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Plans for up to 255 new homes between Bowerhill and Melksham have been strongly criticised by residents, who have promised to campaign against the development.

A planning application has been submitted by Scottish developer Mactaggart and Mickel, which would see a new estate built between Western Way and Bath Road.

It would include a mixture of detached, terraced, and three-storey houses, two children’s play areas and a local shop, with a woodland buffer to the north separating it from the town.

A consultation on the plans was held in April, when neighbours expressed concerns over the loss of the buffer zone between Melksham and Bowerhill.

Schoolteacher Andrea Perks attended the meeting with husband Ian, and is working to oppose the plans.

She said: “Everyone wants to fight against it, but we don’t feel we stand much of a chance. Most people would prefer to have solar panels put in instead, though we would rather have nothing at all.

“We have sought legal advice, and having people write letters is the main thing, making sure everything’s covered, but that they are all different.

“One of the neighbours has also been to Wessex Water to find out about the infrastructure as far as sewage is concerned, and someone has spoken to the parish council.

“The field was supposed to be for drainage, it’s a great natural habitat and it keeps a boundary between Melksham and Bowerhill.

“Planning permission was refused before – our homes had to keep their farm appearance as this is separate from the main town.”

The plans will be considered by a special meeting on Melksham Without Parish Council, before Wiltshire Council’s planning department decides whether to grant planning permission.

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