ANGER is building after controversial plans to build on an historic orchard in Trowbridge were resubmitted by the developer.

Plans to build 21 houses or flats at Courtfield House on Polebarn Road were criticised by residents at Trowbridge Town Council’s development meeting.

The committee voted to object to the plans, with four councillors against them and two abstentions.

Cllr Chris Beaver declared an interest in the debate, as his company PlanningSphere are working with developer Ashford Homes.

Polebarn area resident Dr Stuart Farrimond said: “As a whole, the proposal doesn’t honour the heritage of the site. I think it’s imperative that Courtfield House itself is preserved. It is a vital part of the heritage of Trowbridge."

“There absolutely does need to be housing, but it needs to be done proportionately and the precious ecology to the north of property should be preserved, alongside restoring the site.”

Jackie Harding, who lives on Polebarn Road, said: “We understand the house needs to be saved, we are not arguing that.

“We are saying that the orchard does not need to be destroyed in order to save the house. We have not had that proven to us at all.”

The revised plans include retaining just seven of around 40 trees within the orchard, as well as the lawn, which previously would have had two homes on it.

Mr Griffiths from Ashford Homes said: “The simple fact is that quite a few of them (the trees) are dead. We know they are historic trees and we’ve saved the ones that are capable of saving.

“The layout has been very well considered and we’ve offered to plant new trees or graft trees wherever possible and we’ve happy to work with those groups to understand how we can achieve that.”

Cllr Steven Oldrieve, who is not a member of the committee said that what was put forward was ‘certainly better than the original’, however, said that the orchard was a significant part of the centre of Trowbridge.

Cllr Peter Fuller, who represents the area, said it was positive that Ashford Homes had tried to answer the issues with orchard.

“With the increase from all the developments on Polebarn Road, the situation there is going to be absolutely atrocious,” he said.

The plans will now go to Wiltshire Council.

They will be seen by a planning officer before going before either the Western Area Planning or Wiltshire Council’s strategic planning committee.