A community is split over a proposal to demolish the derelict warehouses of the former Bromham Growers at Barley Close Farm and build five detached houses.

Bromham Growers ceased trading in April 2011 after experiencing trading problems and the land has mainly lain derelict ever since.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has been using an office block on the site for its occupational health unit and has now bought that building.

The buildings were once the premises of local growers Mortimers, which went into liquidation in 1996.

As Anthony Cargill, managing director of Bromham Growers, wrote in his letter with the planning application: “The new company bought the land and buildings previously belonging to Mortimers Fruit Shops Limited, consisting of a 2.5 acre site, a brick-built two-storey office building and two large industrial warehouses, constructed of breeze blocks and steel cladding.

“The majority of the company’s produce came from four Bromham-based market gardening firms and enabled the company to build up a viable business supplying a number of wholesale fruit and vegetable markets around the UK and several national supermarket chains with fresh, washed vegetables on a daily basis.

“For a number of years the company flourished but suffered a major setback when the largest of its four market gardening suppliers ceased trading due to the retirement of its owners.

“To compound matters, a second of the original four suppliers closed a year later.”

Mr Cargill said that there had been no interest from any third parties in buying or renting the land or the buildings.

But a representative of Calne-based Nutramin Animal Feeds told Wiltshire Council the firm had approached Mr Cargill on a number of occasions asking to rent or buy the site and been told it was not available.

Bromham Parish Council opposed the application because it feels that the village has a greater need for business and employment, although some residents have welcomed the scheme as a improvement of the derelict site.

While the planning application does not specify how many bedrooms the proposed houses would have, they are all two-storey buildings in a low-density, courtyard style development which could not be characterised as social housing.