PLANS for the over 260 house Elm Grove development in Trowbridge have been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.

Strategic Planning has approved plans by Coulstone Estates for 261 houses at land at Elm Grove, Drynham Lane.

Of those 29 per cent are planned to be affordable homes – 60 per cent of which will be affordable rent and the rest shared ownership.

It was said that a timeframe of six months would be given to agree on Section 106 contributions with the proposed developer – which would take the plan to reserved matters – Redgrave Homes keen to get building.

It is said in the conditions that access to the site should be only from the A363 – residents were concerned over the initial plans to route construction traffic through residential areas like Wiltshire Drive.

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Simone Kermode, of Lydiard Way said that residents with the support of Andrew Murrison MP and Cllr Antonioi Piazza, put together a long document detailing concerns such as ecology, traffic and flooding in the area.

Giuseppe Melillo a resident of Drynham Lane said that if approved, the identity of the hamlet should be kept.

Mr Melillo said that under the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Scheme there is a requirement to keep 53 per cent green space to support ecology.

"The masterplan allows for only 43 per cent of retained green space and this includes the QEII allocation – so it falls even further if you take that land out of the equation," he said.

"It is hugely dense, this development, because of this fact. As such, this represents overdevelopment of the site in terms of the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Scheme."

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He added that a great buffer zone would be needed.

Chris Beaver, speaking for the developer, said answered councillor concerns that there will be electric vehicle charging in the development, the majority of homes would have heat pumps and community facility would be designed as a flexible building.

He added: "The is that Trowbridge Town Council will take that building over and its already been earmarked for use as a potential polling station, as well as changing facilities.

"In the reserved matters stage we can consult with Trowbridge Town Council and others to work up a more flexible building."

Mr Beaver added that after a year of discussions with ecologist at the council they were happy with the provisions in the plan, and Natural England has signed off.

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On the issue with flooding on the site, Mr Beaver said that works would be done on the nearby culvert to allow for water to flow freely under the railway. He added that there was a drainage management plan to help matters.

Councillors heard how the plans included an upgrade for the Queen Elizabeth II field – to a Neighbourhood Equipped Area of Play – which Trowbridge town councillor, Andrew Bryant said would be a good site for a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA).

Cllr Sarah Gibson said there were concerns over the lack of buffer near the hamlet on the side but recognised that increasing the buffer zone in that area was difficult.

She added there should be increased planting to ensure there is some sort of way for the hamlet to maintain its identity and not be assimilated by the development.

When voting councillors on the committee voted unanimously.