Council and Taylor Wimpey ‘re-shape’ Wichelstowe agreement

March 23, 2009

Swindon Borough Council and Taylor Wimpey have agreed to end their Collaboration Agreement to jointly provide and finance £188m of infrastructure – such as roads, canals and community facilities – at the Wichelstowe development in Swindon.

The relationship has been re-shaped into a new Co-operation Agreement. This will see both parties operating independently but in a mutually supportive way to develop the site. Taylor Wimpey will continue with their responsibility to develop East Wichel, with the council responsible for Middle and West Wichel.

The Collaboration Agreement was signed in May 2005. It involved the council paying for its share of the infrastructure costs across the entire Wichelstowe site (83%) through the transfer of land to Taylor Wimpey. This would pay for their financing of the early development infrastructure to open up the site, with any shortfall made up by a balancing financial settlement from the council.

In the current difficult economic conditions, both parties have agreed to end that agreement in the best interests of shareholders and council tax payers. Both parties have reversed the land transfers, with the council regaining transferred land in West Wichel and debts between them settled.

The new co-operation agreement will allow both Taylor Wimpey and Swindon Borough Council to develop their own land at Wichelstowe independently. The primary infrastructure that remains to be built across the 764-acre site will be provided and managed by the council.

Cllr Peter Greenhalgh, Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for Highways, Transport and Strategic Planning said: “Swindon Borough Council and Taylor Wimpey remain committed to the Wichelstowe project, and we’ll continue to work in partnership to create an exemplary development which will be one of the most sustainable and healthy communities in the UK.

“We have decided to reshape our relationship in the light of the current unprecedented economic conditions, which both parties believe is the right thing to do.”

Clive Wiltshire, director for Taylor Wimpey in the South-west said: “We welcome the signing of the new arrangements which have been structured in close co-operation with Swindon Borough Council. We are fully committed to the Wichelstowe development and our continued presence within Swindon.

“The new Co-operation Agreement will allow both parties the freedom to continue with their developments whilst ensuring that the scheme delivered will fulfil the high standards of sustainability envisaged at the outset.”

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