A BID to build 350 homes and a primary school at Abbey Farm is not an attempt to avoid the restrictions of the upcoming Local Plan, according to the company behind the application.

DPDS Consulting Group is behind the proposal for land just north of Lady Lane and Tadpole Lane. But the move has come in for some criticism, with Blunsdon Parish Council refusing to acknowledge the plan as it says the land in question has not been set aside for development.

Les Durrant, DPDS Group managing director, says they have worked with the council and if the development is approved then it will help to ease several problems in North Swindon.

He said: “We have certainly not tried to get around the Local Plan. In fact we have worked to contribute to the plan.

“I believe Abbey Farm will help to solve the well-known housing issue in North Swindon by providing much needed quality homes.

“At all stages we have been open about what we are doing.

“Last summer we held a consultation and the response from the public was surprisingly positive.

“What we did pick up from the ward councillors and council officers was the need for school places.

“For the number of houses being built we would not normally need to provide a school but because of the need, a two-form school is also being built, so children from other areas will be catered for.”