Housing should not be built on greenfield sites in Swindon until all the brownfield sites - previously built-on land that can be redeveloped - are used.

That’s the thrust of a new motion to Swindon Borough Council proposed by the leader of the Conservative opposition Councillor Gary Sumner.

The motion will be debated and voted upon by councillors at their meeting next Thursday.

And Cllr Sumner, who was the cabinet member for strategic development says the change to previous policies should follow the redevelopment of the Honda site by Panattoni.

The development company is looking to intensify the use of the former South Marston airfield site, left by Honda in 2021.

His motion, which will be seconded by Blunsdon & Highworth member Councillor Vijay Manro says the council should: “Protect greenfield sites from further loss and develop existing allocated and brownfield sites first; acknowledge brownfield development is more sustainable and can often use existing infrastructure.

It should: “Not undermine the Panattoni site development by promoting alternative greenfield employment land, and put food production, the environment and wildlife first.”

In order to do that, if the motion is passed the council will make sure it “uses all vacant brownfield sites within its property portfolio first.

And “Similar protections [to the non-coalescence zones around the New Eastern Villages] are put in place for Wroughton, Highworth and Blunsdon to ensure farming remains viable and the characteristics of those areas are protected.”

Cllr Sumner said: “The thing that has changed is the redevelopment of the Honda site by Panattoni. It’s the largest industrial development in the south of England, and Panattoni says it’s going to be suitable for manufacturing as well as logistics.

“I don’t think they have tenants in mind, and it would be wrong of the council to make it less likely that it is occupied by making other greenfield sites available for employment land.

“We know of attempts by companies to build on greenfield sites with a profit in mind.”

As the cabinet member in the previous Conservative administration who drove the New Eastern villages project forward, Cllr Sumner said: “Brownfield sites for housing are often more sustainable.

“Take the Windmill Hill school site which has been unused for years. The Borough council owns that – there are already roads and houses, shops and community facilities nearby; they don’t have to be specially built.”

The full council meeting will start at 7pm on Thursday November 23 at the Civic Offices in Euclid Street. Members of the public are entitled to attend.