A PUBLIC consultation will be held this week on proposals to build up to 55 homes on former farmland near the A419 in Blunsdon.

Fairhurst Ltd has revealed outline proposals to develop a strip of land between the new alignment of the trunk road and Ermin Street, with a mixture of one to four-bedroom homes, 30 per cent of which would be affordable housing.

The proposals also include a children’s play area and some allotments to meet an identified shortfall in the Blunsdon area. The sole access would be on to Ermin Street, almost opposite the junction with High Street, by demolishing a house in the road, which the developer would buy.

Residents will be able to ask more questions and help shape the proposals at a drop-in pre-application consultation to be held at Blunsdon Village Hall, in High Street, between 3pm and 6.30pm on Thursday.

Stuart Boyd, chairman of Blunsdon St Andrew Parish Council, said the developer presented its initial plans to members before Christmas and incorporated most of their suggestions, including reducing the density from more than 60 to 55 homes.

He said: “My view is there’s going to be development whether we like it or not so we might as well make the best job of it we can. We have talked to the people and they have adopted our ideas of reducing the density.

“They’re also including in their plans a large area of allotments, which we need in the village.That’s not a reason to accept or oppose the plans, but it would be useful.

“There’s this presentation on Thursday and we will see what the public view is. It’s something that’s been expected on that piece of ground since the bypass was built. It’s a closed-in area which is not suitable for farming and we aren’t surprised developers have come up with some suggestions.”

Coun Boyd said the council was a bit concerned about the proposed access on to Ermin Street, but would wait to find out more about this at the consultation.

Swindon councillor Steve Weisinger (Con, Blunsdon and Highworth), who was also at the presentation to the parish council, said: “I would like to make sure obviously that the people of Blunsdon get what they would like to from it and it doesn’t encroach too much on people.

“The section 106 [developer’s infrastructure contributions] has to be negotiated but from what the developer said to the parish council, they would work with the parish council and the planning team for Swindon to make sure that money stays for Blunsdon.

“I think it’s good that people do go to the consultation because that way they get the chance to ask questions. If people don’t, it’s much more difficult for them.”