DEVELOPERS hoping to build affordable housing south of Swindon who brought the plan back to the council without making any changes were sent away with a flea in their ear - again.

In December the borough council’s planning committee deferred a decision on the bid 18 homes, 14 houses and four flats, on the site of a former electricity substation in Langton park south of Wroughton.

Councillors were concerned at the number of small units, particularly one-bedroom flats that could lead to inhabitants being isolated - especially as there were serious worries about access to the area for people without a car.

But a month later, the application was back again and had not been changed.

Chris Frost, a director of the developers’ agent Future Planning and Development said: “The client for this development is Stonewater, a major affordable housing provider.

“They feel that the proportion of smaller units, four one-bed flats and four two-bed, with six being offered at affordable rent is suitable for the site.

“Residents are offered accommodation but they are not obliged to take one they are offered if it’s not suitable for them,”

Mr Frost said that his company’s research showed that Wroughton had a high proportion of car ownership, so isolation of residents without cars was less likely. He also said that the developers would talk to the owners of Comet Way, a privately-owned road that is one of the only routes to Langton Park, about allowing residents access and for construction traffic. He added the developers’ preferred solution would be for the borough council to adopt the road to make it public.

But Coun Toby Elliott, the vice-chairman of the committee, had stern words for the developer: “It’s about 12 working days since we last had this application. Normally I’d applaud such speed, but we deferred it and asked the applicant to think again. And they’ve come back with just a big “no”. It’s incredible really.

“There’s some vague words about this council adopting the road, which would cost thousands. They just want the council and the taxpayer to pick up the bill.”

Coun Elliott proposed refusing the application on the grounds it was overdevelopment of the site, that the design of houses was of poor quality, the lack of infrastructure and the impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty.

The application was rejected unanimously. It is not known if the developers will appeal.