A DEVELOPER has been forced to go back to the drawing board after plans for 70 homes in Shipston have been thrown out by planners.

Stratford District Council's Planning Committee (East) refused the application - despite the planning officer's recommendation for approval - on the grounds of the impact on the landscape around the town and concerns over sustainability.

Applicant Banner Homes was hoping to build 25 affordable and 45 open market homes along with public open space and landscaping on land south of Campden Road and West Of Oldbutt Road.

The application had attracted strong opposition from Shipston Town Council, Stretton-on-Fosse Parish Council, district councillors and nine letters of objection from residents.

Councillor Richard Cheney, Shipston ward member on Stratford District Council, spoke out against the plans at last Wednesday's committee meeting.

"I am very pleased that the planning committee agreed with me thjat this application should be rejected on the grounds of the impact on the landscape around Shipston and also on sustainability grounds, having regard to the already overcrowded schools and medical centre," he said.

"Because the Tories running the district council have been so slow in developing a housing master plan for the district, I am very concerned that we will see more applications like this coming forward.

"These may well be approved by a planning inspector at appeal to due the council’s lack of an up to date planning policy."

Deputy Mayor Philip Vial said they were also delighted with the outcome.

"The town council voted to oppose to application some weeks ago," he said. "We're concerned about the amount of housing building going on in the town and being applied for because of the lack of the Draft Core Strategy being in place and the government National Planning Policy Framework.

"It does seem to be a free for all for developers. We're not anti-housing as there's a need for affordable housing but hundreds upon hundreds in Shipston is just not sustainable.

"We're glad the planning committee has seen sense."

Banner Homes was unavailable for comment when contacted by The Journal.