A PLAN for 190 houses in South Marston has been given the go-ahead by Swindon Borough Council.

That’s despite objections from residents, the parish council and even the man who sold the land to the developers.

Castlewood Commercial Properties has approval in principle to built the estate on the former Catsbrain Farm, to the west of Highworth Road and South of Kingsdown Lane.

Stratton St Margaret parish council is coming up with a Neighbourhood Plan – and it does not have an allocation for housing on the land.

Borough councillor Claire Crilly, also a member of the parish council who sits on its planning committee, said: “The proposals changed quite a bit, and went back and forth.

“I thought it might have been called in to the borough council’s planning committee, and obviously we would like things in the Neighbourhood Plan to go ahead, but that seems to go out of the window sometimes.”

William King, who says he uses Highworth Road regularly, objected to the development because it would add traffic.

But perhaps the most unusual objection came from Eric Barnes, who used to own the farm.

He told planners he sold it on the understanding it would be used for an industrial use only, and was upset to learn of the developers’ wish to use the site for housing.

He said housing would “have an adverse effect on the area, especially the lovely Stanton Park and lake.”

The plans show the rectangular site will be divided by one main street with secondary streets branching off it, left and right, and the company says a key feature of the estate will be open green space, including allotments, play areas, public open space ponds and a rain garden.

The developers say: “The site is located along Kingsdown Road, within an area surrounded by green fields, industrial estates and a care home to the north. There is little influence from the immediate character, apart from the natural environment where the site sits. It is therefore considered equally appropriate that the development could reflect a new character to impose a sense of identity.”

The council’s planning officers approved the proposals and said: “This proposal would make a contribution to the borough’s five-year housing land supply and in terms of delivering affordable housing. In the officer’s opinion it is not considered that the adverse impacts of the application would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of granting permission.

In 2015 Castlewood was given permission for a commercial development of a filling station, shop, restaurant and light industrial units, but did not take those forward.