PROTESTS have been held in a bid to save a site in Bradford on Avon from becoming a 42-home estate.

Councillors and local people have banded together to campaign against the development of a field off Woolley Street, next to the conservation area.

Protesters living in the surrounding areas were joined by the mayor, Simon McNeill-Ritchie and Cllr Dom Newton at the proposed entrance to the fields, after Redcliffe Homes submitted an application for planning permission earlier this week – its second for the site.

The planned estate is on a field that adjoins the conservation area and local listed buildings in Crown Court.

The homes would be on land between the green belt, next to the conservation area, that is allocated as green space in the neighbourhood plan and outside the settlement boundary of the town.

Campaigners say the development would have a significantly detrimental impact on wildlife, including protected species of bats, barn owls, badgers and numerous other mammals.

Tracy Bollans said: “The green spaces in the area are diminishing as each housing estate is being built. This area is a very important area for ecology, with ancient hedgerows offering wildlife protection that would be destroyed if this proposed development went ahead.

“Importantly the field is inhabited by protected bats, including a summer roost in my loft, which with development and lighting would be lost.”

The access off Woolley Street and extra traffic from the new houses are worrying residents. Friends of Woolley member Caroline Watson said: “There is a lack of consideration for safety when more traffic would be accessing this proposed development from Woolley Street. The area cannot cope with existing levels of traffic, without adding more.”

Katey Fryer said: “I am particularly upset about the way Redcliffe Homes have gone about it, the plans don’t clearly outline the impact on Woolley Street, and they have not consulted the public about these proposals, that would impact on the whole community.”

The Wiltshire Times approached Redcliffe Homes for comment but none was received before the paper went to press.

In 2017 the firm’s first plan to build on the fields was withdrawn.

In a previous application by Redcliffe Homes, Wiltshire Highways described Woolley Street as “…a substandard carriageway width to support the unimpeded passage of two way traffic.” There are further worries about the impact of the traffic on Bradford on Avon, due to the recent developments at Kingston Farm and Tithecote Manor, with the impact of these developments not yet being truly assessed on the town, that already has congestion issues. Resident John Griffiths commented, “at this point there is no cumulative assessment of the impact of these developments on the traffic in and around Bradford. Woolley Street is not capable of dealing with further traffic.”

Local residents are angry with Redcliffe as there appear to be some anomalies within the plans and there has been a lack of consultation with the local area. Katey Fryer, local resident, “I am particularly upset about the way Redcliffe Homes have gone about it, the plans don’t clearly outline the impact on Woolley Street, and they have not consulted the public about these proposals, that would impact on the whole community.”

An earlier proposed development, in 2016, for this local Green Space was met with strong opposition by the Town Council, various organisations across the town and local residents and residents suggest these proposed plans have not attempted to engage with the community to overcome these issues. Georgina Newton, local resident commented, “The need for a further development in Bradford on Avon has not been shown, and as Wiltshire Council has achieved the five-year land supply it is unclear how Redcliffe Homes justify this application.”