A couple were shocked to discover their farm cottage is set to be surrounded by a 700-home estate – despite not being consulted when developers first applied for planning permission.
Cheryle Walton and her partner Paul Jones were unaware of plans to build the "mini town" until a passer-by mentioned the development.
But the 507,500-square metre development in Chippenham, Wiltshire, is set to encompass their detached cottage, which currently sits in miles of fields.
"It's just soul-destroying. We have lived here for five years and we worked so hard to buy it and get everything done"
The devastated couple's £425,000 home does not even appear on the submitted aerial drawings of the proposed new estate despite being in the middle of the site, which will also have schools and offices.
Development company KBC Developments LLP has submitted plans to Wiltshire Council, but did not invite Miss Walton and Mr Jones to register their objections.
Miss Walton said: "It's just soul-destroying. We have lived here for five years and we worked so hard to buy it and get everything done, like extensions.
"It's our dream home and this has happened behind our backs. They are just developing it around us and we've never had anyone come to us.
"I heard about it from a lad when we were walking our dogs. We had no notification, we have no letter, but we are the only cottage there. Our cottage isn't even on the plans."
Cheryle Walton who has just found out that 700 houses will be built around her country dream home in Chippenham, Wiltshire Photo: Francis Hawkins / SWNS
Miss Walton and Mr Jones, her partner of 17 years, bought the cottage around five years ago for approximately £300,000 and embarked on extensive renovations.
But the pair had no idea consultants Framptons had submitted an application for outline planning permission on behalf of KBC Developments LLP last month.
The plans propose 700 homes on the 50-hectare site to the north east of Chippenham. It also includes 4.5 hectares of "employment space", 10 hectares of public open space, cycle paths, "retirement living", a primary school and a nursery.
The application for outline approval was submitted to Wiltshire Council on January 6, with comments invited until March 4, before a decision is set to be made in April.
Framptons claims it held a public exhibition on the plans in December 2014, but admitted Miss Walton should have been informed.
An aerial view of the cottage. Photo: SWNS
Artist's drawing of the new housing development planned for Chippenham, Wilts – with Cheryle Walton and her partner Paul Jones' cottage circled on the left. Photo: SWNS
Director Peter Frampton said: "When a planning application is submitted to the local planning authority normal protocol would be that they [Wiltshire Council] would normally send them a notification.
"We did hold a public exhibition in December 2014 and notified a lot of people and put an advert in the Gazette and Herald.
"Miss Walton should have been informed and if that didn't happen, I apologise. The planning application has a long way to go. It's in, she's now aware of it, and has sufficient time to send in her comments."
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: "The developers carried out public consultation events on these planning proposals and should have ensured all residents were told.
"We understand from Miss Walton that she was not informed and was only made aware when she received a letter from us in January stating a planning application has been submitted by the developers.
"We've suggested the developers call Miss Walton to explain what they are planning to do and why she was not involved earlier in the public consultation events."