Sir – I am not a regular reader of any newspaper but a friend sent me a copy of the recent article you ran on the proposed building of 700 homes at Carterton East (Gazette, January 29), which has stirred me to write this letter.

I can sympathise with the people of Brize Norton, whom this will affect most, and can understand that Nimby (not-in-my-backyard) syndrome probably affects everybody.

I feel that I must point out a far worse scenario if the proposed Carterton East development is rejected.

This is what will happen: the proposed building of 1,000-1,300 homes to start with on the lower end of the Alvescot Downs on the edge of the beautiful Shill Brook valley will become a reality – the so-called Carterton West development.

This would be a catastrophe for the bio-diverse valley and its surroundings which are all full of rare wildlife and is at the moment unspoilt.

This area is also a natural flood area, as my photograph shows, and has been for centuries and would obviously suffer even more if this latter development is allowed to proceed.

My point is that the whole of the Shill Brook Valley should be made a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and/or a nature reserve before it is too late and gets concreted over in the way the rest of our countryside seems to be going.

The Carterton West development should not be supported for this reason.

Tim Sampson, Shilton Road, Carterton