THE decision this week by Trowbridge councillors to agree to the transfer of parts of North Bradley into Trowbridge has caused fury in the village.

The boundary change is part of a review proposed by Wiltshire Council, and on Tuesday Trowbridge town councillors voted in favour of the proposals, with a vote of nine in favour and one against.

The areas which would be moved include the White Horse Business Park, most of the Ashton Park development and the sites at Elm Grove and Drynham Lane, as well as land between White Horse Business Park and Woodmarsh.

North Bradley Parish Cllr Russell Willsmer said: “I’m quite disgusted because as far as I’m concerned all the publicity we’ve seen from Trowbridge Town councillors in the past has been that they do not want this exchange.

“But that’s not a full council meeting and we’re hoping that the full council meeting is going to be open to people like myself to make our case.

“North Bradley has existed for a very long time and part of the land they’re taking, you’ll see it on ancient maps. They’re taking away North Bradley’s heritage, if you like.”

After the policy and resources committee meeting on Tuesday, Cllr Andrew Bryant, who is the Wiltshire councillor for Drynham ward, said that Trowbridge Town Council was not initially in favour of the boundary changes.

“There have been accusations of a land grab, which certainly is not the case, and the town council was not in agreement with this, it was a decision made by Wiltshire Council.

“I asked as the councillor for the ward which is bordering North Bradley that I would like to see a green zone there and I disapprove of the Elm Grove development.”

The decision will also affect around 12 houses currently in North Bradley parish and will mean they pay council tax to the town rather than the parish council - a far higher amount.

“No one wants to be paying more money,” Cllr Bryant said. “I don’t believe for one moment that that’s going to be seen as a popular move, but ultimately it was decided by Wiltshire Council.”

Town Cllr Antonio Piazza, who represents the Drynham ward, voted against the proposals. He said afterwards: “It’s disappointing that my fellow councillors opted to expand Trowbridge’s ‘empire’ further rather than focus on solving issues we have presently.

“I fear that this is just an excuse to offload the £14m debt, from our borrowing, onto other residents.”

Changes to the boundaries would come into effect from April next year and approval for any changes would have to be given by a full Wiltshire Council meeting before the end of September.

Any changes to electoral boundaries for parishes would need to come into effect at the next scheduled ordinary parish council elections in May 2021.