Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Ghosts of Wichelstowe

The shop-window of Swindon's Wichelstowe development, the canal-side houses in East Wichel.

Living in what, during the eighties and nineties, was the 'fastest growing town in Europe', it's sometimes easy to become use to new housing estates becoming part of the scenery. One development in Swindon is different enough to stand out and makes for fascinating photographs.

The lights on the unopened Southern Relief Road blaze through the night, giving an unsettling, eerie feeling.

Wichelstowe sits between the southern parts of Swindon (Old Town and Croft) and immediately north of the M4 between Junction 16 and 15. Known as the Front Garden and officially as the Southern Development Area, it's a collection of three areas, East Wichel, Middle Wichel and West Wichel. High quality housing design elements compliment the many green spaces and the extensive new canal network.

Work at Wichelstowe has slowed with the recession and recovery, but the road and canal infrastructure has either been completed or they are far advanced. As a consequence, the roads serving Middle and West Wichel run through farmer's fields, complete with traffic lights, pavements, road markings, bus lanes and signs to estates that do not exist yet! Some street furniture has been fitted, but remains in it's wrapping!

Having missed photographing the North Swindon development over the last phase of town expansion I'm going to make every effort to capture Wichelstowe.

For more pictures from this project, click the link on the right to be taken to Flickr, or click here.


Wichelstowe Development Site

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