A public inquiry into a new road critical to the multi-million pound expansion of Swindon begins today.

Swindon Borough Council is proposing the compulsory purchase of farmland to the east of the A419 between south Marston and Wanborough.

They want it for a road between the New Eastern Villages - the expansion scheme which could see 8,000 houses built, and the Commonhead roundabout.

The £30m road will run across farmland and rough grazing for about 1.5 miles and be a single-lane in each direction.

As the local authority is proposing to use compulsory purchase orders to buy the necessary land, a public inquiry in front of a government appointed planning inspector is a normal part of the procedure.

The council does face significant opposition to the scheme from a number of landowners, particularly towards the Commonhead Roundabout end of the route.

They say the route of the road will leave significant areas of rough grazing between it and the A419 and this land will become 'unfarmable' and useless, and want to be compensated for its loss.

The hearing starts at 10 am today, Tuesday January 28 at the council chamber in Euclid Street.