Families in Bowerhill say they will campaign against the parish council’s plans for a new play area, which they fear will increase anti-social behaviour.

At a meeting on Monday Melksham Without Parish Council approved plans for a Multi-Use Games Area on green land off Hornchurch Road.

The area will have a fenced basketball court with built-in goalposts.

But neighbours claim it will attract criminal behaviour.

David Gazzard said: “A number of residents have had all manner of problems with the use of the toddler area already on the green.

“It is being vandalised and used by the wrong people, and the police have been out several times.”

A petition opposing the plan was presented to the council, before a 90-minute discussion.

Mr Gazzard said: “The council are dead-set on proceeding with this appeal. They are ignoring the voice of the people that put them in their office, and we all feel terribly let down by all this.

“We don’t object to a MUGA per se, but please site it somewhere else away from the residents.”

The funds for the MUGA were given to the council by Persimmon Homes in 2011, as part of a Section 106 agreement after they built new houses on the estate.

Council chairman Richard Wood said: “It’s earmarked for a MUGA on that piece of land. We can’t use the money for anything else.

“We consulted the local residents’ association and they were all in favour of it, and we contacted the local schools and Melksham Oak.

“We feel it would be a good thing for Bowerhill.

“It is a very popular move with the young people, and we got a very positive response from young people on the estate, whose views seem to count very little in their eyes.”