COUNCILLORS are determined to stop a new housing development near Lydiard Park getting the go-ahead.

Housebuilding company Taylor Wimpey has this week formally submitted plans to Wiltshire Council to build 48 family homes on land south of Tewksbury Way.

But opposition has been brewing for almost two years since it was announced the plans were in the pipeline. Councillors from Wiltshire and Swindon, as well as Conservative MPs James Gray and Robert Buckland, are uniting to make sure the proposal does not go ahead.

“This is an unwelcome proposal right on the doorstep of the historic Lydiard House and Country Park," said Mr Buckland, MP for South Swindon. "It is not in accordance with the Local Plan and should be resisted."

The outcry comes despite numerous public consultations by Taylor Wimpey to alleviate fears about the development, which will be built on three hectares of the 35 hectares of green open land near the historic site. The company has owned the space for more than 30 years and has submitted a number of proposals over the years to develop it.

They insist the new plans will provide much-needed affordable housing and public open space, which they will gift to Lydiard Tregoze Parish Council for community use and to safeguard it against future development.

They have also considered issues around traffic, the heritage of Lydiard House and the existing wildlife and ecology when designing the plans. However many are still unhappy.

"It is completely in the wrong place, a really inappropriate development and it is also outside Swindon and Wiltshire's local plans," said councillor Tim Swinyard (Con, Lydiard and Freshbrook).

“However many homes, however nice, having them in view of St Mary’s Church is wrong.

“They had a public meeting about a year ago and we were surprised about the amount of people and the passion that was felt. There was the same view from everyone in that room that it is the wrong place.

“The area is right by Lydiard Park and it is an important part of history. I will be campaigning to oppose this to make sure we defeat it."

Wiltshire Councillor Mollie Groom, who has previously led protests over the plans, and Swindon Borough Councillor Caryl Sydney-Smith, have also expressed their disappointment with the new proposal.

Taylor Wimpey’s public consultation began in November 2014 when a public exhibition was held at Lydiard House Conference Centre to give people the chance to view initial proposals for the site.

Comments received were then considered as the scheme was developed, and detailed plans for the site were then displayed at a second exhibition at the same venue in June 2015.

Throughout this period and into 2016, Taylor Wimpey’s project team has also consulted with Lydiard Tregoze Parish Council, local community groups, elected councillors and other key stakeholders.

Steven Neal, senior planning manager for Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire, said: “We have worked very hard to prepare a very high-quality residential scheme which we are confident will be an asset to the Lydiard Tregoze community – not least because it will ensure a large area of land is protected as public open space in perpetuity, helping to prevent the coalescence of Lydiard Millicent and Swindon.

“We would like to thank everyone who has participated in the public consultation process and will continue to keep local people updated on progress with our application and subsequent development works, subject to planning approval.”

People can also keep up to date on progress with the application by following the development on social media – or @LydiardTregoze on Twitter.