A public referendum is to take place in Heytesbury to ask residents if they want a new village hall.

The request for a poll will be sent to Wiltshire Council following a parish meeting at Heytesbury Primary School last Friday (September 6) attended by around 85 people.

The move follows news that the Trustees of the Raymond Trust are unable to buy land at the west end of Heytesbury to build a new hall because it has already been sold.

Louise Morris, chair of Heytesbury, Imber and Knook Parish Council, said the field had been sold privately prior to a public auction on September 12.

Even though the Trust had completed due diligence for the prospective purchase, it had been advised by Wiltshire Council it would be unlikely to gain planning permission for a new hall on the land.

Mrs Morris said: "A number of obstacles were highlighted to us, including that the land is outside of the village boundary.

"I can let you know that armed with that professional advice, the Raymond Trust would not have bid for the land at auction."

Vanessa Sturmey told villagers that only leaves the Trust with one option, to re-open talks with the Sassoon Estate Trust, which has offered to gift Heytesbury a new village hall and two sports fields on 12 acres north of Park Street in return for an enabling development of 23 new homes south of Park Street.

Some villagers and some members of the parish council have objected strongly to the new homes, saying it is not certain the Sassoon Estate Trust will gain planning permission for them.

The parish council will now work with Wiltshire Council to deliver the village poll on a date to be fixed.