RESIDENTS from the Trowbridge Grove area have taken the fight to prevent new estates being built on valued open spaces to County Hall.

The protestors walked to Wiltshire Council HQ on Friday (July 22) to present a petition containing around 220 signatures asking councillors to reject plans to build 180 homes and a 500-metre access road and 100m-long bridge on the Southwick Court Fields. 

Norman Swanney, who is from the area, said: “After living here for many years and seeing the flooding several times a year in the winter and spring, and the deer and other wildlife that live here, it seems bonkers that anyone would even consider trying to build here. It just beggars belief.”

A second petition is now circulating opposing not only the Southwick Court Fields plan but the linked plans for 50 homes at Upper Studley, east of Frome Road and 55 homes south of Church Lane, west of Frome Road. 

Wiltshire councillor David Vigar, and Cllr Graham Hill, who sits on the Trowbridge Town Council for the ward, organised the walk to County Hall.

Cllr Vigar said: “These sites are not right for housing. They sit on floodplains. They are well-loved recreation areas.

“Their development would mean cars from another 285 homes turning onto the already hazardous Frome Road.

“There are much better places to build that would have much less impact on people and the environment.”

Cllr Hill added: “At the moment the council is pressing on inspite of objections from statutory consultees on basics such as drainage.

“Advice to ensure that the project is viable after the granting of outline planning permission, such as to carry out a trial archaeology dig, risks being ignored, which could lead to massive costs for both the landowner and eventually Wiltshire Council.”