A DECISION to allow 100 new homes to be built in Bourton has left villagers bitterly disappointed.

Inspector John Felgate approved the plans put forward by Robert Hitchins Ltd to build on land off Station Road on January 15 after a three-day inquiry last August.

The application were thrown out in October 2012 under delegated powers by Cotswold District Council’s planning and development manager Kevin Field because of the potential impact on the protected landscape.

But in his report, inspector Mr Felgate said although the proposed development would cause "some harm to the Cotswolds AONB" this would be limited and would be outweighed by the scheme’s benefits including meeting local housing needs and reducing flood risks and traffic congestion.

"Altogether, these benefits are compelling, and there is no evidence of any other alternative that would achieve similar benefits with so little environmental harm," he said.

He also said the "lack of a five-year supply of housing land" is an "exceptional circumstance" and needed urgent attention.

Councillor Bryan Sumner, parish council chairman, who sent a 10-page letter to the appeal inspector, said they were surprised and extremely disappointed by the decision.

"We submitted a load of documentary evidence and it appears it was not understood or listened to, " he said.

Gloucestershire County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson, (Bourton/ Northleach), said he was also disappointed.

"I think first of all it was very clear a lot of local residents were opposed to this development, " he said. "They made their view loud and clear as I did to the planning inspector last summer.

"I think the problem we've got as the inspector said in his report, the district council doesn't have a five-year housing supply and that's one of the reasons for allowing the appeal.

"Appeals of this sort are going to be part of our every day experience now until the district council sorts itself out. In my view we're in a disgraceful position."

Fiona Formby, spokesman for BAD (Bourton Against Development), said: "There was a solid case presented at the appeal by a united Bourton and many quantifiable reasons stated for not allowing this development.

"It will be a tragic loss of greenfield space and any benefits derived from building, will never be able to compensate for the loss of our beautiful landscape and the further erosion of our village. "