The amount of tax claimed by Melksham Without Parish Council has been increased by just under 10 per cent.

The council, which covers the areas surrounding Melksham town, including Bowerhill, Beanacre, Shaw Atworth and Whitley, unanimously approved the rise last night.

The tax precept for the coming year will total £123,496.42, an increase of £18,809.62 which would make an average household bill £41.63.

Parish clerk Mary Jarvis said: “It would be a 9.75 per cent increase, or an extra 7p per week for an average Band D property, so it’s quite low.”

A portion of the increase will be used to fund a new play area at Bowerhill, which will be built on Hornchurch Road.

The multi-use games area (MUGA) will include a fenced concrete sports pitch, complete with basketball nets and five-a-side goals.

It has been mostly funded by the developers behind the new houses on the estate.

Mrs Jarvis said: “We have got about £32,000 of Section 106 money put aside, which we would have to apply for as a community benefit, but we have to make the sum up to £41,000, so we are going to put £5,000 of our precept towards it.

“The other sums we will get from our reserves and possibly from other projects, as this is a big youth project for our parish.

“It has been quite a while in coming, and we still have to get planning permission for the fencing which slows us down a little bit.

That would take a minimum of four weeks, and I would hope work will start as soon as we get planning permission.

“It will be a wonderful facility for the people in Bowerhill.”