Fears have been raised over the future of a greenfield site near Coate Water.

Despite a 600-strong petition and criticism from South Swindon Parish Council and MP Robert Buckland, the site remains in the second draft of the borough council’s local plan.

The plan says it is “allocated for up to 12 elderly persons’ dwellings.”

Organiser of the original petition Andy Brice believes that the site should not be considered as a location for any kind of construction.

He said: “Nobody wants this green space built on.

“We put out a petition to try and stop this, the parish council wants to take control of the land and even Robert Buckland doesn’t want anything built on here but it is still on the local plan.

“It’s supposed to be a consultation but they’re not listening to us.”

The main concern about the site being used was its importance to the community as an open area.

Andy added: “It will cut the green space in two.

“A lot of people use it for dog walking and it’s a nice area to have close by. Are they just going to cover all of Swindon in concrete?”

The concerns were echoed by South Swindon MP Mr Buckland, who sent a letter to people living in the area. The Justice Secretary labelled the proposals inappropriate given the three-year plan the borough has to maintain a wildlife corridor.

A spokesman for Swindon Borough Council insisted that construction was not about to begin at the site.

He said: “No plans have been received to build on Coate Field. This site is currently a proposed allocation in the draft local plan which is currently open to consultation.

“The site is included in the plan because even though development would involve some loss of open space, it would not significantly harm the integrity of the green corridor.

“As the local planning authority, we have to consider the loss of open space against the additional housing required to meet the needs of the borough.

“While we understand that people care deeply about their local green spaces, it’s important to note that, in planning law, objections to elements of planning policy are not bolstered by the numbers of people, however large, who support or object to certain aspects.

“For objections to have any weight, they should be made on specific planning grounds.

“Nevertheless, we fully encourage people to use the consultation to submit their views and they will be taken into consideration.”

Consultation for the local plan, which plots the town’s next 16 years, ends on January 31.