The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has given the go-ahead for the construction of 4500 homes in Swindon, Wiltshire, after a planning process that has lasted seven years.
The ODPM's decision to support this extension of the Swindon Southern Development Area, known locally as the Front Garden, means the proposal has cleared its final hurdle.

Taylor Woodrow, the developer of the scheme, faced strong opposition from local groups, including two High Court challenges. The 308 ha project includes office and factory sites, shops, schools and community facilities as well as housing. One in three houses will be affordable.

Nick Sedgwick, project director of Taylor Woodrow, said: "It is a huge contribution to housing demand and is of regional importance given its size and location."

The site was masterplanned by architect John Simpson and Partners to create a sustainable community, where all homes and workplaces will be within 400 m of a bus stop. Among the environmental targets set for the homes are commitments to improve upon the energy efficiency requirements in the Building Regulations and to reduce water usage by up to 15%. All homes will be built to the Eco Homes standard of "very good", and 225 homes will be built to test more advanced environmental technology and reach the top Eco Homes standard of "excellent".

Taylor Woodrow has promised to build 850 of the houses.