PEOPLE who oppose apartments for older people in Calne town centre say planners would “make a mockery” of the town’s Neighbourhood Plan if the development is approved.

The three-storey plans at land behind the High Street has seen people joined forces to call for a stop to a development of 39 old people homes.

52 people spoke out against the development on the High Street arguing there were is already enough housing for older people.

Echoing objections raised in Royal Wootton Bassett last week, more people in Wiltshire have come forward to say they do not want to see more care homes in their town.

Pans came back in front of Calne Town Council this week, after Churchill Retirement's first attempt was rejected by planning officers.

The proposal means plans outlined by the Baptist church to use the land by moving into the central location and opening a community hub thrown into doubt.

Rev Sam King said: “We want to make a real community place for people to come. There would a café that everyone could use. We need more things to bring people into the town not a retirement facility."

Paul Ogden was involved in putting the Neighbourhood Plan together which has been approved by residents through a referendum. He added: “There is something wrong about giving people a say in the town and then potentially allowing something like this to happen. The people have spoken and this is not what they said at all.”

Claire Mingham of London Road, said: “This is a prime position and we do not need this development. We need things to encourage people into our town to bring people together."

Sonia Hill lives in NorthEnd and said: “There are other suitable brownfield sites that could be used and other similar accommodation that has fallen into disrepair and could be renovated.”

Churchill’s Managing Director of Planning Stuart Goodwill said: “We believe our proposed development is well designed and will provide much needed new housing for people in and around Calne. It will not be a care home, but private retirement apartments that will enable their new owners to maintain an active, independent lifestyle and play an active role in the community.

"Our plans also include four commercial units where new shops, cafes and other services will be able to thrive. As well as creating jobs for the local economy and regular shoppers to boost the local high street, enabling older people to downsize to the heart of town will also free up more family housing in the wider area for younger people to move into.

"Our new design reflects feedback from the council and the wider public, and we believe it will make a valuable contribution to the town.”

Cllr Ian Thorn has also called for the proposal to come before councillors in the Northern Area Planning Committee, if officers propose to approve the development.

Former mayor of the Town Glenis Ansell said: “This application is not very different from the previous version. It does not respect the Town Plan which local people voted for. This sort of development is best suited to a site away from the town centre.”

The consultation into the proposal closes on Thursday.