Malmesbury residents are bristling after learning that a huge development in the town could be back on the table.

Gleeson Strategic Land has lodged an appeal against a decision to reject plans for 180 homes and provision of land for a primary school on land south of Filands.

The development was rejected both by the town council and Wiltshire Council, but Gleeson is now hoping to have the decision reversed.

Councillor Simon Killane, who has been fighting the proposals, said Malmesbury residents are not opposed to developments, but feel that this is the wrong place for the number of houses planned.

Coun Killane, who is also the chair of the Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group, said: “There hasn’t been much sensible, robust thought given to the needs of the community with this development.

“They are now going to desperate measures, against the wishes of the community and Wiltshire Council, to try and get this application through.”

The councillor said that residents accept a new primary school is needed, but feel that the location offered by Gleeson is unacceptable.

“The governors and principals of all three schools in Malmesbury together with Wiltshire Council have sat around a table to work out the best way to deal with the housing growth required in the core strategy,” he said.

“That’s the first time it’s ever happened. They are making these decisions based on what will be best for the children of the town, and it may be that they say a school needs a big extension instead. Is it necessarily the answer to build a new school on some scrappy bit of land a developer can’t build attractive homes on?”

The councillor said developers need to work closely with residents of the town to come up with a mutually acceptable solution.

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