Labour members on the specially-convened committee voted to move the draft local plan on for public consultation.

But that didn’t stop them airing significant concerns, and they are keen to see as many people as possible make their views known.

Group leader Jim Grant said he’d prefer the threshold for affordable and social homes to be at 40 per cent rather than 30 per cent as listed in the plans, which he called ‘unambitious’.

He was pleased to see rules on the conversion of houses to student-style HMOs will be tightened, but didn’t think the council had been hard enough.

The plan says an application to change a building to an HMO would only be allowed where it would not worsen the surrounding area, or where the concentration of such houses would lead to an adverse impact on the neighbourhood.

Labour’s spokesman for strategic planning Jim Robbins said: “We are keen to get the best possible response to the local plan from Swindon’s residents. We have seen the submissions from developers and it is clear that they are only out for themselves and the record profits that they have been making, rather than working in partnership with the residents of Swindon.

“We were shocked to see developers call for Swindon to ignore the nationally-described space standards. Why should Swindonians have to live crammed into over-developed estates? Other demands from the developers include David Wilson Homes objecting to an increase in trees in new developments and to the amount of primary school provision needed. Taylor Wimpey is even objecting to the amount of homes that should be suitable for wheelchair users.

“All of the developers are asking for smaller proportions of social housing on their developments. How does this fit with the council’s stated objective of ‘providing high-quality, well-designed and sustainable’ housing?

“We hope that the people will respond and make it clear that they deserve better, more responsible development, a sustainable plan to allow the town to thrive while protecting our environment and heritage and a local plan that starts to address the current challenges with traffic, poorly designed developments and a lack of useful infrastructure.”