TV PRESENTER Kevin McCloud says he is relieved he chose Swindon for his new housing vision, as he believes the town’s property market will withstand the credit crunch.

A team of architects joined the Grand Designs presenter in Gorse Hill Baptist Church, as he tried to allay concerns about his eco development in Pickard’s Small Field, Pinehurst.

He said: “In the current economic climate I would not choose anywhere else. How many towns have this expansion?

“It is going well, we are completing our deal with Swindon and are really happy about that.”

Mr McCloud stood behind a movable 3D colour model showing visitors his vision.

Residents surveyed the 200-home plans while wearing colour-coded stickers indicating where they live in relation to the development.

Mr McCloud dealt with questions including how he would cope with vandalism against a playground planned for the site.

He said all householders would own a share in the development’s facilities including the playground, meaning everyone has collective responsibility.

“We have had some fantastic feedback,” he said.

“When people object they have particular things they are concerned about, like having a view or having a footpath.

“They don’t like their lives to be disrupted.

“We can take on their opinions and change stuff.”

The project may use alternative drainage systems with porous parking spaces being a possibility comprising of moss and reeds to absorb water.

The development also aims to entice neighbours into being more sociable.

“We are giving them the opportunity to live a nicer life. Everyone gets a garden,” said Mr McCloud.

Luke Engleback, who is also working on the project, said: “Modern housing estates are all hostile, we want to find a language with materials that is more friendly and softer.

“We would like people to meet each other more often even by accident. The way to create a community is to try and create an opportunity for people to meet.”

He stressed the support of Swindon Council throughout the planning process.

“They want to see something a bit special,” he said.

Michael and Marjorie Woodhouse’s home backs on to the proposed development.

Mr Woodhouse said: “We were dubious to start off with but we are very pleased that everybody is being open and considerate, as it is going to happen. We cannot stop it and it would be wrong to do so.”