Councillors fighting proposals to build 180 homes and an access road on Southwick Court Fields say that the last few months have shown the plans to be full of holes.

Councillor David Vigar, who represents the Trowbridge Grove area on Wiltshire Council, and Councillor Graham Hill, who sits on the Town Council for the ward, have both filed fresh objections – along with a series of expert bodies.

Cllr Vigar said: “Expert after expert has sent in objections saying that the plans haven’t met their concerns, despite being updated. 

“The Environment Agency has said the flood risk assessment is ‘not fit for purpose and the council’s drainage engineer is objecting as well.

Historic England and the council’s own archaeologist have asked for a dig to see what ancient remains may exist on the former medieval water meadow.

Natural England and the county’s ecology team have objected because of the impacts on wildlife.

That’s in addition to objections from Southwick Parish Council, Trowbridge Town Council and North Bradley Parish Council and local MP Dr Andrew Murrison. 

Since last November, more than 60 residents have posted individual objections on Wiltshire Council’s planning website as well as a petition signed by 174 people.

Cllr Vigar said: “The council’s core policy on landscape says that plans should protect hedgerows, field boundaries, views and recreation space.

“This plan literally drives a road through all of these features. It also breaches the council’s own principle of maintaining open space between Trowbridge and Southwick.

“The government inspector who approved the proposal as part of Wiltshire’s housing allocations in 2020 clearly said that this site and others nearby south of Church Lane and south of Oldbrick Fields and The Poplars should ‘take account of each other’ to avoid impacts on landscape, biodiversity and highway access. Yet there is still no joined-up plan for all three sites.

“The most frustrating thing is that there are much better places to build. We need places for people to live but we should start with brownfield sites in urban areas.”

Cllr Hill added: “It is undeniable that new homes must be built, but not detached properties, out of town, on a flood plain which is already the cause of major flooding all the way down to the bottom of Cock Hill.

“We need affordable starter homes in the town close to public transport and facilities to put life back into the centre.”