CENTRAL Swindon should be the town's new housing hub, not green fields on its outskirts.

So says the Council For The Protection of Rural England.

It is lobbying the town's MPs to get them to back a drive to slash the number of new homes built in Swindon by Government order.

Charmian Spickernell, the chairman of the CPRE's North Wiltshire group, said: "There needs to be a major investment in water supplies, sewerage and public transport to support the proposed increase of 36,000 more houses in Swindon and an additional 13,000 new homes in the surrounding areas.

"Already there are instances of severe sewage overflow; the existing infrastructure cannot cope.

"It is time the Government listened to our concerns over building in the flood plains, for the protection of Coate Water, and for maintaining the separate identities of Swindon's neighbouring communities.

"Expansion outwards has left a dead centre and a fall in the economy, the need now is to support the move for regeneration within Swindon itself."

Under the Regional Spatial Strategy, Swindon has to supply 36,000 new houses by 2026.

Swindon Council has already told Government it has major worries that it does not have enough funding to provide infrastructure, such as roads, schools and public buildings for planned projects.

Now the CPRE has begun lobbying MPs to get the town's housing total reduced by the Government.

And it is calling on members of the public to send their thoughts on the plans to the Government Office For The South West.

"If we don't make our voices heard now it will be too late," said Mrs Spickernell.

"This summer is the last chance for people to let their MPs know what they feel about housing development before housing levels are set for every district in the south west for the next 20 years."

To see details of the Regional Spatial Strategy, and comment on the plan, visit the website at www.gosw.gov.uk.