'Inappropriate' Cherhill village hall protest launched

Field on corner of Park Lane and the A4 in Cherhill Image copyright Google
Image caption Campaigners say the new building would be inappropriate for the location

Plans to build a new village near Chippenham will ruin an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), campaigners claim.

Cherhill Village Hall Committee wants to replace the current 40-year-old building with a new one on land at the junction of Park Lane and the A4.

Some locals claim building work would open the way to further development.

A petition against the idea has attracted more than 100 signatures in less than a week.

Susan Lambert from the Save Cherhill Field campaign said: "The proposed site is right opposite the Cherhill Downs which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"It's a real icon of our county with the [Cherhill] White Horse and [Lansdowne] monument. We think that any building so close to this would be really inappropriate.

"There are other sites that could be considered that aren't so sensitive."

John Cavanagh, who is part of a steering group looking at the plans, said: "There isn't even a design yet... But even at this early stage we are determined that we aren't going to do anything that will undermine this beautiful countryside.

"We're looking for a really innovative design that is sympathetic and blends into the countryside."

A local farmer has offered to donate the piece of land on condition that it is used exclusively as the site for a new village hall.

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