A battle over plans to build 46 houses on land next to Rabley Wood View in Marlborough continues as the developers release further details.

Guy and Ben Sangster, the sons of the late horse racing tycoon Robert Sangster, want to build on the open space, which belongs to Wiltshire Council, in exchange for 14 hectares of nearby land owned by the Manton Estate, which is on the market for £26m.

In March the environmental services department at Wiltshire Council put a holding objection on the plan until the Sangster family could provide further information about the proposal.

One of the main concerns of technical officer Andy Mead is whether the proposed area set aside as substitute land for the recreation area is suitable.

In a statement, RCC Town Planning Consultancy said the area of the Manton Estate water meadow to be drained is 1.8 hectares, which they believe compensates for the 1.15 hectares they want to build on.

It said the plan incorporates extensive on-site play provision, drainage improvements, a kick-about area, additional natural play features and extensive recreation provision.

Nearby residents have fiercely objected to the application, particularly to the loss of the recreation area, arguing that the replacement land is unsuitable because it is a flood plain and often waterlogged.

Jayne Barker, of The Thorns, said: “How can they possibly want to drain a water meadow which acts as a natural buffer during bad weather to alleviate flood risk in the Marlborough and surrounding area?

“Any drainage of this area would surely increase flooding risk further downstream in the centre of Marlborough, where homes and businesses would be put at risk.

“The present play area is naturally overlooked on three sides by existing houses, providing a good measure of monitoring and safety to the area.

"The proposed replacement area is behind a fully grown line of trees and will be completely hidden.”