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Swindon regeneration scheme falters as council parts ways with developer

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Swindon NHS Health CentreSwindon NHS Health CentreA £350m, 10-year contract to redevelop the Kimmerfields area of Swindon has been cancelled by the borough council.

The Kimmerfields development – formerly known as Union Square – was supposed to provide offices, homes, restaurants and a new bus station.

But progress has been slow and the deal – signed with developer Muse in 2008 – has been cancelled.

In a statement issued this week, the council confirmed: "Swindon Borough Council and Muse Developments Ltd have, by mutual agreement, ended their development agreement for the Kimmerfields regeneration scheme."

The first phase of the scheme has delivered a new 850-space multi-storey car park, assisted living residential accommodation, highway improvements and a major new NHS health centre which opened earlier this year.

Outline planning for major office and residential accommodation has been granted, and a Compulsory Purchase Order to enable the scheme to be delivered has been secured.

Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Now that the first phase of Kimmerfields has been completed, the council and Muse have jointly taken the decision to end the development agreement early.

“Muse has made a valuable contribution to this scheme as large regeneration projects like this are extremely complex and involve a number of third parties and landowners to complete the land assembly, which in turn means they can take many years to complete.

“The council remains committed to delivering Kimmerfields and we will be working hard over the coming months on plans for the remainder of the site.”

Doug Finlay, of Muse, said: “The Kimmerfields scheme, on which we have worked in partnership with the Council for a number of years, has successfully delivered a number of high quality initial buildings including the new state-of-the-art NHS Health Centre which was relocated from the centre of the land scheduled for the next phase of development.

“As the development agreement with the council has only a few months left to run we have mutually agreed to bring it forward.”

The council said that further details on its plans for the next phase of Kimmerfields will be brought before the cabinet in due course.