ANGRY residents have accused Bradford on Avon Town Council of “jumping the gun” with its proposals for a new community pavilion on a local green space at Culver Close playing fields.

The new facility being proposed would replace the existing cricket club premises in Pound Lane and provide accommodation for local sports clubs and other community users.

At a town development committee meeting on Tuesday, residents voiced serious concerns about the design of the two-storey facility and its proposed location near the main B3019 and Frome Road.

Up to 25 residents have formed The Friends of Culver Close group to object to the scheme, which they say will flout national and Wiltshire Council planning policy.

They said it has not been fully costed and that the council has failed to produce a business plan, as well as financial, environmental, parking and transport plans for its proposals.

One member, who does not wish to be named, told councillors: “There are so many flaws in this proposal and the process followed that it is worrying and surprising that it has progressed this far, given it is so obviously contrary to national and local planning policy.

“A sensitive redevelopment of the existing footprint can deliver everything that is being sought by the council and would have the support of local people.”

Another group member said: “We have serious concerns about the proposal in its current form.

“Until the council addresses these questions in full, and establishes all the facts, we do not believe it can make an informed decision.

“We’re all in favour of improved sports facilities in the town but think the Council’s/Cricket Club’s preferred option is wrong on planning, environmental, parking and financial risk grounds.

“The current pavilion is not fit for purpose but redevelopment on the existing footprint would be a significantly cheaper, more sensitive, lower risk and lower impact solution.

“We also have concerns that due process in terms of consultation with Bradford on Avon residents and the wider community has not been adequate and questions about potential conflicts of interest.”

The group tabled a list of more than 50 questions relating to the proposals, which committee chairman Cllr Jack Vittles confirmed have been sent to Wiltshire Council as part of a pre-planning application.

Responding to concerns, Cllr Vittles pledged the council will undertake “further consultation” and produce a timeline of key decision points to enable residents to have their say.