A DRUG agency planned for the Railway Village has raised the hackles of residents.

As part of Swindon Council's rejuvenated drugs service, a treatment centre is planned for Maxwell Street.

It is being set up to tackle rising drug addiction in Swindon, which is in line with the national trend.

But residents have already created a petition to try to stop the treatment centre, which is to be run by the Drugs and Homeless Initiative (DHI), which helps people fight addiction.

They are seeking reassurance about efforts to deal with anti-social behaviour, including drug dealing and litter and centre opening times.

Resident Alistair Horner, 54, said: "We admire this sort of work but we feel it doesn't belong in our residential area. We have children coming home from school every day.

"The centre will be right in the middle of two play areas for children - Faringdon Park and Cambria Bridge recreation ground."

The new centre will sit on the site of the former Dominic Winter Auction house if planning permission is granted.

The council has commissioned the DHI, which is based in Bath and South Gloucestershire, to help run drug services in Swindon.

Coun Sinead Darker (Con, Central) said: "Residents feel they have a struggle to stop drug dealing in the neighbouring Cambria Bridge recreation ground, which attracts large groups of youths. This is just the last straw for them.

"I feel that the intentions of the DHI are very laudable but I am on the side of the residents."

Coun Darker is due to meet with the executive director of DHI Rosie Phillips today to raise peoples' concerns.

Swindon Council said it could not comment on the new drug centre, as it is going through the planning application process. DHI also said it was unable to comment.

The Railway Village has harboured drug dens in recent years.

Police boarded up one of them in June. The ground floor bedsit of 23 Oxford Street was shut after the property was used for drug dealing.

During the raid syringes, foil and burnt gauze were found.

The Adver reported in March that new council tenants wanting to move into the historic community would undergo a police check beforehand in a bid to keep out drugs.