ROUGH grazing and farmland in the rural village of Hannington, Swindon, could be used for a new housing development writes Aled Thomas.

A developer has lodged an application to build 11 houses on fields off Nell Hill in the village, wrapping round the T-junction into Queen’s Road.

And it looks like the firm, or agents Willis and Co, based in Chippenham, are expecting opposition both from neighbours and possibly planners at Swindon Borough Council.

Part of the outline application included the judgements of three planning appeals regarding similar application for houses in villages around the country.

The application says: "Although the design, specific layout and all matters, other than access detail, are reserved, the proposals will be prepared to be of a high quality design.

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"The number of houses proposed will not significantly increase the volumes of traffic on the local highway and the significant shortfall in the council’s housing land supply means that the residential development of this site, found on the edge of the rural settlement boundary and in a residential area, should be deemed as being suitable.

“The site is found within a village and is surrounding by numerous residential land uses. Although a bus stop is a walk from the site it can be accessed via public transport and is found in close proximity to good transport links such as the M4.

“The site will encourage pedestrians and cyclists to reach the public transport networks to reach places that are further afield; this will be achieved by the provision of on-site bicycle storage.”

But neighbours are not in favour.

Lord Anthony Landrake lives right next door to the site. He said: “I’m not happy about it. I don’t like the idea of lots of lorries coming up and down and making noise and disruption.

“There are a lot of horses around here, and as far as I can see those sorts of vehicles don’t slow down for horses.”

Leslie Marland lives opposite the land where the houses will be built and is fervently against it.

He said one reason is that the village is in a conservation area. “The main criteria of the conservation area plan is to safeguard the countryside and to ensure good grade farming land is protected, which this application clearly destroys.”

Flooding is also an issue. The land slopes down to Queens Road, and the verges are already flooded with a large puddle in the road.

Mr Marland said: “Water draining from the field even after a normal winter creates a significant flood across Queens Road and the current drains could not cope with anymore run-off.”

Details of the application are available on the council’s website using reference: S/OUT/20/0074