MOMENTUM is gathering behind a campaign to preserve a historic orchard in Trowbridge after more than 1,000 signatures were collected.

Ashford Homes bought the land Courtfield House is on in November, and last month the developer applied to build 21 flats and houses there.

Outraged at the prospect that the development might have poor road access, dispose of many trees that are over a century old and destroy wildlife, nearby Polebarn Road residents started a petition to save the orchard, which they say dates back to 1870.

A Historic England inspector also wrote that he objected to the development as it would have an adverse impact to Courtfield House and the open character of the Trowbridge Conservation Area.

Polebarn Road resident, Stuart Farrimond, started the petition. He said: “The priority for a housing developer is to make a profit.

“We hope that they will take the concerns of us and Historic England, among others, on board.

“We want to make it very clear that we are not against a development but we want it done properly.”

Teresa Bishop, of Polebarn Road, said: “The response to the petition has been extraordinary. We would like to have the back-end part of the orchard preserved so it can benefit the community.

“I am optimistic that something positive can come from this.”

The plans also involve turning Courtfield House into flats, building 16 flats on the orchard and converting the historic wool store into communal garaging and parking.

Ashford Homes did not respond before the Wiltshire Times went to press.

To sign the petition visit

The Wiltshire Times would like to apologise to PlanningSphere Ltd for incorrectly stating in a previous article it was the applicant when it is in fact the planning agent for the development.