FLOODING fears could put the brakes on plans to convert an Upper Stratton working men’s club into three flats and two bungalows.

Parish councillors agreed to recommend refusal for the proposed transformation of the Beechcroft Road club after hearing concerns about the lack of plans to tackle flood risks and offer a provision to provide a nesting area for endangered wildlife.

Coun Teresa Page said: “There is a flood risk near the church road, and back in 2007 there were floods opposite the club and there could be flooding in the back gardens of other places along there.”

Coun Tim Page worried about the possible danger for residents trying to drive onto and off of the busy, fast-moving road while Coun Matthew Davis worried about the construction work disrupting traffic.

The borough’s highways department and a drainage engineer objected to the proposal because applicant Arkell’s Brewery has not submitted a surface water management strategy which would prove that the development poses no risk of causing flooding.

Flood risk engineer Emma Chilton said: “The development has not demonstrated the method of disposing surface water is feasible. It has not been demonstrated that the development will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere. The proposals do not conform to current national planning policy, local planning policy, or best practice design guidance. “

The North Wiltshire Swifts group offered advice that could help the species avoid extinction.

Jonathan Barlow said: “Swifts are now an amber-listed’ species on the UK list of Birds of Conservation Concern having declined by 51 per cent between 1995 to 2014, and it is expected that in 2021, they will be classified as red-listed. Should Swindon Borough Council approve this application, we recommend the council conditions the installation of five integral swift nest bricks in this development in the north rear gable ends of those buildings with clear flight access.”

The club shut last July and Arkell’s hopes to turn the club building itself into three two-bedroom flats spread over three storeys and to turn some of the rooms stretching further back from the street frontage into two one-bedroom bungalows.

Part of the existing extension at the back will be demolished to provide four parking spaces, with another created from the club’s smoking shelter. To allow cars access, a tunnel will have to be knocked though the entrance to the club manager’s flat, at the right hand side of the frontage as one looks at it from the street.

The application says: “An opportunity exists to layout the building in a fashion that will retain and reflect the character of the street and the grain of the surrounding urban area.”