GREEN fields between North Bradley and Trowbridge should stay green and not be swallowed up by houses, say worried villagers who fear for their community.

Wiltshire Council’s housing allocation plans for the next seven years includes up to 175 new houses fields between the town and the village. Now people in North Bradley say they want their green spaces protected.

Villager Julie Locks said: “This corner of Wiltshire appears to be being sacrificed to meet Government targets regardless of the effect on the environment and quality of life for residents. We appreciate housing is needed but not at any cost. We are losing everything that makes up the character of Wiltshire.”

North Bradley Parish Council told this week’s inquiry into the county’s Housing Site Allocations Plan that it backs the proposal, but believe brownfield sites should be prioritised before the fields are developed. Chairman Roger Evans said: “Ideally we do not want development on those fields because in our view greenfield sites should be sacrosanct. If Wiltshire Council and the Governments’ housing requirements could be met entirely on brownfield sites mores the better but we accept there has to be compromise.”

Planning permission was granted in 2016 to convert the old Virgin building on the White Horse Business Park, which is separated from the village by fields, into 98 homes, 45 one-bed and 53 two-bed flats.

Locals are now worried offices, shops or even a hotel could be built there.

Mr Evans said “We have heard plans to change the use of the Virgin building but it has not yet reached planning stages. Housing is better than the building lying derelict. but ideally we would not like the fields to be developed on.. Housing should be to the South of the village and the land to the North should be left as the distinction between the village and Trowbridge.

“We have to compromise. Our Neighbourhood Plan ensures the gap between urban Trowbridge and rural North Bradley is preserved, taking into consideration the bat corridor is maintained.”

The Housing Site Allocation Plan says developing the agricultural land would be “problematic to mitigate” and could cause a “moderate adverse effect” on the area.: “Given the size of this site development would result in the loss of agricultural land and, if this were to be best and most versatile agricultural land this would likely be