ARCHITECTS conceded they may have to revise plans for a development overlooking an Old Town school.

An application was lodged with the borough council last year to build 45 homes on the former Stagecoach bus depot on Eastcott Road.

The scheme – backed by SN Developments – has attracted 22 written objections from residents.

This week, designers OSP Architecture outlined their plans at the South Swindon Parish Council’s planning committee

David Cranmer, the firm’s planning director, said that they hoped to avoid mistakes made by Churchill Retirement Living – whose bid for 61 retirement flats failed in 2015.

He said: “[The depot] was an area where it felt like something quite positive could be done with it, but equally there are some really important heritage assets on the site and I think that was one of the key things that Churchill didn’t understand. We’ve been working with a heritage consultant from the outset.”

“We’ve not come here tonight to say, ‘Here’s our scheme, this is it’. We’ve come here tonight to listen to [people’s] concerns.”

In a lengthy session at the Tuesday night meeting, Eastcott residents raised concerns about the height of a three-storey block overlooking gardens – and another side of the quadrangle, which overlooks King William IV Primary School.

One man said: “In respect to the school, the building at the furthest end is only 1.5 metres away from the school playground. It’s an outdoor classroom you’ve got there.”

Mr Cranmer replied: “In terms of safeguarding, I’ve got two children in a primary school. I’m very much aware of the issue.”

He said that the development would “fully accord” with council and police planning policy.

Heritage England had requested that the building nearest the school be moved back, he added: “I think it’s likely that wall is going to move across slightly to give more space to the school.”

Prospect Place resident Stephen Atyeo said that a three storey block would overshadow gardens.

“It will cut out a lot of sunlight coming into my garden,” he said.

OSP’s Mr Cranmer said that the building may be moved back from the historic boundary wall, following comments from the council.

He said: “One of the things we’ll be looking to do is pull that building back a bit. I’m not going to give away all our secrets, but there certainly seems a potential to join that building with the space in the centre.”

The architects will meet council planners next week to talk through potential changes to the designs.

Mr Cranmer said: “There’s an opportunity to amend the plans. We’re aware we need to do that. We’re happy to do it. We want to do it. We want a high quality development.”

Eastcott councillor Paul Dixon urged them to learn from the challenges faced by Churchill: “I’m keen to see the site developed. I want to see that the concerns from before are taken on board.”

It is expected that there will be a further public consultation on revised plans.