MORE than 60 residents united on Saturday to make a stand against the impact they fear an estate of 270 houses will have on their local community and wildlife in Trowbridge.

People from Drynham Lane, Bradley Road, Wiltshire Drive and Dursley Road and many minor roads nearby attended a protest rally against the proposed Elm Grove development.

They were joined by South West Wiltshire MP Dr Andrew Murrison and one of their town councillors, Antonio Piazza.

Residents are protesting against the potential impact that an extra 1,000 vehicles from Elm Grove Farm housing and another 200 homes proposed at Woodmarsh, North Bradley, would have on the A363 Bradley Road, bringing more traffic to the main road and their nearby streets.

Dr Murrison said: “It was great to see residents out in force to register concerns about the Elm Grove proposal.

“The strength of local opinion must now trigger a rethink and I look forward to a considered plan that accommodates the views so firmly expressed today.”

Cllr Piazza, who helped residents organise the protest, said: “It was a dramatic turn-out. Residents’ concerns are valid in that they want to see common-sense traffic planning, wildlife protection and be free of any risk of flooding with so many new houses being built on a flood plain."

A letter from residents to Wiltshire Council already has well over 100 signatures and more will be gathered next week, ready for when Wiltshire Council’s strategic planning committee will rule on the outline plans.

To sign the letter contact Cllr Piazza or follow

Simone Kermode, of Lydiard Way, said: “Drynham Lane has been a refuge for wildlife including some beautiful deer and there are known to be bats, including the rare Bechstein bat, there. Who is going to protect the bats and wildlife now?

“Where will our green space be, on this side of the town, to walk the dog, ride a bike, jog, pick blackberries and enjoy the birdsong away from traffic?”

Stan Zych, of Wiltshire Drive, said: “The proposed Elm Grove development is yet another example of cramming dwellings into the town at the expense of the health of existing residents, including much increased traffic congestion for visitors from the south side.

“Trowbridge residents pay a huge contribution to Trowbridge Town and Wiltshire Council rates but receive an ever-diminishing return!

“The proposed Elm Grove over-development should be severely diminished in its impact - why is it being allowed/ supported? Who would be desperate enough to build on this site.

“The planned drainage mitigation works are onerous and only seek to achieve a floor level of just one foot (300mm) above the flood plain level. New residents will need boats - not umbrellas.”