THE eastern villages expansion and protection against wind farms are some of the key issues in the new St Margaret and South Marston ward.

The ward, made up of some of the existing St Margaret and Blunsdon wards, covers Stratton St Margaret, Lower Stratton, Kingsdown and South Marston.

Colin McEwan, a long-serving parish councillor and former chairman of South Marston Parish Council, said he wanted the new borough councillors to ensure the community has a say over the quality and design of the new Eastern Villages.

Swindon Council plans to earmark land in the area for 7,500 homes and an industrial park as part of the draft Core Strategy. The proposed area goes from South Marston in the north, towards Bourton in the east, and as far as the northern parts of Wanborough in the south.

Mr McEwan, who lives off Old Vicarage Lane, South Marston, said: “The big issue for South Marston is the quality of the expansion which is being imposed on us by the Swindon Core Strategy, and by the fact that the developers own or have options on most of the land to the immediate south of the village.”

Another issue in the parish stems from Honda’s defeated proposals to build a wind farm at its car plant, in South Marston.

Des Fitzpatrick, of South Marston, the chairman of the Ill Wind campaign group, said he wanted the new councillors to ensure that the council opposes any possible future applications for wind farms at Honda.

In other issues, Mike Spry, of Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, said he was concerned the new boundaries could pave the way for Swindon Council to split off the parish.