A GOVERNMENT inspector will today look at the issues facing Swindon's railway heritage.

The Mechanics' Institute will be at the heart of the debate on Wednesday morning.

During Swindon Council's local development framework meeting, Swindon Civic Trust, the New Mechanics' Trust Preservation Trust and other concerned locals will have a chance to air their views about the future of the Railway Village.

The aim of the meeting is to work out if plans go far enough to protect the heritage of the Mechanics' and other historic buildings in the Railway Village.

They will also discuss whether the current plans would prevent incorporating the Mechanics' into the town's cultural development.

Martha Parry from the New Mechanics Preservation Trust said the most important thing was to save the building for community use.

"This is the planning inspector from the Government planning office and she has the last say.

"This is a chance to focus on the evidence rather than opinion to make the most of the Railway Village. We say that at the moment. there is too much missing.

"We want it to be community run and community serving, more than just a community centre.

"Everything needs to be looked at calmly. The canal shouldn't have jumped the agenda.

"We are saying it should be a hub, a community crossroads and a facility for the community as opposed to being for business and the council.

"Businesses and the council have all the power and the money in this.

"The problem with the plans for the Mechanics' has always been the council.

"No matter what their colour, they have never valued the people who already live here.

"They don't want to know what they want.

"They are always trying to involve people from outside Swindon, bring them in for shopping and business, but at the peril of the future of this resource for the community."

Plans to redevelop the Victorian landmark have been in the pipeline since the 1980s, but campaigners said it is no reason to jump to the wrong decision.

"The building is not falling down just yet. It is going to cost a lot more to get it wrong," said Martha.

"We have spent 20 years getting this far and everyone wants to see a happy ending."

The meeting will be held at the Pilgrim Centre, Regent Circus from 9.30am.