TV PRESENTER Kevin McCloud’s hopes of a scaled down version of his eco-development dream for Swindon have received a mixed reaction from local residents.

The 40-home development – which could get under way within the next year – will be sited on land off Northern Road, close to the junction with Ferndale Road.

The plans, which were exclusively revealed in yesterday’s Adver, have been drawn up by Mr McCloud’s company, Hab Housing, and housing group GreenSquare.

The 200-home development at Pickards Field, Gorse Hill, is on hold because of legal issues and the effect of the credit crunch, but the company hopes the smaller scheme will be easier to get off the ground.

Mr McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs on Channel 4, said: “While the Northern Road project is much simpler and smaller than our proposals for Pickards Small Field it will be informed by the same fundamental principles – a strong sense of community, a belief in the importance of public space, respect for cyclists and pedestrians, and a commitment to sustainable lifestyles and outstanding contextual design.”

But, Raymond Bennett, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 40 years, said he is against the project and fears for residents’ safety and a massive influx of traffic in the area.

He said: “If they build 40 houses in there what is going to happen to Northern Road and Ferndale Road, which are already constantly full of cars? That is clearly too many houses – this area is already over crowded.

“It will also make this area a traffic island with it surrounding us.

“Something needs to be done – most people are against it that I have heard from.”

Stephen O’Hallaran, who has lived in Northern Road for 10 years, said he objected to the original development plans for the site because houses would have been built just a metre from his home.

He said: “When I first heard about it I said ‘no way’ because of concerns over my own house. My other concerns revolve around how long that land is going to sit vacant for, and making sure kids, and other people, aren’t in there when they shouldn’t be.”

Mike Danford, who has lived in Northern Road for 10 years, said: “There’s not a lot we can do really, I am not worried, I would prefer it wasn’t there but what can you do?”

A public meeting to discuss the Northern Road development will be held on Monday, April 6, at the Western Community Centre, in Somerset Road, Rodbourne Cheney, between 3pm and 6pm.