TROWBRIDGE is on the verge of becoming “one great big building site” after it was revealed that the town is set to bear the brunt of west Wiltshire’s housing allocation.

At a seminar on Tuesday, Cllr Toby Sturgis revealed that 700 of the 900 houses planned in the north and west Wiltshire housing market area will be built in Trowbridge, raising major concerns about a lack of school spaces, overcrowded GP surgeries and congested roads.

The main sites that have been earmarked for development include the Hilperton Gap, Elmgrove Farm in Drynham Lane and Southwick Court.

Trowbridge councillors were shocked by the announcement and are concerned that there is insufficient infrastructure to cope.

Hilperton Parish Council chairman Ernie Clark said: “Spatial planners at Wiltshire Council should be ashamed of themselves; it’s a disgrace, a farce and a cause for concern for everyone living in and around Trowbridge.

“They are so short-sighted, they seem to think Trowbridge is a principle settlement, but we have no decent train or road links, unlike Chippenham for example.

“We also still don’t have the planned secondary school yet and surgeries are already at bursting point.

“They’re just trying to cram more and more houses in for the sake of meeting their numbers, not thinking one bit about the added strain on residents.

“It’s tilted in favour of the developers, who all say they will add to the infrastructure but never do. There’s no thought behind it.”

The proposal will be discussed at a public Wiltshire Council cabinet meeting at 9.30am on Tuesday in the Kennet Room of County Hall, and councillors are urging residents to attend.

Following that there will be a consultation period running from July until September, during which residents will be able to make their views known.

There are concerns that the additional houses will lead to nearby villages such as North Bradley and West Ashton joining Trowbridge, forming a mass urban sprawl.

Chairman of Trowbridge Area Board, Cllr Graham Payne, said: “The Area Board members were quite shocked at the announcement - Trowbridge is going to become one great big building site.

“We have no guarantee about the infrastructure or extra facilities needed to cope with them.

“The Area Board will be writing a letter to Wiltshire Council to ask about this. Enough is enough.”

Cllr Steve Oldrieve fears that this will act as a “green light” to developers wanting to build in the town, and warned that it will have a “massive impact” on the area.

Chairman of Trowbridge Town Council’s town development committee, Geoff Whiffen, said: “It’s getting ridiculous now, they are looking to build on every spare piece of land in the town.

“I was devastated when I heard their plans and I’m sure lots of other people will be too. I hope lots of people will come along to County Hall on Tuesday.”

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which oversees healthcare in Wiltshire, said plans are in place to meet the demand.

A spokesperson for the CCG said: “Over the last nine months, Wiltshire CCG and Wiltshire Council have been working together to consider how primary care health services are going to be provided for the existing and projected population growth for Trowbridge and the rest of North West Wiltshire.

“This work has been discussed in public, including Trowbridge Area Board meetings. A Strategic Outline Case has been developed which also takes into consideration the required health facilities needed to deliver services from.

“We expect to be able to report on this by the end of July 2017.”

Mel Jacob, chairman of governors of The Mead Trust, which is bidding to build the new secondary school in Trowbridge, said there has been "no update" on the school due to the recent elections.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “We have already engaged closely with stakeholders as part of the development of the Wiltshire Core Strategy, which sets the framework for the draft housing site allocations plan and level of housing to be provided in Trowbridge.

“In preparing the draft plan, we have continued to engage with infrastructure providers including in education and health, in order to understand what facilities will be required to support the proposals.

"One of the housing proposals in the draft plan includes land for a primary school to support education in Trowbridge.  

“If agreed by cabinet, the plan will go out for consultation, and representations will be considered in order to determine if any changes are necessary before the draft plan is formally submitted to the secretary of state for independent examination.”