A BID to build a 766-space car park for Nationwide employees has been slammed by councillors.

They fear that the cumulative impact of the car park and other developments in the area on traffic along Croft Road, Pipers Way and Marlborough Road could be substantial.

The application has been called into the borough’s planning committee by South Swindon Parish Council.

Twigmarket, who manage the Broome Manor Golf Club, want to build the car park on land currently occupied by the golf course.

It is one of three planning applications recently submitted for improvements at the site, along with the erection of a new squash complex and health club and an adventure high ropes course.

Developers say that the new car park would replace a short term arrangement between Nationwide and the borough council, with the building society renting 500 spaces at Wroughton Park and Ride. If built, the new car park would see Nationwide win a net increase of around 250 car parking spaces.

In documents shared with planning officers, architects said the car park – situated nearer the firm’s Pipers Way headquarters – would “contribute to the continued viability of this location for an important local employer”. They say the proposals would bring no new cars to the planned car park.

The car park was also part of a “strategic diversification” of the golf club, they added, “to help ensure the financial viability of the club so that it can continue to create employment and help promote healthy lifestyles”.

But South Swindon parish councillors, who two weeks ago discussed an application to build a health club on the same site, warned that the developers’ traffic modelling was out of date.

Citing other recently approved housing developments nearby, Coun Nadine Watts, vice-chairman of the planning committee, said: “We need more information on the traffic flow. We’ve got to consider what the other site is going to be used for, because it’s no longer going to be a park and ride. It’s having that joined up, holistic approach.”

Coun Jane Milner-Barry added: “I think we also need to look at the cumulative impacts of the developments on this site. First of all there’s the high ropes, then there’s a new car park for the squash development, then there’s the new squash development.

“I do know one golfer who’s very concerned about the effect on the drainage of the golf course, which she says is getting soggier all the time. I don’t think we can really look at this application on its own.”

Coun Neil Hopkins questioned why Nationwide was not able to keep their Wroughton Park and Ride spaces – and instead build a smaller car park. “We should be talking about 250 extra spaces rather than tarmacking another substantial area, unless the reasoning behind the transfer from one park to another is that there’s yet another development coming along on the other car park.”

However, Coun Stan Pajak said that Nationwide had always intended to move from the Wroughton car park. Coun Steve Allsopp added: “Nationwide is a major employer in this town and consequently we should do what we can to be reasonable.”

A spokesman for Swindon Borough Council said: “A new car park would transfer existing trips from one location on Pipers Way to another, rather than generating new trips.

“Should the new car park go ahead and Nationwide move their staff parking to the new site, the Park and Ride site would fully revert to council management. The council will then need to decide whether to reinstate use as a Park and Ride site or whether to consider other uses for the site.

“No decision has been made on this issue at this stage and any change of use would require planning permission which would involve consultation. As part of the Town Centre Parking Strategy review, a review of Park and Ride strategy is also underway and this includes the Croft Road Park and Ride site.”