DEVELOPERS of the Coate site say they have held high-level talks with a university about a move to the town.

Following the withdrawal of the University of Bath the plans for the site have been re-drawn, but a university is still central to any development.

The new plans have gone on show at the Pilgrim Centre in Regent Circus, and while Old Town-based planning consultants DPDS are optimistic about the development going ahead, some members of the public were less enthusiastic.

Sarah Smith, associate director of DPDS, said: "Essentially what's changed is we have taken on board the local planning inspector's comments about the views into and out of Coate Water Country Park.

"Therefore we have looked at moving the university site further south to remove some of the higher buildings out of these views.

"We have increased the buffer zone to the special site of scientific interest by about 40 per cent.

"The business park is reduced and the university remains at 60 hectares.

"In the original planning application the canal was further south at the request of the University of Bath as they did not want it running through the campus.

"But now they have pulled out the council asked us if we could look at re-aligning the canal so what we have done is take it up so it is effectively hugging the edge of the buffer."

Ms Smith said there had been a high-level meeting with a university this week about a move to the site but she would not comment on which university it was.

Save Coate campaigner Jean Saunders says moving the university site has meant more housing will run along the side of the park.

"I'm disgusted that the developers have completely ignored the local plan inspector's advice regarding protecting the views from Coate Water," she said.

"There's actually a smaller buffer now between Coate Water and the housing. There's a larger housing area now so from Coate Water people are going to be looking at a housing estate."

Peter Grouby, of Old Town, who attended the exhibition after reading about it in the Adver, said: "I think it's a great idea for Swindon. Having a university would be great.

"It's always interesting to come along and see what they're proposing. It's a good idea as long as the planners do their jobs right."

Brian Groves, of Windsor Road, Lawn, said: "What I am concerned about mainly is the roads. They are going to bring all that extra traffic in but the roads aren't getting any bigger. They say they will encourage people to cycle but in this weather? I don't think so."