A CONTROVERSIAL planning application to build more than 50 homes on a patch of land in Highworth is to be debated by Swindon Borough Council next week.

The proposals, submitted by developers Persimmon Homes, include plans to erect 53 homes with car parking, landscaping and other associated infrastructure in Shrivenham Road.

The development, which will be brought before the planning committee on Tuesday, has already been subject to vociferous opposition from residents on the grounds that it will lead to an unacceptable level of traffic and possible environmental damage.

It is proposed that there will be a mixture of one-bedroom apartments and five-bedroom houses, with developers promising that “architecturally, the houses will be designed to reflect the local vernacular”.

The two hectare site, which sits on the southern edge of the town, will come equipped with a children’s play area is provided in the middle.

The planning statements read: “Highworth is recognised as being one of the most sustainable rural settlements outside of Swindon.

“The proposed development is put forward in the context of the National Planning Policy Framework’s strong emphasis on the presumption in favour of sustainable development.”

Persimmon added: “The proposed development should be supported in light of the absence of a five year housing land supply in Swindon.”

But locals are not convinced.

Tamzen Isacsson, whose house looks out onto the development, said: “As residents we strongly object to this development for a number of reasons and we hope this isn't a done deal.

“The building of 53 dwellings on this site will have a negative impact on the countryside in an area that projects into open country.

“There will be a substantial visual intrusion into the setting of the town and the surrounding countryside which will be destroyed.”

Highworth Town Council also objected to the plans when they were brought before the council back in March, claiming they are “neither required nor welcome”.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend Swindon Borough Council’s planning meeting at 6pm on Tuesday, October 10 to hear the debate.