requirements to ensure that the final road designs catered for their refuse vehicles. Working closely with the Highways Officer, The Noble Consultancy were able to meet their requirements whilst also securing compromises where possible to ensure the integrity of development was not compromised and the costly provision of carriageway and highway servicing was limited.


The Noble Consultancy understood the aspirations of both clients for this site and delivered designs that were aligned to the vision. Both clients were happy with the design outcomes and the approval of the detailed proposals. Working with two separate clients on the same site could have proven challenging. However, The Noble Consultancy managed the process is such a way that made the process more streamline, sticking to deadlines, avoiding any undue delays or additional costs.


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