Originally, Ashford Homes had planned to build 21 houses or flats at the Courtfield House site and save seven of the 40 trees in the Orchard.

Plans by the company have since been resubmitted for the construction of 20 homes with the preservation of 40 plus trees.

Proposed site plan for Courtfield House

Proposed site plan for Courtfield House

Speaking on the plans last year, Dr Stuart Farrimond the proposals did not honour the heritage of the orchard.

At a Trowbridge Town Council development meeting, Cllr Chris Beaver - the agent for the bid - said the revised plans allowed for the retention and planting of many more trees.

The consequence of this, he said, means the plans moved away from houses into a mix of houses and flats. It was also confirmed that the tree officer at Wiltshire Council had dubbed the orchard "very worthy" of preservation.

Development director of Ashford Homes, Tom Griffiths said: "I think we attached too little weight to the orchard - that's fair to say."

Under the new set of plans the orchard would be augmented with new fruit trees.

At the meeting, Dr Farrimond said he was delighted that the orchard was being preserved and was thankful for the compromises struck.

"It's exciting to hear there are plans to increase the biodiversity especially in the climate we're in at the moment it's really important," he said.

Mel Jacob, who organises the Apple Festival said she would like to find a way to have some use of the orchard by community groups - adding that the plans sounded promising.

Mr Griffiths added that now was a good time to re-engage with the community groups adding the orchard could be used by the wider community for events and hosting forest schools.

"It could be a very important educational resource in that respect," he said.