NORTH Bradley residents have accused Trowbridge Town Council of ‘land grabbing’ to enlarge the town - but the town council say the change to the boundary comes from Wiltshire Council’s current Community Governance Review.

Villagers have accused the town council of trying to take ‘25 per cent’ of the parish to speed up the expansion of its housing supply, with developments at land south of the White Horse Business Park and Elmgrove being transferred to Trowbridge.

An outline bid for development would see up to 100 dwellings and a 64 bed care home built on the fields, which cover the triangle between Bradley Road, the road leading to the White Horse Business Park and the first homes in the village.

A statement on the North Bradley Parish Council website says: “This would mean that Trowbridge Town Council would receive any Community Infrastructure Levy for new developments, and those residents affected would pay the Council Tax precept for Trowbridge, which is considerably higher than for North Bradley.”

Trowbridge Town Council’s town development committee meeting has voted to oppose the plans.

North Bradley Parish Council’s Rodger Evans said: “They’re taking over areas that have always been classed as rural and are suppose to be the buffer zone between Trowbridge town and the villages and parishes.

“We know there’s going to be some development which we have to accept with our Neighbourhood Plan, but overall we’re dead against our rural aspect of the remainder being hijacked.”

Cllr Evans agreed there was a plan to extend Trowbridge council wards into the parish, but said that this shouldn’t be used as justification for reducing parish boundaries.

North Bradley residents Linda and David Howse said: “We fear this may well lead to the council swallowing up North Bradley and it becoming just another part of Trowbridge.

“Having moved to the village 12 years ago we have grown to love this village and its community spirit, and we do not want the integrity of the village to be lost.”

These sentiments were echoed by fellow resident, Russell Willsmer, who said: “Residents of the village are up in arms about this.

“North Bradley was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and is, as policy states, to be protected as a village.”

Trowbridge Town Council said that the decision to move boundaries was that of Wiltshire Council and the Community Governance Review.

A spokesman for the town council said the Community Governance Review was separate from the allocation of areas for development, ‘which have already been determined by Wiltshire Council through the Core Strategy’.

“All of these sites were supported by the North Bradley Neighbourhood Plan,” they continued.

“All of these are planned by Wiltshire Council as extensions to the town and not as extensions to the village.

“The town council has accepted the proposal from Wiltshire Council for an extension of the town boundary to include these developments as they are planned as an extension to the town.”

The closing period for the Community Governance Review is July 10 and it is expected to be reviewed by Wiltshire Council at its full meeting in September.