A FRESH attempt to build an ‘eco village’ on the Janspeed site at Castle Road has won the support of city council planners.

Developers Five Rivers Eco Homes Ltd want to demolish all the buildings at Castle Works, next to Hudson’s Field and the rugby club, and put up 42 houses and 18 flats.

They want the development to be ‘carbon neutral’, with features including a communal ground source heat pump, a high degree of insulation, home offices, and an electric bike for each house.

A previous plan that involved 36 houses and 24 flats in three-storey blocks was turned down two years ago because of the site’s prominent and sensitive location, surrounded by open space and close to the monument of Old Sarum.

On Monday Cllr Margaret Willmot told the planning committee: “We need to move towards higher density housing. This site has access to green open space so smaller gardens are appropriate.”

Cllr Penny Brown said the scheme was “really innovative and exciting, and shows the way forward”.

Wiltshire Council will decide whether or not to grant the application.

The committee decided to support it as long as conservation and heritage experts are satisfied.

It will recommend that an archaeological dig should take place before any development begins, that the best-quality trees on the site should be protected, and that disturbance to the nearby campsite is kept to a minimum.

Members are also keen to see a ‘green’ travel plan including a car share club with use of electrically powered vehicles.