DEVELOPERS Capitaland Property Group have asked Swindon Council to carry out an environmental impact assessment on the south part of the Eastern Villages.

The test will assess how any development would impact the surrounding area.

In a statement submitted in the application to Swindon Council, the developers have requested they assess the environmental impact of any proposed development on land between Rowborough, South Marston, and Lotmead farm.

In the statement the developers said: “The New Eastern Villages, including Rowborough and South Marston falls broadly into three parts, determined by geography and the control of land.

“Screening and scoping has been undertaken in respect of the Rowborough and South Marston element, and an area south of the A420 known as Lotmead Farm but principally comprising the areas described in the Draft SOD as Earlscourt and Lower Earlscourt. This Screening Opinion is sought in respect of the greater part of the core central area lying between Rowborough and South Marston and Lotmead Farm.”

To be considered in the assessment are the effect of the proposed 6,000 homes on agricultural land, ecology, archaeological and architectural heritage, landscape, acoustic environment, air quality, flood risk and transport.

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “The developer is currently seeking advice from the planning department before carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

“This will help in the preparation of an Environmental Statement, which will be required to accompany any future planning application.”

The village of Wanborough, which is to the south of the eastern villages, is one of the existing settlements that will be affected by any developments.

Gary Sumner, chairman of the Wanborough Parish Council, said: “This isn’t unexpected.

“We do think that any application housing development made prior to the report from the examination in public is published is premature.

“Our concern isn’t with the houses that could go there, it’s more about making sure the infrastructure is in place before they are built.”

The Eastern Villages is one of the town’s most ambitious and controversial development projects.

Several planning applications have already been submitted to Swindon Council, including a proposed 2,380 new homes set to dwarf South Marston.