A NEW village could take shape in the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border over the next ten years as developers draft plans to build 180 houses with community facilities on the site of a former school.

The Cotswold Community is a substantial area of land between the villages of Ashton Keynes and Somerford Keynes.

Before the Second World War the site was home to a closed religious community but was most recently a school for boys with challenging behaviour, set up by charity Action for Children.

Action for Children left the site in March 2013 and the future of the unused 250 acres has caused speculation throughout the surrounding villages since until it was sold to developers Amita.

The developers have now approached Ashton Keynes Parish Council with plans to turn Cotswold Community into a village of 100 or more new houses as well as redeveloping or refurbishing the 35 existing units.

The development would include affordable housing offered to residents of adjoining villages.

The new owners also plan to extract gravel from parts of the site as it is one of seven strategic sites identified in the Wiltshire Minerals Core Strategy.

Amita are currently discussing the plans with Wiltshire Council.

Ashton Keynes parish council chairman Dave Wingrove said the council was looking out for the best outcome for residents.

"We have a vested interest in what happens and we will engage with the developers," he said. "We aim to get the best outcome for the village."

The plans are in the early stages and Amita has held several meetings with Ashton Keynes Parish Council.

The developers say they are keen to work with the local community to help shape their ideas for the future development.