Arguments for and against a proposed major industrial development between Swindon and Wanborough were heard on BBC Radio Four's flagship Farming Today programme yesterday.

Billed as being a debate on "when does a village stop being a village'" the programme investigated the dispute between Wasdell group, a Swindon pharmaceutical company which wants to build a major new manufacturing and warehouse plant, with an option for a second research and development facility, on farmland near the A419, on the edge of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

John Warr, who has set up a group to oppose the plan, South Swindon Protection Group said: "We are not against progress, we are just trying to protect this part of the AONB. Wanborough has probably doubled in size in the last 25 years, so we've taken our fair share of development, this could easily be placed somewhere else.

But John Lawson planning consultant for Wasdell Group said such sites are not so easy to find. He added: "It's not in the AONB and if you look at Swindon as a whole it needs to expand. There were similar debates when Honda wanted to open their factory in the early Eighties. Look what a success that is today."