A BID by Jehovah's Witnesses to take over a plot of land in Calne has hit a hurdle after residents objected to the scheme.

North Wiltshire District Council received a number of objections after it advertised the disposal of land at Ernle Road to the Calne Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

A decision was due at a meeting of the district council's executive last night to determine whether, following the objections, the disposal could still go ahead.

Of the 10 people, including two children aged 10 and eight, who raised concerns about the Jehovah's Witnesses taking the land for extra car parking space, many were worried that children would be losing an important playing area.

They also raised fears it could lead to traffic chaos and be dangerous for residents if more cars are speeding up and down the road.

One of the young objectors contacted North Wiltshire District Council to say: "I play football on the grass and there would be nowhere to play if it turned into a car park.

"It would be most unsafe because I also like to ride my bike and it would be very easy for me to be hit off.

"My reasons are good enough for me so they should be good enough for you."

Another said: "Ernle is a small cul-de-sac and children use this grassed area.

"To dispose of the land would be detrimental to the road. When the hall is being used, traffic is already too heavy and too fast."

As well as the loss of a children's play area and a likely increase of traffic in Ernle Close, residents have also raised concerns that concreting the land for a car park could cause further problems with flooding.

The land and the road is already prone to flooding, and they fear replacing the grass with concrete will make drainage even worse.

The Calne Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses acknowledge the concerns of those living in Ernle Close, but maintain they could take over the land and use it as a car park without causing additional problems.

They insist members are currently driving within the speed limits and would support further speed restrictions or traffic calming measures if they were introduced.

Increasing the car parking provision would also, they argue, improve safety because people would no longer need to park on verges, and they state that the land is not formally designated as a play area.