GREEN land to the east of Swindon which could see nearly 400 houses built on it is not ecologically sensitive, according to the hopeful developers.

Hannick Homes is moving towards lodging a formal application relating to land just west of Wanborough Road.

It would form the southern part of the Lotmead development of the New Eastern Villages – an expansion to Swindon which could see 8,000 homes built.

The Swindon development company asked council planners in June whether it needed to make an environmental impact assessment of its plans and, having been told yes, has submitted a scoping report for that assessment.

It says: “The site comprises two large enclosed agricultural fields and a small plot fronting Wanborough Road containing agricultural buildings.

"There are no designated areas of nature conservation importance located within the site. Mature trees and hedgerow are present, defining the field boundaries.”

The report says the soil is of “moderate quality and doesn’t lend itself to the optimal quality for agricultural crop yields. The potential effects during construction and post-construction are not considered to be significant.”

In terms of transport and traffic, the report says the developers expect to contribute to “a package of transport infrastructure improvements including site access points and sustainable connections- foot, cycle and public transport; localised junction improvements and a travel plan to be implements to promote the use of transport modes other than the private car.”

Woodland and trees are likely to be planted “to soften and filter the views and the development” and green space will be used as buffers to make sure the views of others who live and work in the area are not too badly affected.

The site is not believed to be an important one for species such as bats or badgers and there are no finds of prehistoric architecture on the site, although the remains of Roman settlement are immediately west of the site, across Wanborough Road.

One of the organisations asked to comment on the report is the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust.

It said: “A canal corridor has been agreed with the developers for the Lower Lotmead village immediately north of the application site.

"When completed the canal will provide a waterway and walking/cycling route connecting to all the developments in the area, set in a green corridor which will extend throughout Swindon and into Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.”

Having produced an EIA scoping report, it’s almost certain Hannick Homes will be lodging a formal application to be able to build up to 380 houses on the site.

Its masterplan shows the houses would be set closer to Wanborough Road and bisected by the southern connector road linking the villages, with the land further to the east used as flood zones.